Feeds

Child protection website insecurity fixed

Abuse report page was unencrypted

SANS - Survey on application security programs

A member of the public was shocked to find that links to a web page used to report incidents of suspected child abuse to the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre were insecure.

Concerned parties visiting a confidential report abuse webpage on CEOP's webpage from either Facebook or Google were directed to an unencrypted page, before being redirected onto a page with a secure SSL link – if users actually decided to file a report.

The oversight meant that search queries or other actions performed on CEOP's landing page were open to eavesdropping because they were sent in the clear.

There is no evidence that any such eavesdropping actually happened, however. CEOP said that the security shortcoming with its site, which it downplayed, has now been resolved.

In a statement, CEOP's chief exec, Peter Davies, said: “The risk was a hypothetical one and there is no evidence to suggest anyone's details have been jeopardised.

"We thank the member of the public who brought this issue to our attention and have rectified the problem, so people can continue to report any concerns they have to us, with the reassurance that their report will remain secure."

The Information Commissioner's Office confirmed that its is looking into the incident.

An ICO spokesperson said: "We are making enquiries into the circumstances of this alleged breach of the Data Protection Act before deciding what action, if any, needs to be taken."

CEOP is a specialised police agency, set up in 2006, that leads the UK's fight against child abuse. It also runs various education programmes aimed at making children aware of the dangers posed by paedophiles who attempt to meet children online, for example. CEOP lobbied for Facebook to put a panic button on its website.

Jim Gamble, the former head of CEOP and an outspoken advocate of the Facebook panic button, resigned last year over government plans to merge the agency with a new National Crime Agency, due to commence operations in 2013. ®

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
Lavabit loses contempt of court appeal over protecting Snowden, customers
Judges rule complaints about government power are too little, too late
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Record labels sue Pandora over vintage song royalties
Companies want payout on recordings made before 1972
Edward Snowden on his Putin TV appearance: 'Why all the criticism?'
Denies Q&A cameo was meant to slam US, big-up Russia
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Judge halts spread of zombie Nortel patents to Texas in Google trial
Epic Rockstar patent war to be waged in California
German space centre endures cyber attack
Chinese code retrieved but NSA hack not ruled out
APPLE FAILS to ditch class action suit over ebook PRICE-FIX fiasco
Do not pass go, do cough (up to) $840m in damages
Whoever you vote for, Google gets in
Report uncovers giant octopus squid of lobbying influence
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.