Feeds

Dutch news agency goof leaks VIP phone numbers

Low security in the Low Countries

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Security shortcomings by Dutch press agency GPD exposed the private telephone numbers of politicians and other public figures to prying eyes until earlier this week.

Former telephone numbers of controversial anti-immigration MP Geert Wilders and an old (now disconnected) mobile, formerly belonging to prime minister Jan Peter Balkenende, were left exposed by the leak. Current phone numbers exposed by the snafu included those of TV presenters Mart Smeets, Jort Kelder and Felix Meurders, as well as those of hundreds of other celebrities and media figures in The Netherlands.

The exposed numbers were held on a communal database maintained by reporters at the agency. Technology site Tweakers discovered that the database was only protected by an easily-guessed password. Confidential telephone and other information was left open to anyone with enough nous to construct an appropriate Google search.

GPD has acknowledged the error and padlocked its database to protect sensitive information, Dutchnews reports.

Expatica adds that GPD is blaming a configuration error for the snafu, which exposed what ought to have been an internal intranet-only application to the great unwashed.

Dutch news outlet NOS has a story that contains a screen shot from Google returning the prime minister's mobile number (cropped out) here. And there's more on the story (for Dutch speakers) at nu.nl here.

The incident is not the first time GPD has made the news itself as a result of information security shortcomings. In November 2007, two officials from the Ministry of Social Affairs were caught lifting information from the GPD database using the credentials of a former employee. ®

Bootnote

Thanks to Dutch reader Edwin for the tip on this story.

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
'Kim Kardashian snaps naked selfies with a BLACKBERRY'. *Twitterati gasps*
More alleged private, nude celeb pics appear online
Home Depot ignored staff warnings of security fail laundry list
'Just use cash', former security staffer warns friends
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
UK.gov lobs another fistful of change at SME infosec nightmares
Senior Lib Dem in 'trying to be relevant' shocker. It's only taxpayers' money, after all
Spies would need SUPER POWERS to tap undersea cables
Why mess with armoured 10kV cables when land-based, and legal, snoop tools are easier?
TOR users become FBI's No.1 hacking target after legal power grab
Be afeared, me hearties, these scoundrels be spying our signals
Snowden, Dotcom, throw bombs into NZ election campaign
Claim of tapped undersea cable refuted by Kiwi PM as Kim claims extradition plot
Freenode IRC users told to change passwords after securo-breach
Miscreants probably got in, you guys know the drill by now
THREE QUARTERS of Android mobes open to web page spy bug
Metasploit module gobbles KitKat SOP slop
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
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?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.