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Ministry of Justice database access hole reported to Opposition MP

Stephen Bell | April 11, 2013
Reports of a potentially serious security breach in Ministry of Justice database systems are wrong, the ministry's deputy secretary organisational development and support, Rose Percival says.

"I have been told that these are basic security flaws not requiring a lot of computer programming knowledge.

"I note that parts of the website were shut down today after I notified the ministry of the security hole. That confirms that this is a serious security issue."

Curran yesterday morning informed the ministry, Minister Collins and the Privacy Commissioner.

However, Ministry spokesman Nathan Green says Curran's second breach allegation doesn't stand up either. "The 63,000 documents Clare Curran is referring to in her second release are all publicly available Tenancy Tribunal decisions - the public is supposed to have access," he says.

Following an access to confidential Ministry of Social Development information last year a review of the security of publicly accessible computer systems in government agencies was begun under the auspices of Government CIO Colin MacDonald.

"The GCIO's report has been completed and the response to the report's findings and recommendations are currently being finalised," State Services Commission spokesman Tim Ingleton told Computerworld late last week. "The GCIO's report and the response to it will be publicly released. The aim is for this to take place in May."

Contacted again yesterday, Ingleton says he is not aware of any change to these plans since, in the light of the recent breaches.

Both the Ministry of Justice and the Earthquake Commission -- from which sensitive information was erroneously sent attached to emails at least twice -- will have been covered in the review.

 

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