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Hackers Break-In Sydney Opera House Website

One day Rik Farrow, a security consultant and author in the U.S. was astonished when he found that the website of the Sydney Opera House was distributing Trojan program to unwary web users.

Rik Farrow was researching his document on the new malware alert feature of Google. The feature is designed to prevent Internet users moving from Google to websites that the search engine has recognized as hosting harmful viruses and scripts. On such an occasion, Farrow encountered the malicious code embedded in the front page of the Opera House's site.

Farrow realized the code was a Trojan that was possibly created to seize online banking information and affect un-patched browsers like Internet Explorer and Firefox. Claire Swaffield, director of information systems in Sydney Opera House said the code would not pose any risk to Internet users. It would only infect browsers that did not have the latest patches for Trojan software.

Swaffield became aware of the intrusion and found the alteration on the site's main page, she said, as reported by Smh.com.au on June 12, 2007. This was a lesson for all organizations that each of them was vulnerable to hackers' attack irrespective of its size, Swaffield commented. For this reason Sydney Opera House needs to maintain a significantly high level of vigilance, a reality in operating on cyber space. There will also be a regular security checking of the Sydney Opera House website by an external authority, she added.

The nasty code has been completely removed from the website after the security breach, which didn't result in exposure of customer data. Sydney Opera House engaged the services of 'Pure Hacking', an Internet security firm, which removed the malware. The firm is now monitoring the site.

The New South Wales police received reports of the security hack. In spite of a written complaint the police did not take action. Every month there are 300,000 or odd visitors to the Sydney Opera House site. According to Swaffield, in the present age it shouldn't surprise any organization when someone breaks-in to its network. The industry is in a sad state of affairs facing ever-changing threats.

Related article: Hackers Redirect Windows Live Search to Malicious Sites

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