NZ Government Computers Offer Up Personal Data
"The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.'" was a Ronald Regan quip that still seems quite appropriate when it comes to public-facing computers offered by the New Zealand government. By putting the computers in "Kiosk mode" they are locked down and can be used with impunity by the unwashed masses, right? Not if they have Open Office installed, and are on the network where unsecured documents are laying around, no. DOH!
TheH-SecurityKeith Ng decided to visit a Work and Income New Zealand (WINZ) office himself and documented the problem. WINZ, a department of the MSD, provides "locked-down" kiosk computers for job applicants to search for jobs online and send in CVs to potential employers. Ng discovered that by accessing the Open File dialogue in Microsoft Office, he could gain access to many unsecured computers on the MSD's network and access files that were not explicitly secured.