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September 2013 Newsletter

30 August 2013

Elections and tax time are both national events. We’re all aware of them, we’re all affected by them and we’re all curious about news associated with them. If the past is anything to go by, this is also a favourite time for scammers.

This time of year, watch out for tax and election related scams. You can expect to see spam using these events to get you to click a link, open an attachment or reply with personal information. Don’t be tempted.

Department news

It’s Secure September in Queensland and The Fraud and Cyber Crime Group of the Queensland Police Service is hosting the 2013 Fraud Symposium – "Secure Your Financial Universe – Cyber, Identity and Corporate Crime Under The Spotlight" in the first week of September 2013.

This focus of the Symposium is the protection of business, in particular Intellectual Property Data. One of the focal points of this year’s event is to instil the notion that corporate security is an investment in good corporate health and that cyber security is everybody’s business.

The Symposium sessions will include problem solving exercises, workshops, debates and demonstrations to give the participants the skills, knowledge, confidence and professional networks to return to their respective organisations and instil a cyber secure environment.

Wave of malware and spam follows royal baby news

Last month a wave of spam and phishing emails followed the birth of the royal baby.

As national and global events move on, you can expect the scammers to keep up.

Malicious chargers can exploit mobile devices

You might not think about it much, but plugging your phone into charge is, of course, giving that charger access to your phone. This month a vulnerability was discovered in Apple iOS devices, such as iPhones and iPads, that allowed a modified USB charger to compromise the device.

It’s a good reminder that connecting your devices to unknown sources via USB, can be risky.

Click here for more.

Google Chrome does not secure stored passwords

Users of the popular web browser Google Chrome should be aware that passwords (when saved by the browser) are not stored securely. It means that other users of that computer are able to view all passwords that you have saved.

Click here for more.

Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) Twitter account hacked

The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) had its Twitter account @AusElectoralCom compromised early in August, with scam messages sent from the account directly to some followers.

It’s a good reminder that scammers can operate across any channel, and to think carefully about the messages you receive—even if they appear to come from a friend or an organisation you follow. If the message seems out of character, or makes you suspicious, trust your instincts and take precautions.

Click here for more.

Microsoft release August Patch Tuesday updates

Microsoft issued software updates in August. A number of critical and important updates were listed. It’s important to ensure your system is always as up-to-date as possible. If you haven’t set up automatic updates, do it now!

Advice on the latest updates is available from the vendor’s site.

Apple ID account holders targeted by double chance phishing email

Last month, a sophisticated phishing campaign targeted Apple ID account holders. It looks quite official and included two chances to lose valuable information.

Firefox update available

Mozilla issued a number of important security, privacy and functionality improvements for Firefox in August. If you use this browser, don’t forget to check you’ve updated.

More here.

Phishing scams continue to target payment services

Phishing scams invariably target services that offer access to your money. Banks, online shopping, taxation services and, of course, secure online payment services such as PayPal.

Find out more about how these scams work.

Stay Smart Online Blogs

The Federal election was called on Sunday August 4 2013. The Australian Government is now in caretaker mode. No new blogs are being issued during this time. All of our existing blogs are available here.


Thank you to those subscribers who have provided feedback to our Alerts and Newsletters. We are very interested in your feedback and where possible take on board your suggestions or requests.


This information has been prepared by Enex TestLab for the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy ('the Department'). It was accurate and up to date at the time of publishing.

This information is general information only and is intended for use by private individuals and small to medium sized businesses. If you are concerned about a specific cyber security issue you should seek professional advice.

The Commonwealth, Enex TestLab, and all other persons associated with this advisory accept no liability for any damage, loss or expense incurred as a result of the provision of this information, whether by way of negligence or otherwise.

Nothing in this information (including the listing of a person or organisation or links to other web sites) should be taken as an endorsement of a particular product or service.

Please note that third party views or recommendations included in this information do not reflect the views of the Commonwealth, or indicate its commitment to a particular course of action. The Commonwealth also cannot verify the accuracy of any third party material included in this information.


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