[ISN] Revealed: how MP's son used computer in hacking scandal

From: InfoSec News (isnat_private)
Date: Tue Sep 04 2001 - 23:12:59 PDT

  • Next message: InfoSec News: "[ISN] Computer Security Mexico 2001"

    By Geesche Jacobsen 
    September 5, 2001 
    The son of Mr Tony Kelly, the Labor MP at the centre of hacking
    allegations, was using a computer in his father's parlia-mentary
    office late one Friday night to run software that can scan computer
    networks for security weaknesses while his father was overseas on
    parliamentary business.
    An independent I.T. report that said nothing illegal had happened
    found a number of computer programs and games had been loaded on the
    computer since last September, many on weekends and in the early
    The report, by a Melbourne firm, eSec, also found that files belonging
    to the Opposition MP Mr Charlie Lynn had been accidentally put onto
    the computer by I.T. staff. This was unrelated to the use of the
    unauthorised software on the computer.
    The eSec report found, given the range of computer security-related
    programs installed, that it was "reasonable" to conclude someone with
    an interest in computer security had used the computer on various
    occasions, including July 20, and that the computer was used to
    "launch scans within the [parliamentary] network".
    But Mr Kelly said his son was merely trying to protect his computer
    from hacking.
    Parliamentary I.T. staff were alerted to problems with the computer on
    July 24, when a number of files were removed from the computer, the
    report found. The computer was not secured until the Clerk of the
    Parliament, Mr John Evans, was notified the next day.
    There was little information to show if any of the other programs had
    been used, it said.
    Mr Kelly admitted yesterday that one of his sons had accessed the
    computer and loaded the software on July 20 from 9.33pm until 11.32pm,
    when the LANguard software was apparently being run on more than 250
    computers in Parliament.
    The report said the software could be used "aggressively" and appeared
    to have been used to scan various Internet addressees on the computer
    networks. It could also be used to identify security weaknesses,
    including weak passwords.
    But Mr Kelly said the software was used - without his knowledge or
    authorisation - because his son suspected the computer was insecure.
    "The purpose was to check the security of the system to make sure my
    computer was hackerproof," he said.
    Mr Kelly defended his son's actions and access to the computer, and
    denied reports that his son had been barred from his office.
    "Volunteers and family members of a lot of the members help out in
    [their] offices. To say that they be banned would be a ridiculous
    He also called for an apology from the Opposition, saying he had been
    vindicated. However, the Opposition Leader, Mrs Chikarovski, called
    for an Upper House inquiry.
    The Premier said police and the independent inquiry had cleared Mr
    Kelly. "An innocent man had his reputation traduced for months," he
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    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Wed Sep 05 2001 - 01:14:57 PDT