The website of Wolfgang Schäuble, the German Interior minister, was broken into yesterday by hackers opposed to his plans for biometric passports and the authorities being allowed to log all telephone, mobile, email and internet communications.
Anyone visiting the site was faced with the message: “Visit: Vorratsdatenspeicherung” which leads to a protest website.
At the time of writing the minister’s website at www.wolfgang-schaeuble.de is inaccessible, and technicians are said to be feverishly attempting to secure it. Reports suggest that the security breach was possible because of a vulnerability in the Typo3 content management software being used to run the website.
Government offices and politicians in the public eye obviously need to take great care over their computer security, as there may be groups opposed to their activities who will feel that a digital attack is an acceptable way to make a protest.
The fact is, of course, that just because it might be easy to hack into a website doesn’t make it an acceptable thing to do. Protesters may have valid reasons to fight the laws that governments are trying to bring into place, but turning to the methods used by cybercriminals is not acceptable.
Update: There are reports that the minister’s cracked Typo3 password was “gewinner” (which translates into English as “winner”).
No prizes for whoever set that up. Don’t they know that using dictionary words to secure your accounts is a very bad idea?