Tips and rumours

Sep 20, 2012

Greens hacked … Courier-Mail cull … Randy Virgin …

From the Crikey grapevine, the latest tips and rumours … Hacked. An IT-savvy mole has tipped us off that the Australian Greens' websites and me

From the Crikey grapevine, the latest tips and rumours … Hacked. An IT-savvy mole has tipped us off that the Australian Greens' websites and membership database were taken offline yesterday due to a hacking episode. Our mole reckons the hackers allowed "arbitrary execution of code on the server", and wonders if the Greens' websites have been running unpatched for months. Our boffin wants to know if the hackers made off with Greens' membership details and credit card numbers. A spokesman for the Australian Greens told us:
"All evidence points to it being an attempt to affect content on the site rather than an attempt to obtain data. References to Russian IPs and Viagra were found throughout the inserted code, which has since been removed. The likely origin was a botnet entering via a vulnerability in a content editing module that has since been patched. The most recent security patches have been applied to all of the modules the site uses."
Here's the offending code:

The Greens' spokesman said there was no evidence that any membership information was downloaded, and all credit card information was separately processed in a different system, hence was unaffected. Newsroom gossip from the C-MailOctober 9 is D-Day for staff at The Courier-Mail, we hear. That's when they find out who will be culled from the newsroom in the latest round of redundancies at News Limited. Word is management didn't get enough voluntary hands up -- so some of those to go may be forced. One person who seems to be leaving is Mike O'Connor, one of the paper's most high-profile and most popular writers and columnists. Fellow columnist Des Houghton tweeted the news on Tuesday, but probably shouldn't have -- it was an open secret in the newsroom ahead of the announcement. His editor-in-chief David Fagan -- who hasn't quite figured out the vagaries of Twitter -- told his 1146 followers in response:

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