Feeds

Fun and games in NZ politics

Data breach claim and counter-claim

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

Most people think giving their names to a politician is a bad idea because they’ll spend the rest of their lives being nagged by the party. New Zealand’s Labour Party has taken this to a whole new level, leaving donor details – including names and donation amounts – in plain view.

The predictable result is that a right-wing blogger in the Land of the Long White Cloud has grabbed the details from the party’s online donation system, and is threatening publication.

According to New Zealand’s Dominion Post, the breach has Labour trying to contact 16,000 donors to tell them their information has been compromised.

Although the party is calling the data breach “malicious”, Cameron Slater, who blogs as “Whaleoil”, says the data was so accessible that Google and other indexing bots had indexed the information. However, demonstrating his own lack of understanding of how the Internet works, Slater says the information will be cached “forever” by Google, using a link that Google has already removed.

Whether or not any law has been broken is not, however, a simple matter of the adequacy of Labour’s site security: unauthorized access to a computer system is, in many jurisdictions, sufficient to raise a case without considering whether the system was badly-protected.

Slater seems aware that he’s skating on thin ice. In a later pose, he states that the Labour system provided sufficient information for him to have gone deeper and fetched credit card information, writing: “In the MySQL database files there were also plain txt strings that contained other database passwords along with the user name and passwords of their credit card provider.”

However, he wrote, “I never accessed these areas, to do so would have been illegal”. That horse may already have bolted, merely by his access of other data, which he describes as being solely the fault of Labour’s “woeful breach of peoples’ privacy”. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome
64-bit browser loads cat vids FIFTEEN PERCENT faster!
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Chinese hackers spied on investigators of Flight MH370 - report
Classified data on flight's disappearance pinched
NIST to sysadmins: clean up your SSH mess
Too many keys, too badly managed
Attack flogged through shiny-clicky social media buttons
66,000 users popped by malicious Flash fudging add-on
Think crypto hides you from spooks on Facebook? THINK AGAIN
Traffic fingerprints reveal all, say boffins
prev story

Whitepapers

A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.
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.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.