Monday, March 05, 2007

The Endless War on Privacy, Security and Protection

Here is the latest in the endless war on privacy, security and protection -

Dubai eGovernment foils hack attacks, 28/02/2007

Dubai eGovernment, the public initiative to provide online services, announced that it has successfully foiled an attempt by hackers to corrupt data and impair some government websites that it hosts.

“We have yet to ascertain the identities of the hackers and the exact location of their operation, but we have generated significant leads that will ultimately lead us to the persons behind this act. The hackers have attacked some of the Dubai eGovernment's sites on eHost, which has caused malfunction to some of the services and loss of data. We have also checked other sites and guarantee that they are safe and secure from future attacks,” said Salem Al Shair, eServices Director, Dubai eGovernment.

“Our primary technical investigation showed that the hackers were based in Turkey, but we are still probing further into the case because hackers are known to spoof and mask their identity and location. Our technical teams and our partner are following the source of the hacking and we'll announce the results of the investigation at an appropriate time,” he added.

“One of the positive outcomes from this incident is that it has allowed Dubai eGovernment to learn more about the latest techniques and strategies used by the hackers. This way, we were able to close the gaps in our system and take the appropriate action to prevent similar incidents,” said Al Shair.

Dubai eGovernment has two Web hosts, eHost Plus and eHost. eHost Plus is highly developed and hosts the sites that are very sensitive and have high digital content. eHost is less developed and hosts sites with limited data. eHost, which was the victim of the hacking attack, uses open source programming, which makes it less secure.

Hacking incidents are on the rise all over the world. According to US-CERT, in the US, there were 5,000 incidents reported in 2005, which rose to 23,000 in 2006 and there are already 19,000 incidents reported in the first quarter of 2007.

The US government allocates 8% of its total IT budget (US$ 64 billion) for IT security, while the private sector in Europe allocated 9 % of their total IT budget for the same, as per a study by the UK Department of Trade and Industry. 62% of UK corporations have reported hacking incidents, while 87% of the larger corporations have reported security breaches in IT.

We are aware that ID attacks are a huge crisis world wide and that out ID Theft Prevention courses and seminars are more and more important to companies, individuals, NGO's, and government.


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