Feeds

The case of the two stolen mainframes

Oz customs grilled for failure to disclose Sydney airport thefts

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Australian politicians are asking some pointed questions after Customs failed to disclose the theft of two servers from Sydney airport last month during a parliamentary inquiry into the security of government IT systems.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that two men posing as computer technicians nicked two mainframe servers after they tricked their way into the Customs cargo processing and intelligence centre on August 27. Police and security services are investigating the incident, the paper reports.

Liberal MP Bob Charles, chairman of the parliamentary IT security inquiry, yesterday demanded to know why Customs didn't come forward to admit the theft to his committee. The inquiry is to reopen.

"How you could appear before us and not tell us about this security breach is just beyond my comprehension," Charles said.

Customs official Gail Batman, who was also asked why she failed to disclose the theft when she testified before a separate inquiry on aviation security earlier this week, told Charles that she didn't want to compromise the ongoing police investigation by making the thefts public.

She said the stolen servers did not contain sensitive information, adding, "they are not servers that are used to communicate with law enforcement or security agencies."

Charles said the theft raised serious issues about government IT security that merited further investigation.

"If someone can walk into a government secure environment and walk out with mainframes, then I don't know what guarantee we have of information technology security," Charles.

"I have just instructed our inquiry secretary to reopen the hearings and reopen the inquiry."

Customs said it had improved its security since the thefts. ®

Related Stories

Whitehall laptop theft prompts security concerns
UK Government aims to track laptop theft via ID chips
Ministry of Defence loses 594 laptops
US State Department shakeup over missing laptop
FBI 'loses' hundreds of laptops and guns

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Regin: The super-spyware the security industry has been silent about
NSA fingered as likely source of complex malware family
Why did it take antivirus giants YEARS to drill into super-scary Regin? Symantec responds...
FYI this isn't just going to target Windows, Linux and OS X fans
Privacy bods offer GOV SPY VICTIMS a FREE SPYWARE SNIFFER
Looks for gov malware that evades most antivirus
Patch NOW! Microsoft slings emergency bug fix at Windows admins
Vulnerability promotes lusers to domain overlords ... oops
HACKERS can DELETE SURVEILLANCE DVRS remotely – report
Hikvision devices wide open to hacking, claim securobods
'Regin': The 'New Stuxnet' spook-grade SOFTWARE WEAPON described
'A degree of technical competence rarely seen'
Astro-boffins start opening universe simulation data
Got a supercomputer? Want to simulate a universe? Here you go
You stupid BRICK! PCs running Avast AV can't handle Windows fixes
Fix issued, fingers pointed, forums in flames
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing and building an open ITOA architecture
Learn about a new IT data taxonomy defined by the four data sources of IT visibility: wire, machine, agent, and synthetic data sets.
Why CIOs should rethink endpoint data protection in the age of mobility
Assessing trends in data protection, specifically with respect to mobile devices, BYOD, and remote employees.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.