Feeds

Security still slack in WA government agencies

Auditor General highlights payment security concerns

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

While not as utterly hopeless as last year, IT security is still troublesome in Western Australia’s government agencies.

In last year’s annual audit, the Auditor General strolled through fourteen agency networks in an undetected penetration test. This year, the auditor’s staff have looked at payment security in nine agencies, as well as conducting a follow-up to last year’s tests.

Payment security presented a moderately depressing picture, with four unnamed agencies capturing customer data on their own servers before passing it off to a payment processor – something the report points out leaves the information potentially vulnerable to breaches (although the report didn’t find evidence of actual breaches).

Although the other five were more sensible – redirecting the customer straight to an external payment processor – the report also states that six agencies lack plans to respond to any loss of cardholder data.

In its follow-up to last year’s report, the Auditor-General found gems like cross-site scripting vulnerabilities in three agency servers, a payment vulnerability that allowed the testers to change the price of a purchase item to one cent (but still have the item delivered), and one agency that allowed an unauthorized user to upload files to its Website (which would allow an attacker to upload malicious files).

Two agencies were vulnerable to SQL injection attacks, while another held sensitive personal staff information on publicly-available Web servers. Yet another was more than two-and-a-half years behind on its software updates.

As the report notes, WA government agencies would do well to adopt the Defence Signals Directorate advice on how to keep their systems secure.

The agencies reviewed were the Departments of the Attorney-General, Finance, Housing, and Transport, along with Landgate, the Rottnest Island Authority, Synergy, the University of Western Australia, and the Water Corporation.

Exhibiting a touching faith in "security by obscurity", the report doesn't associate any agency with a particular vulnerability. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Patch NOW! Microsoft slings emergency bug fix at Windows admins
Vulnerability promotes lusers to domain overlords ... oops
You really need to do some tech support for Aunty Agnes
Free anti-virus software, expires, stops updating and p0wns the world
Mozilla, EFF, Cisco back free-as-in-FREE-BEER SSL cert authority
Let’s Encrypt to give HTTPS-everywhere a boost in 2015
Meet OneRNG: a fully-open entropy generator for a paranoid age
Kiwis to seek random investors for crowd-funded randomiser
USB coding anarchy: Consider all sticks licked
Thumb drive design ruled by almighty buck
Attack reveals 81 percent of Tor users but admins call for calm
Cisco Netflow a handy tool for cheapskate attackers
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence
Download Choosing a Cloud Hosting Provider with Confidence to learn more about cloud computing - the new opportunities and new security challenges.
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.