Feeds

Phone bugging scandal reignited as NotW suspends reporter

The story that refuses to die

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

New allegations of phone hacking at the News of the World have resulted in the suspension of one of the Sunday paper's reporters, pending legal and disciplinary action over allegations of tapping into the voicemail messages of an unnamed television personality.

A detailed investigation by the New York Times has reignited a controversy News International officials have long sought to quench. Under scrutiny was the extent of illegal wiretapping of the mobile phones of public figures at the paper at the time it was edited by Andy Coulson, prime minister David Cameron's director of communications.

Coulson edited the tabloid during a time when Clive Goodman, the paper’s disgraced royal editor, and private investigator Glenn Mulcaire conspired to intercept voicemail messages of public figures and celebrities in order to extract news leads. The duo were convicted of tapping into the voicemail of members of the royal household and jailed back in 2007.

Coulson resigned editorship of the paper over the scandal, which News International has consistently blamed on a rogue journalist who acted without the knowledge or approval of his bosses.

Last year it emerged that News International had made a series of payouts to public figures including football players' union boss Gordon Taylor. A series of investigative pieces by the Guardian provided evidence that the use of mobile phone hacking tactics was widespread at the paper.

The articles prompted the re-opening of a Press Complaints Commission inquiry and an investigation by the House of Commons select committee.

There is also increasing pressure on the Metropolitan police to either reopen their wider investigation, or at least explain why it was dropped so quickly.

The New York Times cites former editors at the paper who said Coulson attended meetings where phone hacking was openly discussed, reopening allegations that the practice was endemic at the time he edited the paper. The NYT further alleges that police investigators failed to act on evidence that phone hacking was widespread at the paper, instead focusing their investigation on Goodman and Mulcaire. According to the paper it's only now, four years after the police investigated the case, that many of the victims are finally being notified.

Many of the hacks carried out relied simply on knowing a target's mobile phone number and hoping that they had not changed the default PIN code used by carriers, though other more sophisticated techniques were also allegedly used.

The NYT story can be found here (free registration required). ®

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

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
Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say
Cupertino slurps 15 cents from every $100 purchase
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
YouTube, Amazon and Yahoo! caught in malvertising mess
Cisco says 'Kyle and Stan' attack is spreading through compromised ad networks
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
China hacked US Army transport orgs TWENTY TIMES in ONE YEAR
FBI et al knew of nine hacks - but didn't tell TRANSCOM
Microsoft to patch ASP.NET mess even if you don't
We know what's good for you, because we made the mess says Redmond
NORKS ban Wi-Fi and satellite internet at embassies
Crackdown on tardy diplomatic sysadmins providing accidental unfiltered internet access
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.