A Hack Vandalizes the Website of Canadian Nuclear Commission
An impudent hacker invaded the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission website on February 7, 2007 and defaced it with photographs of a nuclear explosion. The incident has raised the concerns of the nation's nuclear watchdog regarding the confidentiality of their information.
The commission said the hacker damaged the website's media section. However, a spokesman said that no one could access potentially risky information without a secure government login. Such dangerous information would be in the internal site of the agency, which would hold the clues to the changing positions of the high-risk radioactive sources.
A citizen reporter spotted the incident around 3pm. The commission renamed all its current and previous news releases of as early as 1998, as "security breaches". On opening them, a color photograph of a fiery cloud bubble became visible with a title named "For Immediate Release". There was an additional caption saying "Please don't put me in jail...oops, I divided by zero".
Aurele Gervais, spokesman of the Commission confirmed the hacking event and said they brought down the pages as soon as the newspaper contacted them. He also said that the attack confined to the public media section of the website and there was no compromise of the internal information. 'Ottawa Citizen' published Gervais' statement on February 8, 2007.
The media site, www.nuclearsafety.gc.ca/eng/media was running all right on February 8, 2007.
There was no clue as to how the hacker gained access. Gervais said the damage to the site occurred where an external provider without any link to the internal site runs it. Only a secure government login can enable access to the sensitive information on the internal site.
The sensitivity of information causes concerns about the security of government-run websites, said Brian O'Higgins, CTO with Third Brigade, an Internet security firm in Ottawa.
Higgins pointed out at the surprisingly easy way hackers get into big servers and perform defacement of this kind. He said the threat wasn't improving, rather it was getting worse.
The most dangerous hacking incident in a federal government system happened with a computer system of the top-security Department of National Defense in 1999.
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