Sydney Trains and Transport for NSW cyber security flaws exposed in ‘red team’ hacker attack

Anti-hacking defences put up by Sydney Trains and Transport for NSW were no match for a simulated cyber attack orchestrated by a government watchdog, a new report reveals.

The “red team” hacking exercise conducted by the NSW Auditor-General revealed “significant weaknesses” in the agencies’ cyber security schemes, the watchdog wrote in the report released on Tuesday.

“Transport for NSW and Sydney Trains are not effectively managing their cyber security risks,” Auditor-General Margaret Crawford wrote in the report.

“Significant weaknesses exist in their cyber security controls, and both agencies have assessed that their cyber risks are unacceptably high.”

The report also notes that few staff members at the agencies have received basic cyber security training and that executives do not receive regular detailed cyber risk briefings.

“As a result, neither agency is fostering a culture where cyber security risk management is an important and valued aspect of executive decision-making,” Ms Crawford wrote.

Tasmanian adults disproportionately affected by illiteracy

Almost 50 per cent of Tasmania’s population is functionally illiterate, a parliamentary committee heard on Tuesday.

Tasmanians are believed to be disproportionately affected by illiteracy due to intergenerational and regional disadvantage, as well as lower education attainment among young Tasmanians.

Tasmania is the poorest state in Australia, with incomes 26 per cent below the national average, according to research company McCrindle.

“While social inequalities have a profound effect on educational attainment, they should not be an excuse for lower levels of literacy in the State,” lamented the Tasmanian 100% Literacy Alliance at the committee.

For decades, economic and social commentators have bemoaned Tasmania’s lower educational outcomes compared to the rest of the country.

Despite legislative and policy changes and implementation of a range of programs to improve state education in Tasmania, the Tasmanian 100% Literacy Alliance says there has been little sustained improvement in the state’s educational outcomes.

As of 2012, only 52.8 per cent of Tasmanian men and 46.9 per cent of Tasmanian women possess an OECD literacy level of three or above.

Below level three, an adult lacks the “basic skills needed to understand and use information from newspapers, magazines, books and brochures” said the 26TEN Initiative.

“More needs to be done at the national level, particularly in meeting the demand of help required in rural and regional locations,” 26TEN urged in its submission.

Queensland families asked to provide DNA to help identify missing loved ones

Queensland, (TIE Australia). Queensland families with missing loved ones will now be able to provide police and scientists with DNA samples as part of an Australian-rst forensic program aiming to identify our unknown and missing Australians. On Sunday 1 August 2021, the Australian Federal Police and Queensland Police Service will launch the first-ever Family of Missing Persons Day to coincide with National Missing Persons Week (NMPW). This is the rst of a series of Family of Missing Persons Days to be held across Australia over the next six months. The Queensland event will be hosted at the State Library of Queensland in Brisbane by the National DNA Program for Unidentified and Missing Persons.

The aim of the National DNA Program is to apply a suite of existing and new forensic techniques to hundreds of unidentified human remains, in an eort to assist State and Territory police in resolving cases of long-term missing persons.

Queensland families with a missing family member are being invited to register now for the free event to provide police investigators and forensic scientists with vital information, records and samples to assist with the identication process, including:

Reference DNA samples from multiple close biological relatives

Personal items (e.g. toothbrushes, razors)

Stored biological samples (e.g. baby teeth, lock of hair)

Dentist and doctor details Dental and medical records (e.g. x-rays, CT scans)

Photographs Physical information (e.g. sex, age, ancestry, eye and hair colour, height, tattoos) Circumstantial information (e.g. date/location last seen, clothing/shoes/jewellery worn)

This information will be used by the National DNA Program to update national databases, which will allow the eective searching and matching of unidentied human remains and missing persons cases for the rst time at a national level. A recent audit of cases stored at police, mortuary and forensic facilities has confirmed there are more than 500 unidentified people across Australia. Many of these human remains were discovered decades ago, with some cases dating back more than 50 years. The ultimate goal is to restore the names and faces of these unknown Australians, provide them with a dignified burial, reinvigorate cold criminal investigations so justice can be served, and provide answers to families and police who have spent years searching for missing loved ones. The $3.6 million program is directed by one of Australia’s leading human identification experts, Associate Professor Jodie Ward, from the AFP’s National Missing Persons Coordination Centre and the University of Technology Sydney’s Centre for Forensic Science. Associate Professor Ward received the prestigious Churchill Fellowship in 2015 to investigate world leading DNA identification techniques for missing persons and disaster victims. The Queensland event will also oer families the opportunity to engage directly with police, forensic scientists, the Missing Persons Advocacy Network and other families. It will also feature presentations from industry and academic experts and ambiguous loss-trained counsellors will be present to support families. Families across the rest of Australia who have a missing relative can pre-register their interest now. Once an event has been scheduled in their State or Territory, they will be notified of the details.