Afternoon Update: Russians behind Medibank cyber-attack; global emissions hit new

Happy Friday! Russian hackers are believed to be behind the Medibank data breach, according to the Australian federal police. Anthony Albanese earlier in the day authorised the AFP to “disclose where these attacks are coming from” to help bring those responsible to account.

A few hours later, the AFP commissioner, Reece Kershaw, fronted cameras to say they knew who were behind the attacks but wouldn’t reveal names. Instead, the AFP pleaded with Russia to cooperate, adding: “We’ll be holding talks with Russian law enforcement.” The likelihood of Vladimir Putin’s regime cooperating is another matter entirely.

Top news

A man walks past a Medibank branch in Sydney More data from the Medibank breach has been posted online, as the AFP announced today that they knew who the cyber-attackers were but would not reveal names. Photograph: Rick Rycroft/AP

  • Medibank data | Another file of customer data was released this morning, which included policyholders who made claims related to the harmful use of alcohol. It comes a day after data containing abortion health records were also posted on the dark web. The data dumps were savaged by the PM today as “disgusting” and “reprehensible”. If you’ve been affected by the Medibank data breach, here’s what you can do to protect yourself.

  • Twitter going bankrupt? | Only three weeks into Elon Musk’s reign at Twitter, and he’s already warning that “bankruptcy isn’t out of the question”. Musk’s takeover and the resultant confusing back-and-forth on product launches and content moderation policies have led many brands to pause advertising. He’s also laid off roughly half of the workforce and is grappling with an exodus of top management.

  • Covid fourth wave | Victoria has recorded a 63% increase in Covid-19 cases this week, and Queensland’s cases are up 61%. New South Wales’ chief health officer, Dr Kerry Chant, believes this wave “may well peak before Christmas” before a steep decline. Take care out there.

  • Telco companies fined | Telstra, Optus and TPG have been fined a combined $33.5m for failing to deliver promised NBN speeds to some homes. If you think your NBN speed is slower than it should be, test it here.

  • Male contraception | Australian researchers are conducting a world-first trial on a potential “gamechanger” in male contraception – a sperm-blocking hydrogel. The 25 men taking part in the study will have a hydrogel injected into the vas deferens – the tubes that carry sperm – to stop the sperm travelling from the testicles.

Graph showing fossil fuel emissions over the last three decades, hitting record highs Photograph: The Guardian

  • Emissions hitting record levels | Despite talk of the urgent need for climate action at Cop27, there’s no sign emissions are actually declining as needed. In fact, global carbon emissions from fossil fuels are set to hit a new record this year – rising by 1% to 36.6bn tonnes, the highest ever. More burning of oil products is the biggest contributor, mostly because of the continuing rebound of international aviation after the pandemic.

  • Fifa rejects human rights kit | Soccer’s governing body has said no to a Danish request to train at the World Cup in shirts with the words “human rights for all” on them. Qatar’s human rights record has been in the spotlight in the lead-up to this month’s tournament, with the Socceroos raising concerns in a video statement a fortnight ago.

  • KFC’s Nazi commemoration | The fast food giant has apologised for a push notification sent out via its app inviting German customers to celebrate the anniversary of the Nazi Kristallnacht pogrom against Jews by ordering fried chicken and cheese. It’s been speculated the message was computer generated, with KFC blaming “a fault in our system”. Official reports at the time said 91 people were killed in the 1938 pogrom, but historians believe the real figure was more than 1,300.

Full Story

Signage for the Herald Sun newspaper is seen on the Herald and Weekly Times building in Melbourne, AustraliaAs Victoria gears up for a state election, the Herald Sun has published a series of stories leaning into conspiracy theories about premier Daniel Andrews. Photograph: James Ross/EPA

Has the Herald Sun turned the news into a distraction? – with Lenore Taylor

A series of stories from the Herald Sun playing into conspiracy theories about the Victorian premier, Daniel Andrews, may have pushed Australian journalism into uncharted territory. Our editors discuss in this 20-minute episode whether these stories have news value, or whether they are meant to muddy the waters ahead of a crucial election.

Full Story

Has the Herald Sun turned the news into a distraction? – with Lenore Taylor

Sorry your browser does not support audio – but you can download here and listen

What they said …

Afghanistan fans cheer during the ICC men’s Twenty20 World Cup 2022 cricket match between Australia and Afghanistan at Adelaide Oval on November 4, 2022Afghanistan fans cheer during the ICC men’s Twenty20 World Cup 2022 cricket match between Australia and Afghanistan. Photograph: Brenton Edwards/AFP/Getty Images

“I have never seen young Afghan men, women and children so happy since arriving in Australia. It made us miss our loved ones back home,” writes Shadi Khan Saif.

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Khan Saif is an Afghan journalist based in Melbourne and wrote about the significance of Afghanistan playing at the MCG in the T20 cricket World Cup for Afghan refugees who have now made the city their home.

In numbers

A stats infographic that says “40,000: The estimated number of Ukrainian civilians killed since Vladimir Putin ordered an invasion eight months ago”. Photograph: Antoun Issa/The Guardian

The estimates came from America’s top general, who added that both sides had suffered combined 200,000 military casualties.

Before bed viewing

Victoria election State Night: does Matthew Guy stand a chance against Daniel Andrews?

Replacing a read with a video to end the week. Our Victorian team have been reporting from campaign buses and key electorates as the garden state heads for an election on 26 November. Labor is still tipped to win, but its primary vote has dropped in recent polls. Do the Liberals stand a chance? Benita Kovolos and Adeshola Ore discuss with Matilda Boseley in this 10-minute clip.

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