Feeds

Fun and games in NZ politics

Data breach claim and counter-claim

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

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”. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
SMASH the Bash bug! Apple and Red Hat scramble for patch batches
'Applying multiple security updates is extremely difficult'
Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack
But unsophisticated thieves need not attempt this trick
Oracle SHELLSHOCKER - data titan lists unpatchables
Database kingpin lists 32 products that can't be patched (yet) as GNU fixes second vuln
Who.is does the Harlem Shake
Blame it on LOLing XSS terroristas
Researchers tell black hats: 'YOU'RE SOOO PREDICTABLE'
Want to register that domain? We're way ahead of you.
Stunned by Shellshock Bash bug? Patch all you can – or be punished
UK data watchdog rolls up its sleeves, polishes truncheon
Ello? ello? ello?: Facebook challenger in DDoS KNOCKOUT
Gets back up again after half an hour though
Desperate VXers enslave FREEZERS in DDoS bot
Updated Spike malware targets Asia
Heatmiser digital thermostat users: For pity's sake, DON'T SWITCH ON the WI-FI
A stranger turns up YOUR heat with default password 1234
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.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
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.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
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.