Weekly #CyberWrap: Wednesday, September 27

Australia’s Department of Defence grounds its Chinese drones, CCleaner hijacked to deliver malware, and governments struggle to deal with big tech over encryption.

A Da-Jiang Innovations (DJI) ‘Phantom’ drone. (Source: @juvx)

Australia’s Department of Defence has confirmed that it had only recently assessed the security of drones from Shenzhen-based manufacturer Da-Jiang Innovations (DJI). The drones in question have been reportedly still flying in unclassified roles, while there’s no end in sight for a US Army ban.

The concern over DJI drones highlights the general problem of trust in technology supply chains. That has proven to be a sticking point for CCleaner, a widely used PC cleaning and optimisation tool that was hijacked and used to deliver malware to over 2.27 million users. While the scale of the damage is worrying, subsequent analysis has suggested that the malware was targeting technology companies that used CCleaner, specifically Google, Microsoft, Akamai, Samsung, Sony, VMware, HTC, Linksys, D-Link and Cisco networks.

Encryption and corporate cooperation has proved topical of late. Last week, Australia took to the UN stage to ask tech companies for help in countering violent extremism online. Similar discussions have taken place in the UK, where tech companies have said they shouldn’t be tasked with the security work of governments. While there’s still no good answer to how government should balance its responsibilities with those of the private sector, Denmark’s dedicated tech ambassador has expanded on the steps he’ll be taking to engage with tech companies.

Michael Chi is a research assistant in ASPI’s International Cyber Policy Centre (ASPI Cyber Policy). Follow him on Twitter @michael_the_chi

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