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BT rebuts database security breach claims

The very idea

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BT has dismissed the significance of supposed vulnerabilities on its systems detailed by infamous hacker Unu on Tuesday.

The Romanian hacker posted screenshots illustrating what he claimed highlighted SQL injections in a posting at Hackersploit.org.

"A faulty parameter, improperly sanitized opens the vault to the pretious (sic) databases. One can gain access to such ordinary things as personal data, login data, and the like," Unu writes. A subsequent post explains that the issue involved blind SQL Injection vulnerabilities involving the site www.comparebroadband.bt.com.

But an investigation by BT concluded that the flaws (such as they are) involved only test systems.

A statement by the telecoms giant explains that its production systems and customer data remain safe.

BT has carried out a thorough investigation of this alleged breach. We have found that access was gained to a test database and therefore no customer details were revealed at any time.

When sites are under test they do not contain live data and are often not included within our secure network until they become operational. BT has developed rigorous, world-leading protection against unauthorised computer access in order to protect customer details and commercial interests. Where a suspected intrusion has occurred BT will act swiftly to ensure our customer data is not at risk.

Our operational systems have not been affected in any way by this attempt to break through our security.

Romanian hacker Unu came to prominence a month ago when he poked the websites of security vendors, such as Kaspersky Lab and BitDefender, discovering some problems in the process. More recently he's moved onto scouring the websites of large UK businesses, such as those run by Camelot and the Daily Telegraph and now BT, scouring for database flaws. In all of the three latest cases the firms involved have said that Unu's postings suggest a more severe problem than was actually the case.

Unu's results are genuine but his analysis fails to explain that partner or test sites, rather than the main sites of the Daily Telegraph and BT, for example, have flaws. ®

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