Over the last few weeks, evidence has emerged that China may be expanding its arsenal of nuclear-armed intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) on a much larger scale than previously believed. Commercial satellite imagery analysed in June and July showed two huge missile silo fields, each capable of housing up to 120 ICBMs, under construction in the deep interior, in Gansu and Eastern Xinjiang Provinces. And the Pentagon this month reportedly discovered a third field of similar size under construction in Inner Mongolia.
The arms control community has been gripped by the discovery that China appears to be building hundreds of new missile silos. The development raises the prospect that China may be breaking out of its traditional ‘minimum deterrent’ capability. And it raises the question of whether China is edging away from a ‘no first use’ nuclear posture.
As the Australian parliament continues its inquiry into extremist movements and radicalism, it’s vital that attention be paid to the ways online funding mechanisms can be exploited by individuals and groups promoting right-wing extremist (RWE) ideologies in Australia. In a new report from ASPI’s International Cyber Policy Centre, Buying and selling extremism, I provide a preliminary map of the local RWE online funding ecosystem. The report examines nine Australian Telegram channels that share RWE content and finds they are linked to more than 20 different potential funding mechanisms. These include microdonation websites, merchandise sales and cryptocurrencies, as well as new live-streaming platforms such as DLive.
All three of Australia’s Hobart-class guided missile destroyers have passed the final phase of testing and evaluation now that HMAS Sydney has returned from a successful 18-week trial deployment to the US and Canada. The trio are the Royal Australian Navy’s most powerful vessels ever and are expected to receive regular technology and capability updates. They are equipped with the same systems used by the US Navy, with the goal of enhancing the interoperability and interchangeability of US and Australian ships in the Indo-Pacific. The chief of US naval operations, Admiral Michael Gilday, has admitted that the design for the new USS Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier was overly experimental, which caused scheduling delays and cost overruns. He said that introducing just a few new technologies into the complex platform would have ensured smoother integration. Instead, the carrier has 23 new systems, increasing the risk of multiple system failures and slowing the rate of progress. Despite these issues, completion is projected for next year.
Global fines for anti-money laundering (AML) and data privacy compliance breaches have fallen by nearly 50% year-on-year in the first half of 2021, but could bounce back quickly as financial crime continues apace, according to Fenergo. The digital transformation company claimed that 85 individual fines were levied on global financial institutions for breaches of AML, Know Your Customer (KYC) and data privacy laws in the first six months of 2021 — a drop of 26% on the figure for 1H 2020.
A CEO from Ohio has pleaded guilty to being the operator of a darknet-based Bitcoin ‘mixer’ service that laundered more than $300m. Akron resident and CEO of Bitcoin media site Coin Ninja Larry Dean Harmon was at the helm of underground cryptocurrency laundering service Helix for three years, from 2014 to 2017. During that time, the 38-year-old creator of crypto-wallet provider DropBit conspired with darknet vendors to launder over 350,000 Bitcoin generated through drug trafficking and other illegal activities.
American banking and financial services company JPMorgan Chase is warning customers in Montana that a technical glitch may have presented their personal data to other customers. The malfunction allowed users of the website chase.com or the Chase Mobile app to view the banking information of other customers whose personal details were similar for nearly two months earlier this year.
Hackers have stolen data from a Salford-based social housing group that houses thousands of tenants and other clients. ForHousing and Liberty, which manage and maintain homes across the North West, were reportedly victims of a ransomware attack. The organizations confirmed that no data of tenants or staff were accessed, but a ‘small amount’ of data was compromised, which resulted in the systems being taken offline as a precautionary measure.
A Japanese cryptocurrency exchange is estimated to have lost $97m after threat actors targeted the company. Tokyo-headquartered Liquid revealed the incident on Thursday evening local time. “We are sorry to announce that #LiquidGlobal warm wallets were compromised, we are moving assets into the cold wallet,” it said in a brief update. “We are currently investigating and will provide regular updates. In the meantime, deposits and withdrawals will be suspended.”