Feeds

Oops - SF prosecutors put city passwords on public record

Cunning plan

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

San Francisco prosecutors have put the city's network at further risk by placing access passwords and usernames on the public record as part of their case against Terry Childs, the sysadmin alleged to have hijacked the city's wide area network.

A list of 150 usernames and passwords of city officials was submitted to court as an exhibit last week. Childs, 43, was arrested on 12 July on charges of tampering with the city's FiberWAN network. He allegedly changed passwords and refused to hand them over to administrators, leaving city bosses locked out.

The impasse was broken when Childs agree to hand over the login credentials to city Mayor Gavin Newsom, during a meeting between the two last week. Despite this, he remains in jail, with bail set at $5 million.

The list of passwords and usernames for access to the city's VPN networks was reportedly recovered from Child's machine and submitted in court documents in a bid to bolster the argument against a reduction of Childs' bail. The office of San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris claims Childs' possession of these passwords demonstrated the continuing threat he poses to its networks. Prosecutors argue that Childs could use the passwords to impersonate legitimate users.

Infoworld quotes unnamed sources suggesting that a second password in needed to obtain access to the city's network. Even so, disclosing first stage passwords is still bad security practice. Infoworld adds that many of the passwords are the same as VPN log-in identities or "extremely easy to guess".

After initially declining to comment, a spokeswoman for the DA's office said that "the court files have been amended". ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Researcher sat on critical IE bugs for THREE YEARS
VUPEN waited for Pwn2Own cash while IE's sandbox leaked
Four fake Google haxbots hit YOUR WEBSITE every day
Goog the perfect ruse to slip into SEO orfice
Putin: Crack Tor for me and I'll make you a MILLIONAIRE
Russian Interior Ministry offers big pile o' roubles for busting pro-privacy browser
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.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.