‘Squad’ members named to House financial services, oversight and reform committees


Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y. and Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., were selected to serve on the House’s Financial Services Committee, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office announced Thursday.

Both “Squad” members were already chosen earlier this month to serve on the House Oversight Committee as well.

Fellow “Squad” member Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., was named to the Oversight and Reform Committee. 

“In the election, the American people elected a Democratic House Majority that not only will ensure that our nation recovers from this historic pandemic and economic crisis, but will Build Back Better,” Pelosi said in a statement announcing the dozens of assignments to committees such as Armed Services, Education and Labor, Foreign Affairs and the Veterans Affairs Committee.

SPEAKER PELOSI NAMES REP. SWALWELL TO RETURN TO THE HOMELAND SECURITY COMMITTEE DESPITE SPY TIES 

She said the “outstanding Members” would be “relentless in leading Democrats’ work to combat disparities in our economy and country and to advance justice and progress For The People.”

Pelosi, 80, has been accused by Ocasio-Cortez, 31, and others of not bringing the younger members into leadership positions. 

Last month, the New York congresswoman told The Intercept, “I think one of the things that I have struggled with — I think that a lot of people struggle with — is [that] the internal dynamics of the House has made it such that there’s very little option for succession if you will.”

PELOSI ANNOUNCES NEW ‘SQUAD’ ASSIGNMENTS TOHOUSE COMMITTEES

She said she thought it was time for new and younger leadership to take over for Pelosi and incoming Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, 70. 

“Why does AOC complain that you have not been grooming younger people for leadership?” “60 Minutes” reporter Lesley Stahl asked the speaker in an interview that aired last Sunday. 

Pelosi responded, “I don’t know. You’ll have to ask her — because we are.”

After Stahl called Pelosi’s answer “dismissive” of the congresswoman, Pelosi that wasn’t her intention, adding that Ocasio-Cortez is “very effective, as are others — many other members in our caucus that the press doesn’t pay attention to. But they are there and they are building support for what comes next.”

PELOSI GETS ‘SHARP’ WHEN ASKED ABOUT AOC DURING ’60 MINUTES’ INTERVIEW

Rep. Eric Swalwell, a Californian who Republicans have asked to step down from the House Intelligence Committee over his past ties to a suspected Chinese spy, will also return to the Homeland Security Committee.

He previously served on the Homeland Security Committee during his first term in Congress, from 2012 to 2014, which was before the FBI had briefed him on alleged Communist spy Fang Fang’s activities.

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After that, he cut ties. He has not been accused of wrongdoing, but critics have demanded he step down or be removed from the Intelligence Committee as part of standard counter-intelligence risk-management practices.

Former House impeachment manager Rep. Val Demings, D-Fla., will join Swalwell on the Homeland Security Committee. 

Here’s the complete list of appointments announced Thursday:

Agriculture Committee: Reps. Cindy Axne, Iowa; Cheri Bustos, Illinois; Salud Carbajal, California; Lou Correa, California; Angie Craig, Minnesota; Josh Harder, California; Ro Khanna, California; Ann McLane Kuster, New Hampshire; Al Lawson, Florida; Sean Patrick Maloney, New York; Tom O’Halleran, Arizona; Chellie Pingree, Maine; Stacey Plaskett, Virgin Islands; Bobby Rush, Illinois; Gregorio Sablan, Northern Mariana Islands; Kim Schrier, Washington.

Armed Services Committee: Reps. Stephanie Murphy of Florida; Jimmy Panetta of California; and Marc Veasey of Texas.

Education and Labor Committee: Reps. Joaquin Castro of Texas; Mark Pocan of Wisconsin; and Mikie Sherrill of New Jersey.

Financial Services Committee: Reps. Alma Adams of North Carolina; Madeleine Dean of Pennsylvania; Chuy García of Illinois; Sylvia Garcia of Texas; Stephen Lynch of Massachusetts; Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York; David Scott of Georgia; Rashida Tlaib of Michigan.

Foreign Affairs Committee: Reps. Jim Costa of California; Vicente González of Texas; Juan Vargas of California.

Homeland Security Committee: Reps. Nanette Barragán of California; Yvette Clarke of New York; Emanuel Cleaver of Missouri; Val Demings of Florida; Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey; Al Green of Texas; Elaine Luria of Virginia; Tom Malinowski of New Jersey; Kathleen Rice of New York; Eric Swalwell of California; Dina Titus of Nevada; Bonnie Watson Coleman of New Jersey  

Natural Resources Committee: Reps. Ed Case of Hawaii; Diana DeGette of Colorado; Debbie Dingell of Michigan; Chuy García of Illinois; Donald McEachin of Virginia; Michael San Nicolas of Guam; Darren Soto of Florida; Nydia Velázquez of New York.

Oversight and Reform Committee: Reps. Danny Davis of Illinois; Mark DeSaulnier of California; Jimmy Gomez of California; Hank Johnson of Georgia; Robin Kelly of Illinois; Brenda Lawrence of Michigan; Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts; John Sarbanes of Maryland; Jackie Speier of California; Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida; Peter Welch of Vermont.

Science, Space and Technology Committee: Reps. Don Beyer of Virginia; Sean Casten of Illinois; Charlie Crist of Florida; Bill Foster of Illinois; Conor Lamb of Pennsylvania; Jerry McNerney of California; Donald Norcross of New Jersey; Ed Perlmutter of Colorado; Brad Sherman of California; Deborah Ross of North Carolina; Paul Tonko of New York.

Small Business Committee: Reps. Judy Chu California; Antonio Delgado of New York; Dwight Evans of Pennsylvania; Chrissy Houlahan of Pennsylvania; Scott Peters of California; Brad Schneider of Illinois

Veterans Affairs Committee: Reps. Colin Allred of Texas; Lauren Underwood of Illinois; Gregorio Sablan of the Northern Mariana Islands.

Fox News’ Michael Ruiz and Edmund DeMarche contributed to this report.

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Reedy Marsh alleged murder victim named as former government driver Mike Hawkes


Tasmanian political figures have expressed their shock at the news of the death of former parliamentary driver Mike Hawkes, 70, who was allegedly murdered in the state’s north on Tuesday.

Robert Gerard, 47, of Waverley, appeared in the Launceston Magistrates Court on Thursday charged with murder.

He did not enter a plea and has been remanded in custody to reappear in court later in January.

Mr Hawkes’ body was found at his Reedy Marsh home west of Launceston just before 6:00pm on Tuesday.

His wife was treated for lacerations and released from hospital.

Former Liberal MP Bob Cheek said he was devastated to learn of the death of his old friend.

“When I was leader of the opposition and leader of the Liberal Party, Mike became my driver and we spent a lot of time together,” he said.

“When you’re getting home late from functions and travelling long distances, you become very close, we talked a lot, talked about our personal lives and families.”

A police car at the entrance to the Reedy Marsh property where Michael Hawkes’ body was found.(ABC News: Jessica Moran)

The highly respected driver retired several years ago.

Mr Cheek said Mr Hawkes was almost part of the family because the pair were travelling together so much.

“I really liked the guy. I really respected him,” Mr Cheek said.

“They say when you go into politics, make sure you get a dog, because that’s the only friend you’ll have.

“Well, I probably had my dog, but I also had Mike, and that’s why I’m devastated to hear the news.”

Mr Cheek said the former driver had a guesthouse where he had stayed three or four times.

“He used to have all the wild animals around his house and he’d put the spotlights on them — wallabies, bandicoots and everything else you could imagine used to come around the house and he was very proud of that,” he said.

Police car at entrance of rural road.
Mr Hawkes lived on Larcombes Road at Reedy Marsh.(ABC News: Jessica Moran)

During the final years of Peg Putt’s time as Tasmanian Greens leader, Mr Hawkes was her driver.

Ms Putt said she was devastated by the news of his death.

“He was a top bloke and such a safe pair of hands. He also showed me his bush property with pride,” she said.

“I especially remember the two tribes of native hens, one of which he christened ‘the Taliban’.”

Mr Hawkes was also the driver for Burnie Mayor and former Labor MP Steve Kons, who described him as very athletic.

“He was a giant, over 6 feet tall, and very motivated with his fitness,” Mr Kons said.

Burnie Mayor Steve Kons
Former Labor MP Steve Kons said Mr Hawkes took a keen interest in politics.(ABC News)

Mr Kons said they spent hours on the road together, driving between Burnie and Hobart, and Mr Hawkes took a keen interest in his portfolios.

“He always cared about other people, cared about doing his job properly,” he said.

A neighbour, who didn’t want to be named, described Mr Hawkes as a friend.

“He and Judy were a close couple, with a long marriage,” he said.

He said the Reedy Marsh property had a number of houses on it and Mr Hawkes had lived there since the early 1990s.

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NSW records four local cases as suburbs Wentworthville and Belmore banned from SCG Test, masks made mandatory; MCG named a potential exposure site


“The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has confirmed the man was not infectious when he visited Chadstone 11 days ago,” he said.

He said the DHHS had recommended that anyone who visited Foot Locker, Jay Jays, Culture Kinds, Huffer, Myer, JD Sports, H&M, Uniqlo, Superdry and Dumplings Plus (lower ground food court) between 6am and 2pm on Boxing Day undergo a COVID-19 test today.

“Our priority continues to be the health, safety and wellbeing of our customers, retailers, team members and broader community,” he said.

“At Chadstone we have an increased cleaning roster in place, which included 140 cleaners on Boxing Day, with additional focus on specific areas including; balustrades, retailer door handles, vertical transport, toilets, sinks, change tables and parents’ rooms, customer entry and touch points, information screens, as well as communal furniture throughout the centre,” he said. “This will continue for the foreseeable future.”

He did not say how many shoppers were at Chadstone between 6am and 2pm on Boxing Day.

Meanwhile all MCG staff who worked in zone five of the Great Southern stand on day two of the Boxing Day Test will have to get a coronavirus test, an MCC spokeswoman said.

Fans do the Mexican Wave during day two of the Melbourne Test at the MCG on December 27.Credit:Getty

This is the same advice given to anyone who attended the test at this spot on day two, given the Victorian government named it as a potential acquisition site on Wednesday.

“Extensive cleaning of the MCG took place after each day of the Boxing Day Test and, out of an abundance of caution, a deep clean of the identified area is now underway. During an event at the MCG, high levels of constant cleaning occurs and there are over 275 hand sanitising stations located throughout the venue,” an MCC statement said.

A walk up testing clinic has been set up at the MCG. The MCC and Cricket Australia had a detailed COVID-Safe plan for the Test, which included restricting patrons to zones and requiring fans register via QR code.

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ICC Awards: Virat Kohli named ICC Male Cricketer of the Decade and ODI Cricketer of the Decade


 

India’s captain Virat Kohli on Monday headlined the ICC top honours for the decade, winning the Sir Garfield Sobers award for the best male cricketer of the past 10 years. Kohli was also picked for the ODI Cricketer of the Decade award.

Former skipper MS Dhoni won the ‘ICC Spirit of Cricket Award of the Decade’, chosen by fans for his gesture of calling back England batsman Ian Bell after a bizarre run out in the Nottingham Test in 2011. The International Cricket Council (ICC) made the announcements via Twitter, bestowing the top honours on Kohli, who scored 66 out of his 70 international hundreds, in the “ICC Awards” period.

MS Dhoni

 

In the same period, he was also the batsman with most fifties (94), most runs (20396) besides having the maximum average (56.97) among players with 70 plus innings.

Overall, the 32-year-old has amassed 12,040 runs in ODIs, 7,318 runs in Tests and 2,928 runs in T20 Internationals, averaging more than 50 across formats. Kohli was also part of the World Cup-winning India squad in 2011, something he will cherish for life.

“Firstly, it’s a great honour for me to receive this award. The moments I hold closest to my heart in the last decade definitely has to be the World Cup win in 2011, the Champions Trophy win in 2013 and winning the series in Australia in 2018,” said Kohli in a statement.

For the ODI honour, Kohli was the only player with 10,000 plus runs in the “ICC Awards” period including 39 hundreds and 48 fifties at an average of 61.83.

The world governing body named Australian batting mainstay Steve Smith the Test Cricketer of the Decade and Afghanistan star Rashid Khan as the T20 Cricketer of the Decade.

Australia’’s Elysse Perry swept the women’s awards, securing the ICC Female Cricketer of the Decade honours alongside ODI and T20 Cricketers of the Decade award.



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Aussie gun named Test player of the decade


Steve Smith may be struggling in the series against India but his run of outs is an absolute outlier among performances so outstanding he was recognised as the Test player of the decade.

The out-of-sorts Aussie star missed out on the Sir Garfield Sobers award for player of the decade, which went to Indian megastar Virat Kohli.

But Smith was still recognised by the International Cricket Council for his unbelievable batting returns since his 2010 Test debut, which to this point include 26 centuries and more than 7200 runs.

Smith was the lone Aussie male given an individual honour, but Ellyse Perry stamped herself as the outstanding player of her generation with a clean sweep of gongs.

Perry was unveiled as the winner of the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Award for ICC Female Cricketer of the Decade while also claiming both the ODI and T20I Cricketer of the Decade awards.

Among a nomination pool that included her Australian captain Meg Lanning, all-rounder Perry was the standout choice after a decade of dominance that saw her score 4349 runs and take 213 wickets in 179 matches across all formats.

That included a maiden Test double hundred and an unbeaten score of 213 at North Sydney Oval in November 2017 which set a new record for highest Test score by an Australian woman.

Perry, who made her international debut as a 17-year-old and turned 30 last month, had already been named in the ODI and T20 teams of the decade.

Smith, who averaged more than 100 at the MCG before failing to reach double figures in two innings of the Boxing Day Test, scored 7042 runs across 71 matches in the voting period at a staggering average of 64.60, including 26 centuries.

After being suspended for a year for his involvement in the sandpaper scandal in South Africa, Smith roared back to be the best batsman in the world with back-to-back hundreds in the opening Ashes Test at Edgbaston in 2019.

He remains the number one ranked Test batsman in the world.

ICC Awards of the Decade

Sir Garfield Sobers Award for ICC Male Cricketer of the Decade: Virat Kohli (India)

Rachael Heyhoe Flint Award for ICC Female Cricketer of the Decade: Ellyse Perry (Australia)

ICC Men’s Test Cricketer of the Decade: Steve Smith (Australia)

ICC Women’s ODI Cricketer of the Decade: Ellyse Perry (Australia)

ICC Men’s ODI Cricketer of the Decade: Virat Kohli (India)

ICC Women’s T20I Cricketer of the Decade: Ellyse Perry (Australia)

ICC Men’s T20I Cricketer of the Decade: Rashid Khan (Afghanistan)

ICC Men’s Associate Cricketer of the Decade: Kyle Coetzer (Scotland)

ICC Women’s Associate Cricketer of the Decade: Kathryn Bryce (Scotland)

ICC Spirit of Cricket Award of the Decade: MS Dhoni (India)



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Ellyse Perry ICC women’s cricketer of the decade, Steve Smith named Test player of the decade, ICC awards


Ellyse Perry has cleaned up at the ICC player of the decade awards, taking out all three women’s awards, while Steve Smith was named the Test Player of the Decade.

Perry swept the Women’s T20I Cricketer of the Decade, the Women’s ODI Cricketer of the Decade and ICC Female Cricketer of the Decade in a stunning sweep.

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The 30-year-old has achieved it all in her career, hitting 4349 International runs, taking 213 wickets, four T20 World Cups and the 2013 50-over World Cup title for Australia.

Having beamed in to the awards due to COVID, Perry sent a message and she praised the rise of the women’s game around the world.

“It has been tremendous to develop the women’s T20 game and take it forward. Amazing to see where it’s come from when I was introduced to it,” she said.

“A competition like the WBBL has had such a big impact not only on the professional game but the amount of young people and young girls in particular wanting to take up the sport.”

The humble champion said “I may not be the most dynamic of T20 players out there” but was a popular winner of the award.

On the mens side, Smith was named the Test player of the decade with India’s Virat Kohli taking out the ODI award and Afghanistan’s Rashid Khan the T20I cricketer of the 2010s.

Kohli was also named the men’s cricketer of the decade.

But Smith is also in the midst of a stunning form slump.

The 31-year-old debuted in 2010 against Pakistan, famously as a leg spinner, but quickly turned into Australia’s most reliable middle order presence piling on an incredible record.

During the awards period, Smith hit 7040 Test runs at an average of 65.79, which was the second highest of all-time, behind only the great Donald Bradman.

But it comes after a day where his quirky batting style saw the star dismissed for 8, bringing his tally in four innings in the series against India to 10 with an average of 3.33.

He was dismissed bowled by a ball that clipped leg stump as he moved right across his crease by Jasprit Bumrah today.

It’s also seen his average drop to 61.33, dropping into third with Adam Voges’ average of 61.87 in 20 Test matches back into second place.

But despite being suspended for a year and being stripped of the Australian captaincy during the infamous ball tampering scandal, there was only ever going to be one winner.

It comes after nine Australians were named in the teams of the decade yesterday.

David Warner and Smith were both included in the Men’s Test Team of the Decade, with the pair collectively scoring 14,471 runs and 50 centuries in the game’s longest format during the adjudicated period.

Warner was named in the Men’s ODI Team of the Decade alongside Australian teammate Mitchell Starc, who was the highest wicket-taker in consecutive 50-over World Cups in 2015 and 2019.

Meanwhile, Australian one-day captain Aaron Finch and white-ball powerhouse Glenn Maxwell were both included in the Men’s T20I Team of the Decade.

Indian superstar Virat Kohli was the only player to feature in all three men’s sides.

Meg Lanning, Alyssa Healy and Perry were unsurprising additions in the Women’s ODI Team of the Decade, with the trio collectively scoring 8464 runs and 19 centuries in the 50-over format.



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Andy Marinos named new RA chief executive


The CEO search was put on hold when McLennan asked Clarke to stay on until March but, after a turbulent year for the game, Australian rugby finally has a new leader.

Marinos will join RA in February, when he will undergo a four-week handover with Clarke.

The 48-year-old carved out a career as a professional rugby and rugby league player. He represented Wales on eight occasions and ran out for the Canterbury Bulldogs in 1996.

He has held roles with the South African Rugby Union (SARU), where he worked as general manager for commercial and marketing. He was also a Springboks team manager, manager of South African national teams, as well as a SARU acting managing director and board member.

Marinos began with SANZAAR at the end of 2015, basing himself in Sydney, and has worked closely with Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Argentina in recent years.

Just this year, Marinos was in charge when SANZAAR decided to give Australia hosting rights for the Rugby Championship at late notice, which did not go down well with New Zealand Rugby.

McLennan said being awarded hosting rights for the Rugby Championship had nothing to do with the appointment of Marinos.

In a statement released by RA, McLennan said: “Andy is an extremely impressive and experienced rugby administrator who covered every key criterion that the board wanted to see in our new chief executive officer. He’s called Australia home for the last five years and he has an outstanding understanding of the rugby landscape in this country.

Marinos and McLennan pose for a photo at September's announcement that Australia would host the Rugby Championship.

Marinos and McLennan pose for a photo at September’s announcement that Australia would host the Rugby Championship. Credit:Getty

“He has a wealth of experience in managing broadcasters and commercial partners and also boasts impeccable relationships with the Six Nations unions which, together with his SANZAAR connections, strengthens Rugby Australia’s bid to host the 2027 Rugby World Cup.

“Through his recent roles in Wales, with South African Rugby and with SANZAAR, Andy is uniquely placed to hit the ground running in 2021 with a new broadcast landscape and new competition structures.

“This is an exciting time for rugby with a new broadcast partnership with Nine Entertainment Co., as well as the opportunity we have in the community level of the game.

“Andy has an exciting vision for rugby in Australia, and he knows what needs to be done to continue the code’s success into 2021 and beyond. I congratulate Andy on his appointment and look forward to working with him.”

In a statement, Marinos said he was incredibly humbled to take up the role.

“[I am] very excited about rugby’s future in this country,” Marinos said. “Despite there being a lot of hard work ahead, I believe that Rugby Australia is uniquely placed for success both domestically and on the global stage. We need to hit the ground running and build momentum from the start so we can continue to move forward with deliberate intent, as we look to reignite the game from the bottom up. Next year has an exciting domestic and international rugby calendar so we need to be ready to maximise these opportunities.

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“The game has endured substantial change over the last six to eight months and I’m optimistic and excited to be involved with Rugby Australia as it heads off in a new, positive strategic direction.

“We have a new broadcast partner in Nine Entertainment Co, a Rugby World Cup bid for 2027, a British and Irish Lions tour on the horizon, new competition formats, an exciting Wallabies calendar, an Olympic Games for our sevens teams and a Rugby World Cup for our Wallaroos.

“I’m looking forward to the start of the new year, meeting and engaging with as many stakeholders as I can, as we continue rugby’s growth at the grassroots level, as well as amongst our fans and participants.”

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NSW Health, Rio Tinto, Serco named as victims of massive global SolarWinds hack attack


NSW Health has been named in a growing list of victims of a major global cyber attack by Russian hackers — although it says patient information was not stolen.

But while the health agency says its system was not “compromised”, cybersecurity experts said it appeared to be infected with malware.

In a worst-case scenario, this could have allowed the hackers to escalate the attack and steal information.

Analysis of intercepted internet traffic between NSW Health systems and a server used by the hacking group suggests this had gone undetected for about half a year, they add.

In effect, Australia’s largest health department appears to have been infected with potentially dangerous Russian malware since June.

The malware on its own posed little threat, but would have allowed the hackers to pursue a second-stage attack that could have disabled the organisation’s cybersecurity programs and given full access to confidential data.

There’s no evidence that hackers escalated the attack in this way.

Alongside NSW Health, public service contractor Serco Asia Pacific and mining giant Rio Tinto have been named in lists of companies and other organisations believed to be victims of the attack.

The hackers breached computers at the US Treasury Department and possibly other federal agencies.(AP: Patrick Semansky/file)

Over the past week, the attack — dubbed “SolarWinds” after the software company at the centre of the hack — has developed into what is being called one of largest and most consequential hacks ever.

From as early as March 2020, the same hackers secretly breached US federal agency computer systems, including the Department of State, the National Nuclear Security Administration, Homeland Security, Commerce and Treasury.

The US Government and cybersecurity experts said an attack of this scale and sophistication could only be carried by a nation-state.

They pointed the finger at Russia, which has denied any wrongdoing.

Malware may have been installed in June

There’s no evidence Australian organisations were targeted by Russian hackers. Instead, it’s more likely they were collateral damage in a global attack that has opportunistically infected thousands of systems worldwide.

Rather than targeting high-profile victims directly, the hackers piggy-backed on the company that made software running on hundreds of thousands of corporate and government networks.

The company, US-based SolarWinds, said it was unknowingly infiltrated in early 2020.

Hackers inserted malicious code into an updated version of SolarWinds software, called Orion, which was delivered to customers between March and June 2020.

Around 18,000 SolarWinds customers installed the tainted updates onto their systems, the company said.

Serco Asia Pacific, which runs Australian prisons and immigration detention centres and has contracts with the Australian Defence Force, said it was aware of an attack, but no data was accessed.

Rio Tinto declined to comment.

NSW Health said it was alerted on December 14 that SolarWinds Orion had experienced a cyber attack.

“To date, there has been no evidence found that NSW Health systems have been compromised and no evidence there has been any breach of patient information,” a NSW Health spokesperson said in a statement.

“eHealth NSW can confirm that it has received the necessary updates from the vendor to ensure ongoing protection of its services.”

‘Very high likelihood’ NSW Health compromised

Still, security experts said it’s highly likely NSW Health systems were infected with malware.

Since news of the SolarWinds attack broke around two weeks ago, multiple cybersecurity researchers have published lists of organisations that installed the Orion update on their systems.

After the malware, called Sunburst, is installed on a host system, it lies dormant for 12 to 14 days. It then contacts a central “command and control” server used by the hackers to pass on information about the infected system.

Sergei Shevchenko, Chief Technology Officer at Australian cybersecurity company Prevasio, said this information would include information to identify what organisation it had infiltrated and what security programs it was running.

“By analysing the traffic generated, we can identify who the victims were,” he said.

Several companies, including tech giants Intel and Cisco, confirmed they were affected after being named on lists of potential hack victims compiled by Prevasio and other security researchers.

Canberra-based cybersecurity expert Robert Potter said the fact NSW Health was appearing on multiple lists compiled by different experts meant there was a “very high likelihood” its systems had been compromised.

“There would have been malware resident on the system,” he said.

Malware just the first stage of attack

Mr Shevchenko said traffic data showed Sunburst malware installed on NSW Health systems communicated once with the command and control server on June 12, then four times the following month.

For many organisations, the hack ended at this initial exploratory stage.

For others, however, the hackers escalated the attack and tried to gain access.

Stages of the SolarWinds attack from initial malware infection to ‘hands-on-keyboard’ full access.(Supplied: Microsoft)

FireEye, the company that discovered the SolarWinds hack when investigating a breach of its internal systems, said that hackers infected almost 18,000 networks but only escalated access to around 50 targets.

In a separate report, Microsoft said it identified 40 of its own customers where attackers deployed second-stage malware.

Currently, the only publicly known company where hackers escalated access is FireEye.

Naming hack victims highly unusual

That the names of hack victims have been made public is highly unusual and reflects the size of the SolarWinds attack, according to Mr Shevchenko.

“By publishing the list, we’re raising awareness in our industry of the scope of the attack and how many victims there were.”

Mr Potter said a Chinese security firm was the first to name victims of the hack. This shocked many in his industry, which typically operates behind the scenes and under the assumption that security researchers will not expose corporate secrets.

“That’s super non-kosher in our industry,” he said, referring to the Chinese firm.

Removing the Sunburst malware from the infected systems would be relatively straightforward now that the hack had been exposed, both cybersecurity experts said.

“They’d be able to nuke it easily,” Mr Potter said

If an organisation has been targeted for a second-stage attack, however, the clean-up would take considerably longer.



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Proteas great Jacques Kallis named as England batting coach


Kallis takes over from Graham Thorpe, England’s permanent batting coach, and Marcus Trescothick, who both served on England’s aborted white-ball tour of South Africa.

Nothing has yet been agreed between the ECB and Kallis about the four-Test tour of India which is scheduled to follow England’s two-Test series in Sri Lanka.

Another temporary appointment might therefore be more significant in the long term, that of spin-bowling consultant for the Sri Lanka tour: Jeetan Patel, the former New Zealand off-spinner, who has been virtually inked in as England’s first full-time spin-bowling coach.

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Patel made a favourable impression when drafted into England’s management team in South Africa last winter, and not only as a coaching consultant for England’s spinners. He was widely respected for his general cricket sense and knowledge.



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NRL: Six Melbourne Storm players named in Kangaroos merit team


There’s been no Test match rugby league in 2020, but selectors still picked a Kangaroos merit team with a bunch of new faces

Melbourne Storm players dominate the Australian team which won’t play a game after the Australian Rugby League Commission announced a Kangaroos merit team on Monday.

There were six players from the premiership-winning Storm outfit, including rising stars Ryan Papenhuyzen and Tino Fa’asuamaleaui.

Sydney Roosters skipper Boyd Cordner was named captain of the team which was robbed of the chance to play any Test matches in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The team, selected by the Australian selection panel and the ARLC, was chosen on the back of the first post-season State of Origin series, won by Queensland.

The 17-man team includes Wally Lewis Medal winner Cameron Munster and Dally M Medallist Jack Wighton.

Storm fullback Papenhuyzen, this year’s Clive Churchill medal winner for best on ground in Melbourne’s grand final win, was named despite missing out on an Origin debut for NSW.

Fa’asuamaleaui was named along with Broncos forward Payne Haas, a month after the pair went toe-to-toe in a punching match during the second State of Origin clash.

Penrith halfback Nathan Cleary unseated Test incumbent Daly Cherry-Evans for the No 7 jersey, while Rabbitohs star Cameron Murray got the jump on Manly‘s Jake Trbojevic for the lock spot

Roosters winger Daniel Tupou, who played his lone Test in 2014, also launched into the team after a superb season for his club and NSW.

The Mal Meninga-coached Kangaroos have played just four tests since winning the 2017 World Cup final.

There could be a Test against New Zealand in July next year, with those picked in the merit team also the frontrunners for inclusion in the squad for next year‘s World Cup in the UK.

ARLC chairman Peter V’landys said the team included players who would be part of the Kangaroos for years to come and would get a chance to represent their country.

“There is no greater honour in rugby league than representing your country,” V’landys said.

“And while the pandemic has stopped the Gallagher Kangaroos from playing this year, it is still incredibly important for the commission to acknowledge the best 17 from the Origin series.

“This merit team includes some of the most exciting young players in the competition who I’m sure will be part of the Gallagher Kangaroos program for many years. “

“I also want to acknowledge the sacrifices of these 17 players who went from a club bubble to a State of Origin bubble.

“They sacrificed more than anyone in our game to ensure we completed an entire schedule. I want to say thank you for those sacrifices.”

The 2020 Kangaroos merit team:

James Tedesco

Josh Addo-Carr

Dane Gagai

Jack Wighton

Daniel Tupou

Cameron Munster

Nathan Cleary

Josh Papalii

Damien Cook

Christian Welch

Boyd Cordner (Captain)

Felise Kaufusi

Cameron Murray

Ryan Papenhuyzen

Payne Haas

Angus Crichton

Tino Fa’asuamaleaui



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