Feeds

Transit site coughs up private info for 168,000 passengers

'Experience the pwnage'

Protecting against web application threats using SSL

Dutch authorities have shuttered a transit website after a hacker demonstrated it gave him access to addresses, birthdates, and other sensitive information belonging to some 168,000 passengers.

Ironically, Ervaar het OV, which translates to "Experience the OV," was intended to promote the use of smartcards on the OV system by offering coupons and other promotions. According to an article in Webwereld magazine, the site is wide open to simple attacks that allow hackers to read, change, or delete passengers' personal information.

The glitch that exposed the database to world+dog is a SQL injection, the same garden-variety vulnerability criminal hackers used to pierce the defenses of Heartland Payment Systems and other well-fortified companies and make off with data for millions of credit cards. SQL injection flaws are the result of poorly written web applications that fail to vet user-supplied input before passing it to back-end systems.

A hacker identified only as "ins3ct3d" demonstrated the hole in the Dutch transit site by successfully retrieving personal information belonging to a Webwereld reporter, who had electronically purchased a smartcard last year.

The hacker said his motivation in exposing the hole was to prod government officials to better safeguard the information they store.

"As long as the government continues to impose unsafe public systems, I feel compelled to protect and warn my fellow citizens," he was quoted as saying. ®

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

More from The Register

next story
Spies would need SUPER POWERS to tap undersea cables
Why mess with armoured 10kV cables when land-based, and legal, snoop tools are easier?
Early result from Scots indyref vote? NAW, Jimmy - it's a SCAM
Anyone claiming to know before tomorrow is telling porkies
TOR users become FBI's No.1 hacking target after legal power grab
Be afeared, me hearties, these scoundrels be spying our signals
Jihadi terrorists DIDN'T encrypt their comms 'cos of Snowden leaks
Intel bods' analysis concludes 'no significant change' after whistle was blown
Home Depot: 56 million bank cards pwned by malware in our tills
That's about 50 per cent bigger than the Target tills mega-hack
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
NORKS ban Wi-Fi and satellite internet at embassies
Crackdown on tardy diplomatic sysadmins providing accidental unfiltered internet access
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
Critical Adobe Reader and Acrobat patches FINALLY make it out
Eight vulns healed, including XSS and DoS paths
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.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
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.