[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.