Feeds

Child protection website insecurity fixed

Abuse report page was unencrypted

The Power of One Infographic

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. ®

The Power of One Brief: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
Sit back down, Julian Assange™, you're not going anywhere just yet
Swedish court refuses to withdraw arrest warrant
UK Parliament rubber-stamps EMERGENCY data grab 'n' keep bill
Just 49 MPs oppose Drip's rushed timetable
MPs wave through Blighty's 'EMERGENCY' surveillance laws
Only 49 politcos voted against DRIP bill
EU's top data cops to meet Google, Microsoft et al over 'right to be forgotten'
Plan to hammer out 'coherent' guidelines. Good luck chaps!
Delaware pair nabbed for getting saucy atop Mexican eatery
Burrito meets soft taco in alleged rooftop romp outrage
British cops cuff 660 suspected paedophiles
Arrests people allegedly accessing child abuse images online
LightSquared backer sues FCC over spectrum shindy
Why, we might as well have been buying AIR
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.