Squiz Today / 27 October 2022

Squiz Today – Thursday, 27 October

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Squiz Today Podcast

It’s your hands-free news briefing.

Today’s listen time: 10 minutes

17 / 26
14 / 18
19 / 32
12 / 18
10 / 23
13 / 16
29 / 34
11 / 19

Squiz Sayings

That’s not a term in office. That’s a juice cleanse.”

Said US late-night show host Stephen Colbert about the 45-day tenure of former British PM Liz Truss… First, the lettuce, now this. It seems she can’t escape the fresh produce-based mockery…

All Medibank customers’ data breached

The Medibank data breach escalated yesterday when the company announced that it was worse than it had feared. The personal data and health records of all 4 million customers of Medibank and its low-cost brand ahm have been exposed. Past customers are also affected because of a government requirement to retain information for several years. And it’s possible the saga isn’t over… Medibank’s technology chief John Goodall says while they are undertaking “ongoing forensic analysis”, they can’t guarantee the hackers no longer have access to its systems. CEO David Koczkar “apologised unreservedly” for the crime he says is designed to cause “maximum harm to the most vulnerable”.

It’s a good question because it’s been 2 weeks since the breach of Australia’s biggest health insurer first came to light when the company told customers it had taken 2 systems offline due to a “cyber incident”. Last week, Medibank said it had been contacted by hackers who said they had customer data allegedly stolen from their systems – they were seeking to open ransom ‘negotiations’, which are ongoing. Since then, Medibank, the Australian Federal Police and federal security agencies have been investigating. Reports suggest the hack first began with the theft of the credentials of someone at the company with a high level of access, which was then sold on a Russian-language cybercrime forum. Hackers then bought the credentials and used them to infiltrate the company’s systems.

Well, investors certainly didn’t like it… The insurer’s share price fell 18% after it resumed trading for the first time in a week. As for how Medibank is helping customers – it’s providing tips on what to look out for to ensure they don’t get scammed or blackmailed by hackers who’ve gained access to their sensitive data. They are also offering financial support and a 24/7 support helpline. Meanwhile, Cyber Security Minister Clare O’Neil says the federal government has the “toughest and smartest” people working to prevent “irreparable harm” from being done. The Albanese Government is also set to introduce new legislation increasing the penalties for companies who fail to adequately protect customer data. And taking a broader view, global policing organisation INTERPOL announced that cybercrime is now their top concern as hacks like Medibank and Optus are becoming the new normal. Yikes…

Australian News Business & Finance Crime

Squiz the Rest

The inflation nips are getting bigger…

Right on cue, the Bureau of Stats yesterday confirmed that inflation increased to an annual rate of 7.3% in the July-September quarter, up from 6.1% in the previous quarter. That’s the highest since 1990 – an era defined by high unemployment, 17% interest rates and the recession “we had to have”. So, it’s not really where we want to be… The circumstances today are different, but tolerance for inflation remains the same. Yesterday, Treasurer Jim Chalmers said it’s “public enemy number one” and “the dragon we need to slay.” Managing cost of living pressures was a key feature of the Albanese Government’s first budget delivered on Tuesday night with $7.5 billion allocated to 5 priority areas. But one inflationary boil yet to be lanced is electricity/gas prices – and the Albanese Government is being challenged to start explaining how they will bring those down as promised at the election. It’s a safe bet to expect a bit of that in Coalition leader Peter Dutton’s address in reply tonight.

AusPol Australian News Business & Finance

Aussies to train Ukraine fighters

A couple of weeks ago, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky asked Australia to join international efforts to train his troops – and overnight, it’s been confirmed that will happen. Aussie troops aren’t going to Ukraine – 70 ADF personnel will deploy to the UK after Christmas to join Operation INTEFLEX. What we are sending to Ukraine is another 30 Bushmaster protected mobility vehicles. This morning, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba thanked Australia for its support. Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin has overseen a nuclear drill with ballistic and cruise missiles launched from the Arctic. It’s the first exercise of its type since the start of the war, and Russia informed the US ahead of time, in line with a longstanding treaty. And they aren’t the only ones flexing their nuclear muscles – 14 European nations/NATO will conduct their own nuclear exercises on Sunday.

Australian News

Ye dropped by Adidas

Ye – the artist formerly known as Kanye West – lost his billionaire status after sportswear brand Adidas dropped its partnership with the American rapper and fashion designer yesterday… It’s the latest in a string of businesses to do so after he made anti-semitic comments on social media and in a leaked interview with Fox News host Tucker Carlson. In the last fortnight, he’s also lost his agent and connections with major fashion houses. Adidas has called off its €250 million 10-year partnership and says it won’t tolerate antisemitism or hate speech and will no longer produce his popular ‘Yeezy’ clothes and shoes. Ye’s also been booted off Instagram and Twitter… In recent times, he’s spoken about living with bipolar disorder, but many have said his comments need to be separated from his mental health struggles.


Cricket in a world of Paine

It’s often said that the captaincy of the Australian men’s cricket team is the 2nd most important position after the prime minister, so there’s ongoing interest in the dumping of Test captain Tim Paine late last year. His new autobiography – The Price Paid – has been released, and he’s claimed that Cricket Australia abandoned him when the sort of text messages sent between people who love each other very much were exchanged with a Cricket Tasmania staffer were made public last year. An internal investigation in 2018 cleared him of any wrongdoing, and Paine says his employer “made it look like they thought I’d sexually harassed someone”. He blames a “PR consultant” for steering Cricket Australia in that direction, and yesterday that man was unmasked… It was Clive Mathieson, the well-regarded former editor of The Australian, former chief of staff to PM Malcolm Turnbull, and current crisis comms expert. Cricket Australia isn’t much interested in offering its side of the story…

Australian News Sport

A nation of nannas…

Early bird dinner? Don’t mind if we do… It’s a preference that has become more mainstream post-COVID lockdowns, according to restaurant booking service TheFork. They say there’s been an uptick in the number of dinner reservations made between 5-6pm in Australia – and that’s balanced out by late-night bookings dropping. One restauranteur from Sydney says she’s noticed that her place is packed by 6pm, and it clears out earlier than pre-pandemic. It’s suggested that COVID has changed people’s eating habits – while many worked from home and the space-time continuum melted away, people didn’t resist the urge to eat early. As Wes Lambert from the Australian Foodservice Advocacy Body says, “5 is the new 7pm”. We’ve been saying that for years…

Australian News

Apropos of Nothing

To live until 94yo, you’d think you have to make healthy living a virtue. Not Iranian man Amou Haji, who reached that ripe old age despite living in a hole, smoking up to 5 cigarettes at once, and refusing to wash for decades. Iran’s state media yesterday confirmed he died on Sunday.

A 10yo girl has become the youngest person to conquer all 282 Munros in Scotland (aka Scottish peaks of more than 3,000ft). Quinn Young says she’s proud of herself but “also a little upset because the adventure with my dad’s kind of finished.” Give her another 3 years and she won’t want to be seen dead with him…

And All Blacks legend Sam Whitelock has to miss playing for his country in Japan on the weekend because of an inner ear issue sustained while on the trampoline with his kids. “I was the monster, as they keep telling me. I was doing a few loops and stuff and got off the tramp and felt a bit giddy,” he said. Kids activities – more dangerous than international rugby…

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

3.30pm (AEDT) – The Reserve Bank’s annual report is released – Canberra

ABS Data Release – International Trade Price Indexes (September quarter); Monthly labour force statistics (September)

Company Results – ANZ

Company AGMs – JB Hi-Fi; Wesfarmers

World Day for Audiovisual Heritage

Birthdays for comedian John Cleese (1939) and cricketer David Warner (1986)

Anniversary of:
• China announcing its population had reached 1 billion people (1982)
• the release of the groundbreaking film Rebel Without a Cause(1955)
• the release of Amy Winehouse’s 2nd and final studio album Back to Black (2006)
• the release of Taylor Swift’s fifth studio album 1989 (2014)
• the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting that left 11 people dead (2018)
• the birthdays of explorer James Cook (1728), former US President Theodore Roosevelt (1858), painter Roy Lichtenstein (1923) and poet Sylvia Plath (1932)
• the death of musician Lou Reed (2013)

Australian News

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