Cyberattacks that target important infrastructure, like healthcare, pose a serious threat to public health and safety. Criminal disruptions of hospital computer networks can have tragic consequences.
Most recently a bad cyber actor was arraigned on charges arising out of a cyberattack on a medical centre. The attacks disrupted phone service, information from a digitising device and disabled network printer service. In this case, the person was the chief operating officer of a network security company.
This cyberattack on a hospital not only has disastrous consequences on health services but patients’ personal information can be compromised. The FBI and Department of Justice (DOJ’s) law enforcement partners are determined to hold accountable those who allegedly put people’s health and safety at risk. This case is still being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and they are committed to holding accountable those who endanger the lives of patients by damaging e-systems essential to the operation of healthcare facilities.
According to an article, cybersecurity incidents targeting healthcare organisations have become more prevalent and impactful over the years. A report found that ransomware attacks cost the healthcare industry a collective $20.8 billion in downtime in 2020. The number of ransomware attempts against the healthcare industry rose by 123% in 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic was a particularly serious time for the industry when the healthcare sector could not afford downtime due to cybersecurity attacks.
Another report found that 92 individual ransomware attacks occurred at healthcare organisations, and 600 clinics, hospitals and organisations were affected. In addition, more than 18 million patient records were impacted by these ransomware attacks, a 470% increase from 2019. In fact, 2020 brought the most ransomware attacks on healthcare providers in the past five years as hackers collected more than $2.1 million in ransom payments.
Double extortion attacks against the healthcare industry are a key strategy among bad actors. In a double extortion attempt, hackers steal the data and save copies in their own storage. Then they encrypt the data to prevent access. The hackers can then extort the victim for the decryption key and to keep the data off of the dark web.
There have been threats specifically targeting COVID-19 vaccine research, as well as the upstream and downstream supply chains of its development. This attack vector may continue for the foreseeable future as data around COVID-19 vaccine research and distribution may provide valuable insights at a nation-state or corporate espionage level.
Experts say healthcare organisations are easy targets for ransomware attacks because they cannot afford to lose access to patient records. Hospitals are more likely to pay ransoms on time as they cannot operate long without patient data as it will put patient health at risk. To protect against ransomware and other cybersecurity risks, companies should deploy machine learning and advanced threat protection-enabled endpoint protection.
Experts recommend zero-trust principles to combat ransomware threats. As reported by OpenGov Asia, in the light of many cyberattacks, the U.S. government has resorted to zero-trust security, a model that assumes all traffic on a network could be a threat and requires every user to be authenticated and authorised before being granted access to any sensitive application or data.
While zero-trust security doesn’t protect networks from every possible attack, it reduces risk, speeds up threat detection and closes gaps in visibility. It is tailor-made for a world where cloud computing and an ever-increasing number of mobile devices are increasing the network attack surface and demanding finer-grain security controls.
The Minister of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), Ashwini Vaishnaw, has discussed creating a robust response to the challenges posed by deepfake technology with representatives from academia, industry bodies, and social media companies. The consensus reached in the discussion entails collaborative efforts among the government, academia, social media companies, and the National Association of Software and Service Companies (NASSCOM) to collectively address the harmful uses of deepfake.
Deepfakes are artificial intelligence-manipulated video, audio, and images. Their hyper-realistic nature makes them challenging to identify as fake, especially for individuals unfamiliar with the technology. Therefore, these manipulations can and have harmed reputations and serve as tools to falsify evidence. Deepfakes are also a threat to democracy and social institutions globally and the increasing presence of deepfakes in political messaging could be particularly damaging, especially in the lead-up to the upcoming general elections, posing risks to the integrity of information and public discourse.
The meeting, held at the end of November, concluded with an agreement to identify actionable items within the next 10 days, focusing on four key pillars:
- Detection: Develop methods to identify deepfake content both before and after its posting.
- Prevention: Establish an effective mechanism to prevent the spread of deepfake content.
- Reporting: Implement an efficient and prompt reporting system along with a grievance redressal mechanism.
- Awareness: Launch a widespread awareness campaign to educate the public on the issues related to deepfake technology.Top of Form
Furthermore, effective immediately, MeitY will initiate an exercise to assess and formulate necessary regulations to combat the threat of deepfake. To facilitate this process, MeitY will invite public comments through the MyGov portal.
A follow-up meeting with relevant stakeholders will be held again this week to finalise the four-pillared structure. According to the government’s AI news portal, it remains committed to combating the growing threat of deepfake through technology and by fostering public awareness. It said that MeitY has frequently guided social media intermediaries, urging them to exercise due diligence and promptly take necessary actions against instances of deepfake.
Recently, the Delhi High Court expressed reservations about the prospect of judicial intervention to regulate the use of deepfake content created through AI. It said that addressing the issue and finding a balanced solution would be more appropriately handled by the government, given its extensive data resources and wide-ranging machinery. The court scheduled the matter for an additional hearing in January.
Governments globally are addressing the threats of damaging deepfake technologies by implementing enhanced rules and regulations. In September, the United States National Security Agency (NSA) and federal agency partners issued new guidance on cybersecurity risks associated with deepfakes.
As OpenGov Asia reported, they published a Cybersecurity Information Sheet (CSI) titled “Contextualising Deepfake Threats to Organisations” to help organisations recognise, safeguard against, and respond to deepfake threats.
It suggests that organisations should incorporate real-time verification capabilities. It underscores the use of passive detection techniques for continuous monitoring and early identification and emphasises the significance of safeguarding high-profile officers and their communications, as they are frequent targets of deepfake attempts.
Apart from detection, the guidance offered ways to mitigate the impact of deepfake attacks. Organisations must foster information sharing within and across organisations. The guidance advocates for thorough planning and rehearsal of responses to potential exploitation attempts, ensuring organisations are well-prepared for any incidents. Personnel training is another crucial aspect, providing individuals with the skills and knowledge to effectively recognise and respond to synthetic media threats.
One of the main challenges in addressing digital copyright infringements is the ability to detect and effectively combat such violations. Advanced technologies enable digital piracy and unauthorised content distribution through increasingly complex and difficult-to-monitor methods. Therefore, collaboration between the government, private sector, and relevant institutions is essential to develop efficient solutions and enforcement strategies to tackle these challenges.
Josefhin Mareta, a researcher at the Centre for Legal Research of the National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN), revealed that there are still many digital copyright infringements in Indonesia. Examples of such cases include copyright violations of books in digital formats, such as scanning for e-books, file sharing, and unauthorised sales in online marketplaces. Additionally, there are copyright violations in digital music or songs, such as uploading cover songs to social media platforms without the copyright holder’s permission and bootlegging, such as recording concerts or performances on TV/film for personal or commercial purposes.
Copyright infringement refers to the unauthorised utilisation of copyrighted materials without the consent of the creators, holders, or authors. It constitutes an act of dishonesty and a breach of the economic and exclusive rights of the creators.
According to Josephine, the Indonesian government has taken several measures to address these issues, including actions by the Directorate General of Intellectual Property (DJKI) and the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology (Kemenkominfo). These agencies have attempted to create joint regulations requiring monitoring or blocking content or access rights for individuals who violate copyright.
However, in investigating such violations, the bureaucracy is still intricate. The complainant must submit several requirements, such as documentary shreds of evidence, to prove that the item in question is being sold illegally, for example, on an e-commerce platform. Despite these efforts, various issues persist, such as the presence of digital literary works related to copyright.
Josefhin expressed that the relevant laws still need a clear definition of literary and digital works. This ambiguity extends to books, music, performances, and other forms, raising questions about how the public can distribute the creator’s royalties using digital works.
Further, Josefhin added that literary works have evolved from physical to digital forms over time. She explained that this evolution reflects significant changes in how humans convey, consume, and interact with information.
In light of this, Josephine explained that there are two approaches regarding copyright violations. First, substantial duplication refers to replicating the core elements of a copyrighted work. It should be noted that there are legal limitations, indicating that this prohibition does not encompass the entire work or a substantial part of it. Moreover, duplication is acceptable if accompanied by actions that do not harm the reasonable interests of the creator or if there is an agreement among all parties involved.
The second approach involves a “causal connection,” where events or previous works inspire a newly created copyrighted work. In other words, there is a traceable connection between the work being made and a work produced at some point in the past.
To elaborate further, Josefhin mentioned three restriction methods to prevent misuse when someone uses another person’s work without permission:
- Based on specific conditions or cases, an individual can sometimes use someone else’s copyrighted work without permission.
- Duplication should not conflict with the normal exploitation of the owner or copyright holder. It relates to the substance of the work.
- It should not diminish the legitimate interests of the creator.
Josefhin reiterated these points, emphasising that copyright violations are not a new phenomenon in Indonesia. With the rapid and massive digital developments, the government has to conduct regulations to prevent and oversee copyright infringement and avoid harm to any party.
“Creating works is a challenging process, but for many individuals, it serves as a means to earn a living. We must recognise and value this effort,” she concluded.
China has achieved a significant milestone in the advancement of its computing infrastructure with the official release of the national standard GB/T 43331-2023, titled “Internet Data Centre (IDC) Technology and Classification Requirements.” This strategic move underscores a steadfast commitment to propelling the robust development of the computing industry within the country.
Spearheaded by the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology (CAICT), in collaboration with various enterprises and institutions, this achievement signifies a dedication to aligning with the evolving needs of the national computing infrastructure and ensuring the high-quality evolution of the computing industry.
The comprehensive scope of GB/T 43331-2023 spans six dynamic aspects, mirroring the complexity of the digital landscape it seeks to regulate. These aspects include greenness, availability, security, service capabilities, computing power, and computing efficiency, with an added emphasis on low-carbon practices.
At its core, this national standard is designed to serve as a guiding framework for the planning, design, construction, operation, and maintenance of Internet Data Centres (IDCs). The creators envision a future where GB/T 43331-2023 acts as a catalyst, propelling diverse industries forward by facilitating a more profound integration of computing infrastructure.
The roots of this groundbreaking standard extend back to 2013 when the data centre team of the Institute of Cloud Computing and Big Data at the CAICT embarked on a mission to standardise the communication industry.
Over the years, several data centre rating standards have emerged, each contributing as a stepping stone towards the ultimate realisation of GB/T 43331-2023. This national standard has now come to fruition after years of collaboration with users, designers, and industry suppliers.
According to CAICT, the standard places a strong emphasis on energy efficiency, a longstanding concern in the development of data centres. No longer a vague aspiration, GB/T 43331-2023 outlines specific requirements aimed at elevating the energy efficiency levels of data centres through the application of green technology and adept operation and maintenance system management.
Beyond technology, the standard underscores a commitment to responsible and sustainable practices. It addresses service capabilities through a comprehensive evaluation of external services in data centres. This assessment isn’t a mere formality; it objectively gauges capabilities, fostering self-improvement within data centres and aiding customers in selecting facilities suitable for their business needs.
The newly released standard also focuses on availability, enhancing data centre resilience through improved equipment redundancy. This ensures data protection during emergencies, fortifying the foundational architecture of the digital world. Security, a paramount concern in the data-centric era, receives meticulous attention. Beyond conventional measures like firewalls and passwords, the standard aims to ensure the safety of both data centre equipment and personnel, adopting a holistic approach to fortify the guardians of the digital realms.
The CAICT added that the GB/T 43331-2023 is not merely a set of regulations; it is a guidebook signalling a future where computing infrastructure seamlessly integrates into daily life. It represents a collaborative effort among academia, industry, and innovation, shaping a digital landscape that is not only efficient but also sustainable, secure, and prepared for future challenges.
By establishing common guidelines, protocols, and specifications, these standards ensure that hardware and software components from different vendors can seamlessly communicate and function as part of an integrated system. This not only simplifies integration processes but also fosters a more open and competitive market.
In a strategic move toward addressing the increasing challenges posed by artificial intelligence (AI) on copyright issues, the Australian government is launching a dedicated copyright and AI reference group. This initiative aims to proactively anticipate and navigate the intricate web of copyright concerns brought about by the proliferation of AI technology.
AI’s pervasive influence sparks critical copyright quandaries, encompassing aspects like the data used to train AI models, transparency in AI’s inputs and outputs, the emergence of imitative works through AI, and the nuanced debate surrounding copyright protection for AI-generated creations.
This reference group, conceived as a continuous forum, will foster ongoing dialogues and collaborations with stakeholders from diverse sectors including the creative, media, and technology domains. Its core objective is to methodically deliberate on these complex issues in a consultative manner, ensuring a holistic approach to address AI’s impact on copyright.
Australia’s proactive engagement with a wide spectrum of stakeholders underscores the nation’s commitment to leveraging AI advancements while safeguarding the vibrancy of the creative sector. This collaborative effort is poised to unlock the potential of AI while upholding the vitality and creativity of Australia’s diverse industries.
Aligned with broader government initiatives on AI, spearheaded by Minister for Industry and Science Ed Husic, this reference group stands as a pivotal addition in the quest for the safe and responsible utilisation of AI.
The inception of this group stems from a series of copyright-focused roundtables initiated earlier in the year. These forums, culminating in a final gathering, facilitated crucial discussions, aggregating insights from over 50 peak bodies and organisations on pressing copyright reform issues. The establishment of the AI-centric reference group signifies a natural progression in these conversations, channelling sustained deliberations on AI’s copyright implications.
For those invested in these developments, comprehensive details about the reference group and key outcomes from the fourth copyright roundtable will soon be accessible on the Attorney-General’s Department’s website. This forthcoming information will provide a deeper understanding of Australia’s proactive stance in navigating the intricate intersection of AI and copyright in the digital era.
Australia is rapidly embracing the transformative potential of Artificial Intelligence (AI), leveraging its capabilities across diverse sectors to drive innovation both domestically and on the global stage.
The country has strategically integrated AI into various sectors, including healthcare, finance, agriculture, and education. Initiatives such as AI-driven healthcare diagnostics, predictive analytics in agriculture, and personalised learning systems in education exemplify the nation’s commitment to harnessing AI’s power for societal progress.
The Western Australian government has unveiled a comprehensive set of measures aimed at reducing bureaucratic hurdles, alleviating work burdens, and fostering a conducive environment for educators to focus on teaching. The region’s Education Minister, Dr Tony Buti, spearheading this initiative, took into account the insights from two pivotal reports and explored the potential of AI tools to revamp policies and processes.
OpenGov Asia reported on the study Responsible AI: Best Practices for Creating Trustworthy AI Systems. This study delves into risks, ethical considerations and the imperative for responsible practices, highlighting the challenges, principles, and paths forward in leveraging AI for positive impact while mitigating potential harm.
Internationally, via the Aus4Innovation programme, collaborative efforts between Australia and Vietnam in AI are pushing boundaries from disaster response simulations to AI-enhanced agriculture and environmental management.
Each year, approximately 240,000 instances of breast cancer are identified among women and 2,100 among men in the United States. The toll of this disease is reflected in the fact that each year, around 42,000 women and 500 men succumb to breast cancer in the U.S.
Cancer is characterised by uncontrolled cell growth within the body. Among women in the United States, breast cancer ranks as the most prevalent form of cancer, excluding skin cancer. While there has been a decrease in mortality rates associated with breast cancer over the years, it still maintains its position as the second most common cause of cancer-related deaths among women at large.
It is disconcerting to note that black women experience a higher mortality rate from breast cancer. The gravity of these statistics underscores the pressing need for continued research, awareness, and advancements in healthcare to address the impact of breast cancer across diverse populations.
In light of this, researchers from Penn State have unravelled the mechanics behind the invasion of healthy tissues by breast cancer cells, shedding light on a crucial aspect of cancer metastasis. The U.S. National Science Foundation supports this discovery, unveiling the pivotal role of a motor protein called dynein in propelling the movement of cancer cells within soft tissue models. The findings present potential clinical targets against metastasis and can revolutionise the approach to cancer treatment.
The study signifies a paradigm shift in understanding the mechanics of cancer cell motility. Erdem Tabdanov, a pharmacologist at Penn State and a lead co-corresponding author on the study, emphasised the discovery significance of this innovation, “Until now, dynein has never been caught in the business of providing the mechanical force for cancer cell motility, which is their ability to move. Now we can see that if you target dynein, you could effectively stop motility of those cells and, therefore, stop metastatic dissemination,” he expressed.
During this work, the researchers utilised live microscopy to observe the migration of breast cancer cells in two distinct systems designed to replicate human body conditions. The first system, a 2D network of collagen fibres, revealed the intricate movement of cancer cells through an extracellular matrix surrounding tumours, highlighting the critical role of dynein.
The second system, a 3D model developed by a team led by Amir Sheikhi, a chemical and biomedical engineer at Penn State, aimed to mimic soft tissue using microscopic hydrogel particles or microgels linked together in tumour-like shapes. In both models, the researchers found that dynein was “indispensable” in the spread or metastasis of cancer cells.
Sheikhi emphasised the impact of this discovery on cancer management, stating, “Using these three-dimensional models that partially mimic a tumour, we discovered that if we block dynein, the cancer cells cannot effectively move and infiltrate solid tissues. Instead of killing the cancer cells with radiation or chemotherapy, we are showing how to paralyse them.”
This breakthrough is particularly noteworthy as it introduces a less aggressive approach to cancer treatment, aiming to halt the movement of cancer cells rather than indiscriminately targeting both cancerous and healthy cells. By leveraging digital microscopy and innovative 3D models, the research offers a transformative perspective on cancer management.
The potential clinical implications of this discovery are vast, providing a new avenue for developing targeted therapies against metastasis. In the era of precision medicine, where tailored treatments are gaining prominence, understanding the mechanics of cancer cell motility at a molecular level opens doors to more nuanced and effective interventions.
As the research community embraces digital technologies and advanced modelling techniques, this study stands as a testament to the power of innovation in unravelling the complexities of cancer biology. Integrating digital microscopy into the study of cancer dynamics showcases how technology can drive the future of medical research and treatment.
Further, the implications of this research extend beyond breast cancer, offering a blueprint for exploring similar mechanisms in other types of cancer and paving the way for a more targeted and less invasive approach to cancer therapeutics.
New Zealand has been facing many cyber threats during 2020-2023, posing a significant risk to individuals, businesses, and critical infrastructure. New Zealand’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) estimates that a staggering NZ$65 million in harm was deflected from nationally significant organisations in 2022. This impressive figure underscores the importance of robust cybersecurity measures in safeguarding critical infrastructure from cyberattacks.
Cybercriminals are constantly adapting their techniques, employing increasingly complex and difficult-to-detect methods. This includes ransomware attacks or data breaches that expose sensitive information, supply chains, and even education as the most vulnerable target.
New Zealand Police have warned about a targeted email campaign affecting various organisations, with schools being a primary focus. This digital threat has prompted heightened vigilance and collaborative efforts to mitigate potential risks to the targeted entities.
According to the latest advisory, multiple organisations, including several schools, have fallen prey to this email campaign. New Zealand Police have expressed confidence that the emails originate from the same source. Despite this, they have emphasised that no perceived tangible threat exists to the organisations receiving these emails.
The authorities are actively seeking the cooperation of the recipients in reporting any such emails to facilitate ongoing investigations aimed at uncovering the origins of these potentially malicious communications. This collaboration between affected organisations and law enforcement underscores the significance of collective action in addressing cybersecurity challenges.
The impacted schools are taking swift action by disseminating timely updates to their students, staff, and parent communities. Reassuring their stakeholders, these educational institutions emphasise that all necessary measures are being implemented to ensure safety and well-being take precedence.
In the face of emerging cybersecurity threats, it is crucial for organisations, especially educational institutions, to stay informed and prepared. The ongoing incidents highlight the need for a proactive approach to cybersecurity, where institutions can benefit from robust policies and procedures to safeguard against digital threats.
Schools are advised to adhere to their established emergency policies and procedures in an emergency or a situation posing a potential threat. Collaboration with the appropriate emergency services and adherence to their guidance is paramount in ensuring a coordinated and effective response.
School students emerge as a particularly vulnerable demographic to the pervasive threat of cyberattacks due to their extensive engagement with digital platforms. The substantial amount of time they dedicate to online activities, including educational pursuits, social interactions, and entertainment, significantly heightens their susceptibility to becoming victims of cyber threats.
Their digital presence, often marked by a lack of comprehensive awareness and cybersecurity education, makes them attractive targets for various malicious actors operating in the cyber realm.
In cases involving threats of violence, the primary agency to engage with is the New Zealand Police. Their expertise and resources can be pivotal in addressing and neutralising potential risks. Local Te Mahau offices can assist as needed to support affected entities further. It underscores the importance of a collaborative effort at the community level, where various stakeholders work together to enhance resilience against cyber threats.
As the digital landscape evolves, so do the tactics malicious actors employ. The recent email campaign serves as a reminder for organisations to stay vigilant, enhance their cybersecurity measures, and foster a culture of digital awareness. Cybersecurity education and training are essential to fortifying defences against phishing attempts and other cyber threats.
It underscores the imperative for fostering collaboration among various stakeholders to address and counteract the escalating threat posed by cyber-attacks effectively. A united front involving governments, businesses, cybersecurity experts, and the broader community is essential to mitigate the risks and challenges associated with these digital incursions.
Emphasising the significance of collective efforts, it highlights the interconnected nature of the digital landscape, where a collaborative approach becomes pivotal in fortifying defences, sharing intelligence, and devising comprehensive strategies to safeguard the increasingly interlinked and technologically dependent societies from ever-evolving cyber threats.
The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) is spearheading an initiative to propel the nation’s capabilities in healthcare, Industry 4.0-driven manufacturing, and supply chain and logistics through the transformative power of 5G. This groundbreaking endeavour, known as the S$30 million 5G Innovation Programme, is not just a step forward but a giant leap into a future where innovation reshapes industries.
Launched in 2021, the 5G Innovation Programme is a testament to Singapore’s commitment to embracing emerging technologies. IMDA has forged strategic partnerships with key enterprises, including the National University Health System (NUHS).
In the healthcare industry, Singapore’s forward-thinking tech innovators, in collaboration with NUHS, have harnessed 5G to revolutionise patient care. The introduction of Mixed Reality-based Holomedicine in operating theatres stands out as a groundbreaking achievement.
This innovative approach not only enhances patient care but also redefines the entire healthcare experience. Announced in 2022, the initiative marks the Asia Pacific’s inaugural deployment of indoor private Enterprise 5G mobile edge computing (MEC) for Mixed Reality and Holomedicine capabilities in health tech.
A significant stride in healthcare also involves a collaboration with Republic Power to deploy 5G-enabled unmanned medical booths. These “Medbots” represent Asia’s first 5G-enabled unmanned pre-screening and teleconsultation medical booths. Equipped with state-of-the-art hygiene and safety systems, these booths support remote health screening and video consultations, offering an enhanced user experience that aligns with the demands of a digital era.
The impact of 5G extends beyond healthcare, permeating the realms of Industry 4.0-driven manufacturing, supply chain, and logistics. Collaborations with ST Engineering and DB Schenker have given rise to groundbreaking applications.
For instance, Singapore’s first 5G-enabled Digital Twin has been implemented for a logistics and supply chain company transforming warehouse and manufacturing operations, quality control, and customer experience. Simultaneously, ST Engineering’s 5G-Enabled Industry 4.0 Smart Factory boasts one of Singapore’s first 5G-enabled collaborative robots, revolutionising manufacturing processes.
Dr Ong Chen Hui, Assistant Chief Executive of the Biztech Group at IMDA, emphasised the agency’s commitment to architecting Singapore’s digital future. The goal is to build capabilities in various sectors powered by emerging technologies like 5G. IMDA’s collaboration with forward-looking companies signifies a concerted effort to unlock the full spectrum of benefits that 5G offers across a wide range of sectors.
As Singapore propels itself into the future, the 5G Innovation Programme stands as a testament to the nation’s dedication to progress. The partnerships with key enterprises underscore a collective effort to reshape, redefine, and transform industries across the country.
Singapore is not merely embracing change; it is pioneering a future where technology catalyses innovation and progress. The journey has just begun, and Singapore is at the forefront, shaping the narrative of a technologically advanced and future-ready nation.
The comprehensive initiative serves as a catalyst, propelling Singapore into a new era of digital prowess. It is not merely an adoption of advanced technologies; rather, it is a strategic alignment with the needs of the future, recognising the pivotal role technology plays in shaping economic landscapes on a global scale.
The 5G Innovation Programme signifies Singapore’s commitment to sustainable economic growth. By embracing technology as a driver of progress, Singapore is not just securing its current standing; it is laying the foundation for a resilient and forward-thinking economy. The emphasis on sustainability in this digital transformation ensures that growth is not just rapid but also enduring, with an eye towards environmental and social responsibility.