[ISN] Secret Service Hackers Can't Crack Intranet

From: jerichot_private
Date: Tue Apr 21 1998 - 13:45:24 PDT

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    Forwarded From: Nicholas Charles Brawn <ncb05t_private>
    PA   4/21/98 11:06 AM 
      By Giles Turnbull, PA News
       Professional computer hackers from the secret services were brought in
    to attempt to hack into the Government's internal secure communications
    system, which was launched today.
       As part of the year-long planning and preparation of the Intranet, staff
    from GCHQ and similar security organisations were brought in to try to hack
    into the system.
       But they failed.
       However, the minister in charge of the project admitted today that given
    high-profile computer hacks got into computer systems owned by the Pentagon
    and NASA in the US, he could not say that the new Intranet was impossible
    to crack.
       The Government Secure Intranet (GIS) will allow ministers and senior
    civil servants to communicate by e-mail and use the Government's own daily
    planning tool, Agenda.
       An Intranet is a closed Internet system which can only be accessed by
    certain people. It is a popular way for large companies and organisations
    to streamline their internal communications.
       The first phase of GIS, launched today, will be available to about 400
    people allowed to see documents classed as restricted.
       The second phase, in a few months' time, will widen the scope to 400,000
    people and include confidential documents.
       Nothing classified as secret will be placed on the Intranet, said the
    Minister in charge David Clark, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster.
       Dr Clark said the launch of the system was crucial to the future of
    electronic government.
       "This is what the whole development of the way we deliver government
    services will be based in future," he said.
       "It's a quiet revolution in the way we do government. When I came into
    office a year ago I was amazed that there was no means of secure electronic
    communication between government departments.
       "Very early on in the development of this system we brought in two
    groups of hackers from within government and challenged them to hack into
    it. Then we told them how it worked and they were still unable to break it.
       "I am very confident indeed that it will be very, very difficult indeed,
    but not impossible, to break into," aid Dr Clark.
       GIS was launched today in six core Government departments, and the
    second phase will start in six weeks. Other departments are expected to
    join within the next few months.
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