ABC website hacked and personal details exposed
The website of the top broadcasting agency in Australia i.e. the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (www.abc.net.au) was hacked last night by a hacker. The hacker apparently hacked the channel’s website as retaliation for the broadcast of an interview of a Dutch Anti Islam leader Geert Wilder on February 22nd. The hacker also leaked personal details of more than 50,000 users on the ABC website and released them online during the night.
The leaked data includes usernames, passwords, email addresses and residential addresses along with other critical sensitive information and more than a 1000 of these users happen to be government employees.
The hacker announced the hack on his twitter handle @Phr0zenM in a tweet, “ABC hacked for giving a platform for Geert Wilders to spread hatred #OpWilders – database leaked!” at around 1pm. Certainly this person is protesting for the airing of the interview of the Dutch leader and performed the hack as part of Operation Wilder. The hacker infiltrated the website of the program Making Australia Happy and from there the data was stolen.
ABC took prompt action as soon as it was intimated of the hacking. The spokesperson for the channel addressed the press via email and mentioned that the channel had been
“made aware that an ABC television programme website was hacked. The website relates to the ABC television programme Making Australia Happy, which aired in late 2010“.
“At this stage, we are still investigating the details of the breach. However, we do know that it has exposed the name, username and a… version of the password that audience members used to register on the programme website,” she said.
“As soon as the ABC was made aware of this activity the site was shut down.”
Moreover, she also mentioned that “The ABC will be in contact with audience members who have been directly affected,” and stated that the attack had originated in some overseas location and that an activist had claimed direct responsibility for the breach.
The leaking of personal details of so many people has generated a lot of outcry by the Australian public and many are feeling anxious. One Mr. Tim Gresham of New South Wales told that he was appalled that his personal details had been leaked online and said that
“This hacker has probably got a lot of information about me, intimate information about me, having an idea of what that website asked me in terms of my relationships and personal life,”
“They’re asking a lot of people some very intimate stuff on that website, so these hackers have got some fairly intimate information on a number of people if they’ve managed to hack that website. This is big.“
However, the Federal Privacy Commissioner Timothy Pilgrim is pleased with the swift response of the channel in this matter and said that he will not investigate the matter personally as he found the handling done by the channel adequate.
The hacker, however, is not the only one to protest against Wilder’s visit to Australia as people had took to streets in Sydney where he made the speech and a minor scuffle had erupted between protesters and the authorities.