Microsoft Warns of New Phishing Scams as Gmail Blocks 240M Per Day

Microsoft has warned the public to be vigilant of the increasingly sophisticated scams cybercriminals are leveraging to exploit coronavirus fears and infect their machines with malicious software and means of identity theft. Google has added to the warnings, saying that it is blocking more than 240 million spam messages containing false COVID-19 information laced with malware and phishing attempts every day, highlighting the scope of the problem the public faces. 18 million additional emails containing malware and phishing-specific tactics were weeded out by Google’s servers. Earlier this week, Microsoft issued a statement via its Security Intelligence Twitter account saying the company has

Wesfarmers Announces It Will Close or Spin-off 167 Target Stores

Retail group Wesfarmers has announced its move to close the doors of 75 Target department stores, adding that it will convert an additional 92 stores into Kmart stores amid a massive restructuring plan. Wesfarmers broke the news via a press release - which you can access here - stating that the company has made its move to “accelerate the growth of Kmart and address the unsustainable financial performance of Target.” The company also announced it would have up to $1.3 billion worth of costs and write-downs this year, as it closes a number of Target stores, which is predicted to cost Wesfarmers anywhere between $120-170 million, with an additional $140 million allocated for conversions and st

NSW Relaxes Restrictions on Pubs, Clubs, Cafes and Bars to 50 Patrons

The NSW Premier has announced that as of the 1st of June, pubs, cafes, bars and clubs will be allowed to serve up to fifty patrons within its premises in a radical loosening of current restrictions in what is a massive boon for the state’s hospitality industry. The announcement came via a press conference today, where NSW Premier, Gladys Berejiklian said that stage two restrictions are to come into place on the 1st of June. For more information on the federal government’s three-stage reopening plan, click here. Venues will, however, be mandated to adhere to a one patrol per four-square meter rule, meaning that a number of them will not be eligible to host 50 patrons at one time. The premier

Cybersecurity Tops The List of Business Trends Set to Take Off Amid the Pandemic

For your free ISO 27001 - Information Security Management System - Gap Analysis Checklist, please click here. A report from Law Path has identified six key business trends that are set to become prevalent as we move through the COVID-19 pandemic, with cybersecurity concerns topping the list. The report took in data from 130,000 businesses that have used their legal platform in the past, and have concluded that six trends are set to transform the landscape as we move further into the pandemic’s recovery phase. Law Path says that businesses and individuals alike have become more distressed about current cybersecurity threats in the landscape, particularly when dealing with highly sensitive leg

China Changes Iron Rules; Potential Threat to Australian Exports

China has implemented a number of changes to rules that govern iron imports into the country in what some are labeling as another trade treat directed at Australia for its advocacy of an independent inquiry into the COVID-19 crisis. Analysts are forecasting that these changes and amendments have the potential to disrupt, and in extreme cases, stop altogether the ability to export Australia’s most profitable export to China- iron ore. China is Australia’s largest importer of raw iron ore, with Australian imports amounting to more than 60% of the total figure imported each year. Chinese customs authorities made the announcement that its new supervision rules will be implemented on the 1st of J

Federal Court Rules Casuals Are Owed Up To $8 Billion in Landmark Case

The Australian Federal Court has ruled that employers owe casual workers as much as $8 billion worth of paid leave in a landmark court case set to shape the worker entitlement landscape. Opinion on the ruling is, however, divisive. Employers are now worried that casuals will be able to “double-dip” thanks to the ruling, after being paid a higher wage than their full-time colleagues, but now being able to claim back-paid entitlements. Those on the other side of the fence argue that it closes a long-time loophole for employers to take advantage of casual workers. The ruling means that workers employed as ‘casuals’ that worked regular and consistent hours for their employers aren’t technically

Are We Getting Complacent in an Artificial Economy?

I was scrolling through the news cycle earlier this week when I stumbled upon an article about the accounting software company MYOB who recently cut 130 of its employees. While it’s absolutely tragic that 130 hard working employees will have to look for other means of employment in the near future, the job cuts weren’t the most important takeaway of this article at all. What caught my eye was that Greg Ellis, MYOB’s current CEO warned of the dangers of an artificial economy, which comes at a particularly crucial time, considering we’ve just weathered the first wave of the pandemic and borne witness to its impact on our personal and professional lives. Ellis told the Sydney Morning Herald tha

Hackers Begin to Leak Celeb Info as Law Firm Refuses to Pay Ransom

Hackers Demand $42 Million from a law firm saying they’ve sold Trump’s data & Madonna’s is next... A cybercriminal group known as REvil has said it has managed to sell damaging information on US President, Donald Trump, and threatened that popstar Madonna is next in line as it attempts to extort a law firm into paying a $42 million ransom after hacking it. Last week, we reported that a high-profile law firm with a number of celebrity and elite business clients was hit by a ransomware attack, with hackers originally demanding $21 million in exchange for returning the 756GB-worth of files on extremely sensitive celebrity clients. The law firm in question, Grubman, Shire, Meiselas & Sacks has s

EasyJet Says 9 Million Customers Implicated in Data Breach

Budget airline EasyJet has confirmed that the company was hit by a “highly sophisticated cyber-attack” that has compromised the data of around nine million customers. The company has said that travel details, email addresses for nine million customers had been compromised, as well as 2,208 customers that had their credit card details ‘accessed’ by hackers. Reports are stating that included in the stolen credit card details were the three-digit CVV number on the back of the card. EasyJet has fulfilled its legal obligations to notify the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office, who will now take the time out to investigate the data breach; the company has said it was first aware of the cyber br

Facebook Says 31% of Small and 52% of Personal Businesses Have Stopped Operating

Facebook has released its State of Small Business report detailing the damage the coronavirus pandemic has had on small, medium and personal businesses over the past few months. The report, which was produced in collaboration with the Small Business Roundtable took in data from 86,000 owners, managers and employees of US companies that had less than 500 employees on their books. The research will form a bedrock of data that Facebook intends to present to the World Bank and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development on the Future of Business. Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s chief operating officer said the company had been developing the report well before the COVID-19 situation ma

Experts Warn the Coal Industry May Not Recover Post-COVID

For your free ISO 14001 - Environmental Management System - Gap Analysis Checklist, click here. Reports are emerging detailing the difficulty in which the coal industry will face as it recovers post-pandemic as renewable energy proves itself the safer investment. The news comes via a report from The Guardian, and states that “even before the pandemic, the industry was under pressure due to heightened climate activism, divestment campaigns and cheap alternatives. The lockdown has exposed its frailties even further, wiping billions from the market valuations of the world’s biggest coal miners.” Statistics from the Energy Information Agency (EIA) show that since its peak in 2008, the US’ consum

Transport Association Says Air Travel Won’t Recover Until 2023

The International Air Transport Association has issued a statement outlining a long recovery period for the aviation industry, signaling that international air travel won’t return to pre-pandemic levels until 2023. Alexandre de Juniac, Director-General at the IATA has told the world that “we have published today a new forecast about the potential recovery of air traffic and what we see is that things should come back to normal in 2023,” he said. “That shows the importance and the severity of the crisis on air transport,” he added. “That would be a $314 billion hit. And without urgent relief, many airlines will not survive to lead the economic recovery.” - Alexandre de Juniac De Juniac foreca

China Slaps Australian Barley Farmers With 80% Tariffs For Five-Years

Key Takeaways: Australian barley exports to China will be hit with a 73.6% anti-dumping tarrif and 6.9% anti-subsidy tariff. China says its "domestic industry had suffered substantial damage. $1.5 billion of barley was exported to China in 2018, and $600 million in 2019 due to drought. Politicians downplay the correlation to rising political tensions between Australia and China. Scott Morrison was an early voice calling for an independent investigation into China's handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. China looks set to make good on its threats on imposing a jaw-dropping 80% tariff on Australian barley, one of Australia’s most valuable crops for export to China, after affirming its determinati

The New Plant-Based, Biodegradable Bottles Backed by Coca-Cola & Carlsberg

For your free ISO 14001 Environmental Management Systems Gap Analysis Checklist, Click here. There’s a new bottle maker in town, and it could transform the entire plastics industry. It’s the result of a Dutch company who has been extensively researching how to manufacture a biodegradable bottle for large-scale use by some of the world’s largest beverage makers. Avantium is the company in question, a biochemical company based in the Netherlands looking to get their all-plant bottle picked up drink makers worldwide. They’ve produced a plastic bottle through the synthesising of plant-based sugars - rather than fossil fuel-based means of production. The crops are sustainably grown, according to

Reserve Bank Says Renewables Could Fuel Post-Pandemic Recovery

Australia’s Reserve Bank has published research detailing a steep fall in the number of investments into the renewable energy sector, suggesting that investment into renewables could fuel a post-pandemic recovery plan for industry nationwide. According to research published by the Reserve Bank, renewable energy’s share of the national electricity market increased to nearly 20% in 2018, adding that “this share was higher in 2019 and is expected to continue increasing as projects that are currently under construction or have been recently completed begin generating output.” Experts have said that the release provides substantive evidence of the Reserve Bank going “out of its way to make a poin

Recession May Last Until 2021, Federal Reserve Chairman Powell Warns

The head of the US Federal Reserve has warned that America’s economy may be slow to recover in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, stating that a full rebound might not be possible until 2021. Jerome Powell, chairman of the US Federal Reserve told CBS that a full economic recovery would be aided by a coronavirus vaccine, while urging US policymakers to implement further stimulus measures to keep the economy afloat. In the interview, Jerome Powell said that “this economy will recover. It may take a while… it could stretch through the end of next year. We really don’t know.” “The data we’ll see for this quarter, which ends in June, will be very, very bad.” Jerome Powell Powell expects the econo

Parliament Introduces Bill To Get Small Businesses Paid On Time

The Morrison Government introduced a bill earlier this week aimed at getting the 3.5 million Australian small businesses currently operating paid on time by larger organisations. It’s known as the Payment Times Reporting Bill, and is primarily aimed at supporting cash-strapped small businesses by requiring larger organisations to report their recent payment times. This, in turn, provides operators of small businesses with a list of large organisations and how ethical they are about paying their bills. You can view the preliminary details of the bill here. If the Bill passes, businesses with a turnover of more than $100 million per year will be required to record and lodge their payments term

Kaspersky & INTERPOL Celebrate World ‘Anti-Ransomware’ Day

For your free ISO 27001 - Information Security Management System - Gap Analysis Checklist, Click here. INTERPOL has announced a collaboration with cybersecurity firm Kaspersky as the two organisations announce the third birthday of its ‘Anti-Ransomware’ Day. The third anniversary of anti-ransomware day comes three years after the notorious WannaCry ransomware pandemic that saw organisations lose billions, as well as customer trust when their systems were held hostage by hackers. In total, around 200,000 computers spanning 150 countries were infected, with notable hacks like the UK’s National Health Service being hit with $100 million in damages. All up, the damage from the WannaCry ransomwar

Public Confidence “Shaken” By 5G Misinformation Campaigns, Committee Says

A Federal parliamentary committee has found that the public’s confidence in 5G technologies have been shaken in the wake of a wide scale misinformation campaign led primarily by social media users. The committee was established in 2019 to study the potential impact of a 5G rollout in Australia, led by telecommunications companies Tesltra, Optus & Vodafone, and it received several hundreds of emails from private citizens and groups concerned about health issues related to 5G technologies. It is chaired by David Gillespie of the Nationals, who conceded that there has been a tangible impact on public opinion as a result of misinformation on 5G networks perpetuating. "Misinformation has filled t

Twitter CEO Says Employees Can Work From Home - Forever

Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey has said that his employees can work remotely from home for as long as they’d like, even after the pandemic returns businesses to normal operating routines. Dorsey made the announcement to staff via an email that has been leaked to the media, but the company has since confirmed the contents of the email, reiterating that if an employee would prefer to remain at home, Twitter would “make that happen.” Buzzfeed News was the first to publish an email from CEO Jack Dorsey to his employees regarding the working from home arrangements that Twitter put in place a number of months ago now. Alex Krantrowitz writes that “in his email, Dorsey said it’s unlikely Twitter would o

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