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Australian government in talks to buy Pacific Islands' top telco
Tuesday, 20 July 2021 12:28

HTTP/2 200 date: Wed, 21 Jul 2021 02:00:21 GMT content-type: text/html; charset=UTF-8 link: ; rel=preload; as=script;,/4c219a18bc536a8aa7db9b0c3186de409fcd74a7/javascript/_.js>; rel=preload; as=script;,/default/c649bdbbc641e8ba574dc0a59f48a6bba8316bf7/scaffolding.css>; rel=preload; as=style;,/default/c649bdbbc641e8ba574dc0a59f48a6bba8316bf7/design.css>; rel=preload; as=style;,/5e49edbd1875f214e0decae1e24b200066780fa8/style/fonts/arimo/arimo-700.latin.woff2>; rel=preload; as=font; crossorigin;,/5e49edbd1875f214e0decae1e24b200066780fa8/style/fonts/arimo/arimo-400.latin.woff2>; rel=preload; as=font; crossorigin; cache-control: max-age=0 expires: Wed, 21 Jul 2021 02:00:21 GMT vary: Accept-Encoding x-reg-bofh: pfy01us x-clacks-overhead: GNU Terry Pratchett, Lester Haines cf-cache-status: DYNAMIC expect-ct: max-age=604800, report-uri="https://report-uri.cloudflare.com/cdn-cgi/beacon/expect-ct" server: cloudflare cf-ray: 6720d5ceae4162d9-SYD Australian government in talks to buy Pacific Islands' top telco • The Register

The other bidder is China mobile, so top Oz telco has been approached to step in


Australia's dominant telco, Telstra, has revealed the nation's government has asked it to consider a partnership to acquire Digicel Pacific – the largest mobile carrier in the Pacific Islands – in a move seemingly designed to contain China's influence in the region.

In a stock market announcement [PDF] posted on Monday, Telstra stated it has "been in discussions regarding a potential transaction to acquire telecommunications company, Digicel Pacific in the South Pacific in partnership with the Australian Government".

The statement added that Telstra was first asked to provide "technical advice", but talks have advanced to the point at which a purchase appears to be under consideration.

"If Telstra were to proceed with a transaction it would be with financial and strategic risk management support from the government" the announcement states.

Digicel Pacific operates in Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Nauru, Samoa, Tonga, and Vanuatu, and has around three million subscribers. However, Digicel Pacific's parent company is struggling with billions in debt and the Papua New Guinea operation – one of the group's best sources of revenue and income – is therefore a candidate for a balance-sheet-easing sale.

While over 30 per cent of Australia's foreign aid budget goes to Pacific nations, and Australia recognises the importance of telecoms in the region, funding the acquisition of a regional retail telco represents novel policy.

But such an intervention would be consistent with Australian foreign policy, which has seen the nation pay for submarine data cables that reach its Pacific neighbours.

The reason for funding those projects was simple: China had offered to build cables and Australia decided it would rather its Pacific friends access data that did not route through the Middle Kingdom or rely on Huawei equipment.

The same logic seemingly applies to exploration of helping Telstra to acquire Digicel Pacific, because China Mobile is also rumoured to be interested in a bid. Australia has banned Huawei from its 5G networks.

Australia's government privatised Telstra because it felt the public sector had no role in retail telecoms operations. That logic seems not to apply when foreign policy and national security considerations are taken into account.

Another matter Australia's government may wish to consider is Telstra's well-earned reputation for byzantine customer service. If the carrier exports that model to the Pacific, buying Digicel Pacific could do Australia more harm than good. ®

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Move over, PrintNightmare. Microsoft has another privilege-escalation hole in Windows that can be potentially exploited by rogue users and malware to gain admin-level powers.

Meanwhile, a make-me-root hole was found in recent Linux kernels.

Recent builds of Windows 10, and the preview of Windows 11, have a misconfigured access control list (ACL) for the Security Account Manager (SAM), SYSTEM, and SECURITY registry hive files. As a result of this blunder, non-administrative users may read these databases, if a VSS shadow copy of the system drive is present, and use their contents to potentially gain elevated privileges. According to a US-CERT advisory, the issue appears to affect Windows 10 build 1809 and newer.

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Tang explicitly acknowledged that risk. "If I am deported back to mainland China, I would at least be jailed," he said in an email that may well understate the consequences of public political opposition to the Chinese government. Nonetheless, he sees value in publicity as a form of defense.

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Amazon was built on traditional relational databases from the beginning. Long before the ecommerce giant launched AWS, it used Oracle to support its consumer operations, handling the core of its retail transactional systems.

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The Huawei Cyber Security Evaluation Cell (HCSEC) oversight board's annual report for 2020 was noticeably less critical than in previous years – but still says Huawei is dragging its feet in key areas.

The Chinese biz has made "considerable progress on the rectification of boards containing an old and out-of-mainstream-support component, and progress on binary equivalence, fixed access issue, and vulnerability management in line with expectations", the HCSEC Oversight Board (OB) said in today's report.

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HTTP/2 200 date: Wed, 21 Jul 2021 02:00:21 GMT content-type: text/html; charset=UTF-8 link: ; rel=preload; as=script;,/4c219a18bc536a8aa7db9b0c3186de409fcd74a7/javascript/_.js>; rel=preload; as=script;,/default/c649bdbbc641e8ba574dc0a59f48a6bba8316bf7/scaffolding.css>; rel=preload; as=style;,/default/c649bdbbc641e8ba574dc0a59f48a6bba8316bf7/design.css>; rel=preload; as=style;,/5e49edbd1875f214e0decae1e24b200066780fa8/style/fonts/arimo/arimo-700.latin.woff2>; rel=preload; as=font; crossorigin;,/5e49edbd1875f214e0decae1e24b200066780fa8/style/fonts/arimo/arimo-400.latin.woff2>; rel=preload; as=font; crossorigin; cache-control: max-age=0 expires: Wed, 21 Jul 2021 02:00:21 GMT vary: Accept-Encoding x-reg-bofh: pfy01us x-clacks-overhead: GNU Terry Pratchett, Lester Haines cf-cache-status: DYNAMIC expect-ct: max-age=604800, report-uri="https://report-uri.cloudflare.com/cdn-cgi/beacon/expect-ct" server: cloudflare cf-ray: 6720d5ceae4162d9-SYD Australian government in talks to buy Pacific Islands' top telco • The Register

The other bidder is China mobile, so top Oz telco has been approached to step in


Australia's dominant telco, Telstra, has revealed the nation's government has asked it to consider a partnership to acquire Digicel Pacific – the largest mobile carrier in the Pacific Islands – in a move seemingly designed to contain China's influence in the region.

In a stock market announcement [PDF] posted on Monday, Telstra stated it has "been in discussions regarding a potential transaction to acquire telecommunications company, Digicel Pacific in the South Pacific in partnership with the Australian Government".

The statement added that Telstra was first asked to provide "technical advice", but talks have advanced to the point at which a purchase appears to be under consideration.

"If Telstra were to proceed with a transaction it would be with financial and strategic risk management support from the government" the announcement states.

Digicel Pacific operates in Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Nauru, Samoa, Tonga, and Vanuatu, and has around three million subscribers. However, Digicel Pacific's parent company is struggling with billions in debt and the Papua New Guinea operation – one of the group's best sources of revenue and income – is therefore a candidate for a balance-sheet-easing sale.

While over 30 per cent of Australia's foreign aid budget goes to Pacific nations, and Australia recognises the importance of telecoms in the region, funding the acquisition of a regional retail telco represents novel policy.

But such an intervention would be consistent with Australian foreign policy, which has seen the nation pay for submarine data cables that reach its Pacific neighbours.

The reason for funding those projects was simple: China had offered to build cables and Australia decided it would rather its Pacific friends access data that did not route through the Middle Kingdom or rely on Huawei equipment.

The same logic seemingly applies to exploration of helping Telstra to acquire Digicel Pacific, because China Mobile is also rumoured to be interested in a bid. Australia has banned Huawei from its 5G networks.

Australia's government privatised Telstra because it felt the public sector had no role in retail telecoms operations. That logic seems not to apply when foreign policy and national security considerations are taken into account.

Another matter Australia's government may wish to consider is Telstra's well-earned reputation for byzantine customer service. If the carrier exports that model to the Pacific, buying Digicel Pacific could do Australia more harm than good. ®

Similar topics


Other stories you might like

Move over, PrintNightmare. Microsoft has another privilege-escalation hole in Windows that can be potentially exploited by rogue users and malware to gain admin-level powers.

Meanwhile, a make-me-root hole was found in recent Linux kernels.

Recent builds of Windows 10, and the preview of Windows 11, have a misconfigured access control list (ACL) for the Security Account Manager (SAM), SYSTEM, and SECURITY registry hive files. As a result of this blunder, non-administrative users may read these databases, if a VSS shadow copy of the system drive is present, and use their contents to potentially gain elevated privileges. According to a US-CERT advisory, the issue appears to affect Windows 10 build 1809 and newer.

Continue readingJourno who went to prison for 2 years for breaking US cyber-security law is jailed again Deletion of employer's YouTube account deemed violation of release

Former journalist Matthew Keys, who served two years in prison for posting his Tribune Company content management system credentials online a decade ago in violation of America's Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, has been ordered back to prison for violating the terms of his supervised release.

On Monday, Keys, 34, a resident of Vacaville, California, received an additional six-month sentence and 18 months of supervision with computer monitoring requirements, according to the US Attorney's Office of the Eastern District of California. The sentence follows from a judge's finding that Keyes intentionally deleted a YouTube account he was managing on behalf of his then employer, Comstock’s Magazine.

"Businesses and individuals are already struggling against threats to the integrity of their data from hackers and data thieves,” said Acting US Attorney Talbert in a statement on Monday. "They should not also have to worry about data destruction from former employees seeking retribution."

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Initially, CEO Tim Cook wanted his techies to return to their iCampuses for three days a week starting from September.

However, infectious variants of the COVID-19 bio-nasty, particularly the Delta variant, spreading across America and other nations right now appear to have driven an uptick in cases, and thus have derailed some return-to-office plans. The variants are such a concern that the San Francisco Bay Area, for instance, recommends people continue wearing their masks indoors in public settings regardless of whether they have been vaccinated or not, to curb the rate of infection.

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Audacity's new owner Muse Group has been accused of threatening to land a developer in legal hot water, a move that could result in the programmer being forced to return to China to face a government of which he has been a vocal critic.

The developer in question, Wenzheng Tang, has expressed anti-China sentiments on his GitHub profile alongside a flag of Taiwan. He confirmed to The Register he is a Chinese national. We asked Tang for his approval to report on this debate, out of concern for his safety should he be deported from Canada, where he currently resides, as a result of any legal complaints brought against him.

Tang explicitly acknowledged that risk. "If I am deported back to mainland China, I would at least be jailed," he said in an email that may well understate the consequences of public political opposition to the Chinese government. Nonetheless, he sees value in publicity as a form of defense.

Continue readingHow Amazon broke free from Oracle ‘Our DBAs all became cloud architects’

Sponsored Amazon has promoted AWS managed database services for several years now, enticing proprietary on-premises database customers over to its own services in the cloud. The company backs up the benefits of migration with its own practical experience, because it migrated thousands of its Amazon.com databases away from Oracle to the cloud.

Amazon was built on traditional relational databases from the beginning. Long before the ecommerce giant launched AWS, it used Oracle to support its consumer operations, handling the core of its retail transactional systems.

"Amazon had used these Online Transaction Processing (OLTP) databases to process and store data for everything from payments information, wallets, ordering data, our inventory, through to our fulfillment centers and our identity management for customers," explains Thomas Park, Senior Software Development Manager for Consumer’s Business Data Technologies at Amazon.

Continue readingUK.gov's Huawei watchdog says firm made 'no overall improvement' on firmware security but won't say why HCSEC board's 2020 report filled with pats on back for Chinese biz

Huawei has made "no overall improvement" in software engineering processes for its UK telecoms equipment's firmware, its GCHQ overseers have warned.

The Huawei Cyber Security Evaluation Cell (HCSEC) oversight board's annual report for 2020 was noticeably less critical than in previous years – but still says Huawei is dragging its feet in key areas.

The Chinese biz has made "considerable progress on the rectification of boards containing an old and out-of-mainstream-support component, and progress on binary equivalence, fixed access issue, and vulnerability management in line with expectations", the HCSEC Oversight Board (OB) said in today's report.

Continue readingLawn care SWAT team subdues trigger-happy Texan... and other stories A crunchy compendium of strangeness from around the globe

Roundup We at The Register are constantly on the lookout for important technology and science news to bring you, our smart, funny and data-hungry readers, because we know you need to be kept up to date.

However, we know you also like to know about daft people doing strange, absurd or unusual things for no obvious reason, so here's a roundup of some of that.

Continue readingGood news: Jeff Bezos went to space. Bad news: He's back Baldly going where beardy has gone before, except a bit higher

Wally Funk has finally gone to space, accompanied by the Bezos bros and Oliver Daemen aboard Blue Origin's sub-orbital New Shepard.

It has been a long time coming. Funk was part of the group dubbed the Mercury 13, a group of women who underwent what were essentially the same tests as NASA's Mercury astronauts. Infamously, the project was cancelled and none of the members ever flew in space.

It would take more than 20 years before Sally Ride became the first US woman in space in 1983. Over a decade later, Eileen Collins became the first female Space Shuttle pilot and, later, the first female Commander.

Continue readingFortinet's security appliances hit by remote code execution vulnerability Cure worse than the disease for anyone with the 'fgfmsd' daemon activated

Security appliance slinger Fortinet has warned of a critical vulnerability in its software that can be exploited to grant unauthenticated attackers full control over a targeted system, providing a particular daemon is enabled.

The flaw, discovered by Orange Group security researcher Cyrille Chatras and sent to Fortinet privately for responsible disclosure, lies in FortiManager and FortiAnalyzer's fgfmsd daemon, which if running and vulnerable can be exploited over the network.

"A Use After Free (CWE-416) vulnerability in [the] FortiManager and FortiAnalyzer fgfmsd daemon may allow a remote, non-authenticated attacker to execute unauthorised code as root via sending a specifically crafted request to the FGFM port of the targeted device," the vendor warned customers.

Continue readingUbuntu on a phone, anyone? UBports reaches 18th stable update, but it's still based on 16.04 Improving the Google-free mobile OS has proven to be an uphill struggle

UBports, which took on the task of maintaining the Ubuntu Touch mobile OS after Canonical abandoned it, has released OTA-18 with lots of improvements, but still based on the ancient Ubuntu 16.04.

According to the team, one of the big changes in this release is a rewritten Media-hub service, responsible for media playback and control. "20,526 lines of code later, the new media-hub emerged – with better tests, a more contributor-friendly structure, and a few fixed bugs to boot," said the post introducing the release.

The OS update also improves efficiency. "We still have a lot of people using devices with just 1GB of RAM," the team explained. "OTA-18 almost always feels faster than OTA-17 on the same device."

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The proposals – to be adopted by the Digital Markets Unit (DMU), a fledgling division trailed last November that sits within the UK's Competition Markets Authority – would force tech megacorps to follow new rules of "acceptable behaviour with competitors and customers."

It's the latest step in the shuffling bureaucratic process of scoping out the DMU's role and embarking on a consultation process before finally giving it the legal authority to actually do something.

Continue reading

Source: https://bit.ly/3kInryO