[ISN] Tory Party site 'practically unhardened' - a hacker playground

From: InfoSec News (isnat_private)
Date: Thu May 17 2001 - 02:45:36 PDT

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    By: John Leyden
    Posted: 16/05/2001 at 17:10 GMT
    The UK Conservative Party has been slammed for Internet naivety after
    it emerged that it hadn't taken even the most basic precautions to
    secure its Web server.
    The site, Conservatives.com, surely a top target for crackers in the
    run-up to the UK general election on June 7, was left insecure to the
    extent that any file on its NT server was browsable.
    Failure to apply security patches dating back well over a year, and
    covering flaws in Microsoft's IIS 4 server, meant the site has been
    left as a potential playground for s'kiddies.
    Details of the many holes in the Tories security emerged after an
    anonymous hacker posted the results of a scan of the site to a Usenet
    discussion forum. The hacker, Killingtime, also published details of
    vulnerabilities present on the site on his home page.
    Killingtime said he ran a scan of the Conservatives site after
    becoming irritated by a Tory election broadcast, which featured a
    prominent mention of the site's address.
    He found a series of vulnerabilities, including a remote file browsing
    flaw, which could allow access to private files or database entries on
    the server to anyone with a browser. Left uncorrected these flaws
    mean, according to Killingtime, that it's "only a matter of time
    before their Web site is defaced".
    Killingtime also questioned how the Tories could be trusted with the
    security of the country if they can't even secure their own Web
    Richard Stagg, senior security architect at Information Risk
    Management, confirmed Killingtime's assessment that the site was
    insecure. He said the server was "practically unhardened" with even
    basic security patches and consequently vulnerable to even old
    Stagg said the Tories had failed to follow Microsoft's advice on how
    to protect the Web server, which he described as particularly naive
    given the site is such a likely target for defacement.
    The only good news for the Conservatives is that, according to Stagg,
    fixing the site will take relatively little work. He advised the
    Conservatives to review Microsoft's guide to securing IIS web servers.
    Good advice we hope the Tories will heed.
    We contacted the Conservatives this morning to tell them of the
    problems with their site and to pass on Stagg's advice. We also told
    them we'd hold off publishing the story until 1700. Being generous, we
    gave them till then in GMT rather than BST. But given the urgency and
    the fact that it's already out in the circles that are most
    threatening, they'll have got it bolted down well before then. Right?
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