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News Corp. Hacking Scandal Spreads To Government 105

wiredmikey writes "The scandal revolving around the News Corporation's now defunct British tabloid, News of the World, has entered a new phase with news that the hacking extended into areas of national security, as detectives working for the Murdoch media empire may have hacked into the computer of a government minister responsible for Northern Ireland. Scary stuff, yet the enterprise security community seems strangely quiet on the topic, aside from showing other journalists how easy it is to do. Potentially, if you know the correct mobile number and you can guess four digits, you too can be listening to your elected leaders' personal messages. The chances are pretty good that it could be their birthday."
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News Corp. Hacking Scandal Spreads To Government

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 30, 2011 @03:10PM (#38217418)

    About 6 years ago when this all originally flared up, it became clear people were simply not changing their default voicemail pin-codes from the network supplied default. All you needed to do was call the mobile number, listen for which operator it was that was which was responsible for the voicemail, then punch in the default pin-code for that network operator.

    At the time, this caused a few MNOs to change their systems so that you could not use remote voicemail until the user had set a new pin-code other than the default. In fact, its sad that operators were not somehow made partially liable for all this in the first place!

  • Re:Well, well.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ackthpt ( 218170 ) on Wednesday November 30, 2011 @03:21PM (#38217534) Homepage Journal

    This is a British cultural problem, not a Murdoch problem.

    Don't know where you live, mate, but Murdoch's (Rupert and Prince James, the News International heir apparent) have control over London Times, The Sun and News Of The World (now defunct) and wrote the cheques and managed the managers who made all this possible.

    Any editor worth his pay packet, when presented with an astounding story, based upon what appears to be inside information, has to ask, "Where did you get this information?" When you are in James' place, overseeing the British arm of News International (incorrectly stated as News Corp in the article above) you have to do more than gaze in wonder at what a talented and resourceful lot you have under you. You should be paying the occasional visit to your managing editors and ask, "Where are we getting this?"

    There has always been the ability of the government to enquire, which they've done a poor job of, just how the news knows some things. Dave's doing his best CYA, but it keeps going along. What are you going to do about foreign ownership of a large part of your media, Dave? Learning anything important, Dave?

  • by ackthpt ( 218170 ) on Wednesday November 30, 2011 @03:26PM (#38217584) Homepage Journal

    While its good you are up on the Phone Hacking. This is about hacking a server... I don't know everything about servers, but I don't think you call many of them and retreive voicemail on them with a PIN. This was about going in and learning things of a highly sensitive nature. Documents. Names. Etc.

    We'd probably applaud Wikileaks for publishing some of this stuff. But since it's the weasels at News International (NotW, Sun) you should wonder what they're doing this for.

  • by dpilot ( 134227 ) on Wednesday November 30, 2011 @03:31PM (#38217652) Homepage Journal

    Amazing how less regulation and lower taxes are always the answer to any problem, isn't it?

  • Re:Well, well.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Hazel Bergeron ( 2015538 ) on Wednesday November 30, 2011 @03:36PM (#38217698) Journal

    To treat him exactly as any other criminal would be necessary, sufficient and unlikely.

  • Re:Leveson (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ackthpt ( 218170 ) on Wednesday November 30, 2011 @03:42PM (#38217780) Homepage Journal

    Makes you proud to be British really...

    But now McMullen and all his awful associates have been dragged out into the daylight and they can't hide anymore. Yes, it is ugly. Yes, it is depressing. But. It will eventually get better. First, there must be the full investigation. Second, there must be the corrective measures. Hopefully they don't wedge a new government agency into the pressroom. For all the rot, there has been some good and press need ability to hold government to account, something which would be difficult if the government vetted news.

  • Re:Well, well.. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by E IS mC(Square) ( 721736 ) on Wednesday November 30, 2011 @05:52PM (#38219480) Journal

    >> You really think Murdoch babysits any of these people?

    No, but do you think it's unlikely that get-the-story-no-matter-what directives came from the top? Also, it was not just one case, they were doing this for long, and doing it systematically, and doing it with no regards to moral, ethical or legal aspects. I am not sure all this went on without it being the culture from top to bottom.

"I shall expect a chemical cure for psychopathic behavior by 10 A.M. tomorrow, or I'll have your guts for spaghetti." -- a comic panel by Cotham