Feeds

NZ Justice Minister scalped as hacker leaks emails

Grab your popcorn: Subterfuge and slur disrupts election run up

Security for virtualized datacentres

A hacker has claimed the scalp of New Zealand Justice Minister Judith Collins by releasing information showing a purported campaign to undermine government officials.

The revelations, revealed last month, came from a hacker known as RawShark (@whaledump), who broke into the email account of conservative blogger Cameron Slater. It was claimed in the book Dirty Politics that New Zealand Prime Minister John Key helped release a Security Intelligence Service (NZSIS) document to Slater, whose WhaleOil blog was a purported smear wagon used by the Government.

Hacked emails indicated controversial financier Mark Hotchin paid Slater and fellow conservative blogger Cathy Odgers to write articles that attacked New Zealand's Serious Fraud Office director Adam Feeley and the Financial Markets Authority, which were investigating his company, Stuff.co.nz reported.

Odgers released her own "smoking gun" emails to Fairfax (the publishing company that owns Stuff.NZ), purportedly implicating Collins, who resigned over the allegations after being confronted by Key.

Collins said the allegations were "extremely distressing and disappointing", the paper reported.

New information from RawShark, published today by the NZ Herald, means that Collins could be drawn into a high-level inquiry over the intelligence information released to blogger Slater in an unusually swift Official Information Act (OIA) request.

The publication said it may indicate Slater received a possibly politically motivated tip off - which triggered the OIA request - that Phil Goff, Labour leader at the time, received information from the NZSIS about backpackers thought to be Israeli spies, contrary to his public claims.

It quoted a purported message from Collins concerning Labour's 2011 election prospects that she "can't imagine that they can find someone to take the fall for Phil. When Phil fails, will he then resign from Parliament so we can have a by-election so soon after the election? perhaps he should just go now and then we can save money on a by-election?".

Slater: "Well hopefully I will get my reply to my OIA on Monday. then we will see what happens."

Collins: "Oh dear. All this open government thingy."

Slater: "twewwible."

The hacker RawShark has kept any information about himself or even an alias off the public radar, saying only that he was happy to be considered a teenage hacktivist and claimed his unique motivations would mean he could be quickly caught if he slipped up. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
NASTY SSL 3.0 vuln to be revealed soon – sources (Update: It's POODLE)
So nasty no one's even whispering until patch is out
Russian hackers exploit 'Sandworm' bug 'to spy on NATO, EU PCs'
Fix imminent from Microsoft for Vista, Server 2008, other stuff
Forget passwords, let's use SELFIES, says Obama's cyber tsar
Michael Daniel wants to kill passwords dead
FBI boss: We don't want a backdoor, we want the front door to phones
Claims it's what the Founding Fathers would have wanted – catching killers and pedos
Kill off SSL 3.0 NOW: HTTPS savaged by vicious POODLE
Pull it out ASAP, it is SWISS CHEESE
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
Admins! Never mind POODLE, there're NEW OpenSSL bugs to splat
Four new patches for open-source crypto libraries
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
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.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
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?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.