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Hackers Spoil UK Govt. Wiki

A case of hacking on the UK government's website wiki with proposals
changed by hackers, was cause for serious embarrassment and concern for
the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs department.

Environment Contract, conceived as a means of adding transparency to the
government policy, was targeted by hackers for glaring changes that caused
great humiliation to the department. Reports also mention that a swastika
was added to a page.
Environment Secretary David Miliband acknowledged that there had been
risks involved prior to starting the process. Being new territory for the
government, a certain degree of trust was necessary. The initial problems
of accidental and malicious editing and deletion of content were
anticipated. An adjustment in approach is likely to be required. The
additions were reportedly made by around 170 hackers.

Among others, some of the posts put forth arguments against environmental
contracts that emphasized an individual's obligations towards preservation
of the environment. There were also complaints made about steep tax
payments and less productive results. There were also some comments that
were completely inane, examples being, asking about the parties to the
environmental contract, where the party for the environmental contract is,
whether one can attend and whether there will be cake, etc.

Now, however, such contributions have been eliminated and the website has
changed its policy to allow content editing. Interest in wiki is believed
to have grown owing to a feature on it on the noted blog Order by Guido
Fawkes.

Fawkes on his blog recalls nobody being interested in wiki for weeks
initially. He promoted it extensively on a claim of it being welcome to
individual opinions. He even went to the extent of making his polite and
logical contribution along with a few of others.

Multiple intrusions were on account of the very structure of document page
itself as its editing technique had striking similarity to that of
Wikipedia. Thus, any and every user with the basic skills was able to
enter the page and manipulate its content as desired, as per the report
from Zone-h notes.

Apparently, highly open nature of the wiki was amply demonstrated in being
subject to some practical jokes and a swastika. Nevertheless, the
experiment is to continue.

 

 

Related article: Hackers Redirect Windows Live Search to Malicious Sites

» SPAMfighter News - 11-09-2006

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