Feeds

Hackers hijack UK.gov wiki

Environment contract party - will it have cake?

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

An attempt by a UK cabinet minister to discuss proposed environment policy using a wiki has ended in embarrassment after pranksters made merry at the expense of the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs' (Defra).

Tech-savvy environment secretary David Milliband was left with egg on his face after his department's draft "Environment Contract" wiki was edited to include spurious entries poking fun at the initiative.

Hours after publication of the policy, pranksters launched dozens of attacks against the wiki, hosted on Defra's official website. The heading for discussion "Who are the parties to the environmental contract?" became, "Where is the party for the environmental contract? Can I come? Will there be cake? Hooray!"

Responses to the question of "what tools can be used to deliver the environmental contract?" solicited the illuminating answer: "Spade, Organic Yoghurt Stirrer, Old washing up liquid bottle, Sticky Back Plastic."

Hackers suggested the correct tools to "create the right incentive frameworks" included a "Big stick" and an "Owl magnet".

Less light-hearted responses included criticisms of the government's use of taxes for "little tangible improvement" to citizens' quality of life. An image of a Swastika was posted in another attack. Around 170 spurious entries were reportedly made to the site.

As defacement archive Zone-h notes, the misuse of the government wiki was an accident waiting to happen.

"The reason why there were so many intrusions was in the structure of the document's page itself that used an editing technique which is very similar to the one of Wikipedia, that is, all the users with basic skills could get into the page and do whatever they wanted with the content," it reports.

After failing to stem the attacks, government sys admins purged the offending entries and temporarily disabled new entries.

Milliband said the attacks have not put him off the idea of using wikis for future policy consultation exercises.

"I gather that we have demonstrated the extreme openness of the wiki by playing host to some practical jokes plus a swastika. Strange how some people get their kicks. But the experiment will continue," he writes in an entry to his departmental weblog. ®

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Microsoft: We plan to CLEAN UP this here Windows Store town
Paid-for apps that provide free downloads? Really
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
Who needs hackers? 'Password1' opens a third of all biz doors
GPU-powered pen test yields more bad news about defences and passwords
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Hear ye, young cyber warriors of the realm: GCHQ wants you
Get involved, get a job and then never discuss work ever again
Chinese hackers spied on investigators of Flight MH370 - report
Classified data on flight's disappearance pinched
Microsoft cries UNINSTALL in the wake of Blue Screens of Death™
Cache crash causes contained choloric calamity
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.