RealTime IT News

Hacker Strolls into Australian Tax Site

[Sydney, AUSTRALIA] On the same day of a special broadcast to the nation by Prime Minister John Howard to introduce the new Goods & Services Tax to his fellow Australians, a hacker casually strolled into the Government's official GST site and started downloading the bank account details of up to 10,000 small businesses who'd registered online.

The security flaw was revealed on public radio, when the hacker, known as K2 or Kelly, said he breached the security of the site "by accident" and was concerned about the risk to businesses.

"I just noticed it and I was concerned and I didn't really want it to be covered up," he said. "I haven't looked at anyone's details beyond confirming that the hole was there."

However, K2 did begin to send e-mails to businesses whose details were being kept on the site which included their bank account details, branch numbers, tax numbers and other private details.

The government's response was to close the site immediately and the Australian Federal Police launched an investigation - into chasing down the hacker, not the people who built the site.

"At the moment we are looking into whether there's been any illegal entry to the Web site," said a Treasury executive.