Feeds

Lewd voicemail hack on MP prompts probe

What's the story, moaning Tory?

Website security in corporate America

A prankster hacked into an MP's parliamentary voicemail and left a sexually offensive message for callers, the Mail on Sunday reports.

Tory MP Claire Perry told the paper that the voicemail of her landline was changed so that callers were asked whether they had recently engaged in a sex act, which she declined to describe. Perry reckons the breach is linked to a "general, system-wide failure" of Parliament's comms network.

"The Clerk of the House is taking it very seriously and the authorities are now investigating," she added.

Although the incident may provoke calls for a general review of phone and (perhaps) email security in the mother of parliaments, the MoS's spin that the incident illustrates a vulnerability that might be exploited by cyber-terrorists is comically overblown.

It's much more likely the Tory MP for Devizes, Wiltshire, forgot to change the default password, a factor subsequently exploited by a prankster or a malicious insider, perhaps someone who harbours a grudge against Perry.

If hackers had obtained compromised access to parliamentary voicemail systems, as Perry and the Mail on Sunday seem to think might have happened, then why draw attention to this by changing the voicemail message of a lowly backbencher? It's unclear whether or not anybody's voicemail messages were actually intercepted, a far more troubling possibility especially amid the ongoing controversy over the News of the World hacking scandal.

Perry was elected in May 2010, and since then she has submitted a private member's bill calling for Remembrance Sunday to be made a bank holiday. However, she is arguably more famous for her off-the-cuff remark, when she failed to attract the attention of Speaker John Bercow: "What do I have to do? Give him a blowjob?" ®

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

More from The Register

next story
Early result from Scots indyref vote? NAW, Jimmy - it's a SCAM
Anyone claiming to know before tomorrow is telling porkies
TOR users become FBI's No.1 hacking target after legal power grab
Be afeared, me hearties, these scoundrels be spying our signals
Home Depot: 56 million bank cards pwned by malware in our tills
That's about 50 per cent bigger than the Target tills mega-hack
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
NORKS ban Wi-Fi and satellite internet at embassies
Crackdown on tardy diplomatic sysadmins providing accidental unfiltered internet access
UK.gov lobs another fistful of change at SME infosec nightmares
Senior Lib Dem in 'trying to be relevant' shocker. It's only taxpayers' money, after all
Critical Adobe Reader and Acrobat patches FINALLY make it out
Eight vulns healed, including XSS and DoS paths
Spies would need SUPER POWERS to tap undersea cables
Why mess with armoured 10kV cables when land-based, and legal, snoop tools are easier?
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.