Australia declares 'nationally significant cyber incident' after port attack

PLUS: Citrix quits China; Cambodia deports Japanese scammers; Chinese tech CEO disappears; and more

Asia in brief Australia's National Cyber Security Coordinator has described an attack on logistics company DP World as a "nationally significant cyber incident."

The attack saw DP World's tech go offline at four Australian ports late last Friday. The facilities remain closed at the time of writing.

The major logistics provider handles 40 percent of the containers coming into Australia's ports – so while the incident has not stopped all goods moving in and out of the country, the impact is significant. Authorities have assured residents that critical supplies can be landed.

The nature of the outage has not been divulged and the National Cyber Security Coordinator has promised restoring services is the priority, with attribution a task for another day.

On Sunday DP World advised that interruptions will stretch for "a number of days, rather than weeks."

– Simon Sharwood

Cloud Software Group leaves China

Cloud Software Group, parent company of Citrix, has become the latest tech player to exit China.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Cloud Software Group told its clients and partners in an email that it will stop all new commercial transactions in China, including Hong Kong, on December 3, 2023, due to rising costs.

Maintenance and support on existing contracts will continue.

Other companies that have left China include Microsoft's LinkedIn, Yahoo, and Salesforce.

The Register has repeatedly asked Cloud Software Group for an interview across 2023, without success.

Another top Chinese tech exec reported missing

Multiple sources, including China's CaiLian Press and the Financial Times have reported that the chairman and CEO of Chinese game streaming site has disappeared.

Chen Shaojie was last seen on August 14 on his firm's Q2 earnings call. According to the FT, Chen was taken away by Chinese authorities.

In May of this year, DouYu was investigated by the Cybersecurity Administrator of China (CAC) for issues related to inappropriate content on the platform and was given a month to rectify issues. The CAC has since then continued its efforts to rectify and cleanse China's internet of material it deems inappropriate.

Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma is also believed to have gone on a long unplanned vacation courtesy of Beijing. He became suspiciously quiet in October 2020 after publicly dispensing some unwanted advice on China's financial regulatory systems. He's reappeared since – including at a school in March 2023 – but remains mostly out of the public eye.

Cambodia deports Japanese scammers

On November 6, Cambodia deported five Japanese nationals previously detained for involvement in online scams.

According to Japanese media, the group is believed to have run a phone scam operation targeting Japanese residents.

"In the past, Cambodia has become a victim country because foreigners always use Cambodia as a secret crime location, damaging Cambodia's reputation on the international stage," lamented Cambodia's Immigration Department deputy director general Keo Vnathon.

"At the same time, the Ministry of Interior has issued a direct order to the concerned bodies, especially the General Commissioner of National Police and the General Directorate of Immigration to cooperate with research to crack down all types of cross-border crimes effectively," he added.

Micron opens new DRAM factory in Taiwan

Micron opened a new DRAM facility in Taichung, Taiwan last week. The company told investors the plant will mass-produce HBM3E memory and other products.

The chipmaker said the factory plays "a key role in expanding 1-beta process and HBM3E production capacity in Japan and Taiwan, and in mass-producing 1-gamma process using EUV technology for 2025."

Infosys and AWS ink EMEA deal for cloudy banks

India's Infosys has inked a deal with AWS to bring cloud transformation to financial institutions.

"The three-year collaboration will deliver technology transformation and industry specific solutions to financial organizations supported by joint investments into go-to-market and delivery capabilities across the EMEA region," explained a canned statement.

Singtel net profit surges as Optus crashes

A day after Singtel subsidiary Optus experienced a chaotic and widespread meltdown across Australia, the parent company announced[PDF] an 83 percent increase in half yearly net profit.

The increase was credited to a merger of Indonesia's largest fixed broadband provider, Telkomsel, of which Singtel owns just over 30 percent.

In other news …

Over the last week, The Register's Asia bureaux covered news that China intends to have a reliable supply chain of humanoid robots in place within the next four years, which shouldn't be terrifying to anyone.

Meanwhile the ongoing antagonistic relationship between the US and China has been challenged by technology experts who charge that it's doing more harm than good, particularly with regard to open technologies like RISC-V.

Lawmakers in the United States, fearful that China and Russia might be getting ahead in the race to build quantum computers, have flagged their intention to throw billions at the problem to boost US research in the area.

For its part, China is buying up all the chipmaking equipment it can get its hands on before ever-tightening rules cut off its supply chains completely, leading to a short-term bonanza for Dutch manufacturer ASML.

King of the accelerator hill Nvidia has already adapted to the restricted landscape and developed a crop of chips specifically to skirt as close as possible to the lines of what's legal to ship to the Middle Kingdom without going over – because business is business.

In less encouraging news for China, its biggest bank was hit by a ransomware attack that put its financial services business out of commission for days – which could have serious knock-on effects for its partners and customers.

An overheating datacenter in Singapore disrupted millions of transactions for the two banks whose operations it hosted after the cooling system failed and then the banks' own disaster recovery plans failed to kick in – not great news for a country both increasingly reliant on digital transactions and feeling the effects of climate change.

Finally the Indian government announced a crackdown on deepfakes, ordering social media platforms to remove such content within 36 hours of it being reported, or else face sanctions. ®

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