Feeds

UN's lax security exposed by password-slurping hacktivists

Login details and email addresses dumped after raid

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

Hacktivist group TeaMp0isoN has hacked into the website of the United Nations Development Programme, making off with hundreds of email addresses, usernames and plain-text passwords that were later dumped onto Pastebin.

Individuals working for the UNDP, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, UNICEF, the World Health Organisation and other groups were exposed by the hack, which revealed lax password security at the agencies. Some of the accounts appeared to have a blank password and many more have easily guessable login credentials. And storing passwords in plain-text (rather than an encrypted form) is an even bigger mistake, of course.

TeaMp0isoN said that it carried out the attack as a protest against what it sees as corruption at the UN. In particular it is upset with the organisation's handling of the genocide in Rwanda, the break-up of Yugoslavia and the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, among other matters.

Security watchers were skeptical of the UN's attempt to downplay the significance of the hack.

Jason Hart, managing director of Cryptocard, commented: “The UN is seen as a symbol for security and trust for many millions of people around the world. Hacking their systems is TeaMp0isoN's way of making a big statement to the outside world.”

“The UN has said that the information exposed is old data, but if you look at the YouTube video released by the hackers on Monday it shows account details and usernames as well as personal email addresses. As we all know, passwords cross personal and professional lives, so these people could well be compromised at work and at home," Hart added.

TeaMp0isoN recently joined forces with Anonymous as part of Operation Robin Hood, which aims to defraud banks by making donations to charities and other worthwhile causes using stolen credit card details.

More security commentary on TeaMp0isoN's antics can be found in a blog post by Sophos here. ®

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

More from The Register

next story
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
BMW's ConnectedDrive falls over, bosses blame upgrade snafu
Traffic flows up 20% as motorway middle lanes miraculously unclog
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
Don't look, Snowden: Security biz chases Tails with zero-day flaws alert
Exodus vows not to sell secrets of whistleblower's favorite OS
Researcher sat on critical IE bugs for THREE YEARS
VUPEN waited for Pwn2Own cash while IE's sandbox leaked
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile 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.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
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.