Feeds

The case of the two stolen mainframes

Oz customs grilled for failure to disclose Sydney airport thefts

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

High performance access to file storage

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

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Parent gabfest Mumsnet hit by SSL bug: My heart bleeds, grins hacker
Natter-board tells middle-class Britain to purée its passwords
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Web data BLEEDOUT: Users to feel the pain as Heartbleed bug revealed
Vendors and ISPs have work to do updating firmware - if it's possible to fix this
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'
So it begins ... or maybe not, says one analyst
German space centre endures cyber attack
Chinese code retrieved but NSA hack not ruled out
NSA denies it knew about and USED Heartbleed encryption flaw for TWO YEARS
Agency forgets it exists to protect communications, not just spy on them
Heartbleed exploit, inoculation, both released
File under 'this is going to hurt you more than it hurts me'
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.