Thursday, June 21, 2018

False Alarm from Indian Tsunami Early Warning Centre

Thursday morning I noticed a worrying message from the Indian Tsunami Early Warning Centre:
Date: Thu, 21 Jun 2018 03:29:03 +0530 ...
"IOTWMS-TSP INDIA has detected an earthquake with the following preliminary information:
Magnitude  : 8.5  M
Depth      : 10  km                      
Date       : 20 JUN 2018
Origin Time: 2154UTC
... this earthquake may be capable of generating a tsunami affecting the Indian Ocean region."
This was alarming because an 8.5 magnitude earthquake is extremely large. But then I noticed the location was given as "TEST_TEST_CENTRAL CHILE".

As confirmed later, this was a test message which escaped from the internal system, out to the public:
"CANCELLATION MESSAGE ...
Date: Thu, 21 Jun 2018 05:33:31 +0530

IOTWMS TSUNAMI SERVICE PROVIDER INDIA (ITEWC)
This is not a real event. This event was issued due to an operator error during an internal test. ..."
It took two hours to issue the correction, which is an unacceptably long time.



Sunday, June 10, 2018

August Osage County at the New Theater Newton Sydney

The play August: Osage County at the New Theater, Newton Sydney, last night was like many family gatherings you have been to, combined with The Big Chill. Adult children gather at the family home after many years, due to a family tragedy. They argue with each other, and their partners, over the same old things, with long buried secrets emerging. At more than three hours, with two intervals, this is a long play, but worth staying to the end.

The Australian cast did a good job with mid-western US accents. Alice Livingstone had fun with the role of slightly mad matriarch.


I did not understand why playwright Tracy Letts inserted a native American into the middle of this play.  Emilia Stubbs Grigoriou, gave a credible performance with little dialogue to work with, but passing comment on all happening around her through expression.

The set design by Sallyanne Facer was a little bare for a lived in family home. Also I found the red LED displays on the theater lighted overhead a little distracting.

Friday, June 01, 2018

Australia Declares Cyberwar

The Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) and Australian Computer Society (ACS) today released a national cyberwarfare deterrence policy paper (Painter, 2018). The policy advocates unilateral reciprocity for cyber-attacks on Australia.

The report quotes Australia’s International Cyber Engagement Strategy:
"[h]aving established a firm foundation of international law and norms, the international community must now ensure there are effective consequences for those who act contrary to this consensus."
However, the Painter doctrine is more in line with the US strategy of promising "swift and costly consequences", saying:
"... every country has the right to act to defend itself, but, if possible, acting together, with each country leveraging its capabilities as appropriate, is better. Collective action doesn’t require any particular organised group ...". 
The Australian Public Service Commission (APSC) has issued a draft learning design standard, detailing the knowledge required for government cyber security specialists. Civilian specialists working for government may well find themselves involved in offensive operations. The ANU offers a course in Cyber Offensive Security Operations as part of a Master of Cyber Security, Strategy and Risk Management. To address the ethical issues with being involved in such operations I have run students through a hypothetical on Cyberwar over the South China Sea.

Reference


Deterrence in cyberspace - Spare the costs, spoil the bad state actor: Deterrence in cyberspace requires consequences, Chris Painter, Australian Strategic Policy Institute Limited, 1 June 2018.