Frontline guards ignore cyber back doors

Summary:There's a terrible hypocrisy in spending an enormous amount of money to keep people boxed in detention on an island off the coast when others are coming through by hacking into a system.

There's a terrible hypocrisy in spending an enormous amount of money to keep people boxed in detention on an island off the coast when others are coming through by hacking into a system.

The case I'm talking about is a story I saw in The Australian today about IELTS. IELTS runs English language testing and the results can be used to show that people have an adequate level of English to become a skilled migrant.

Apparently, overseas students were paying up to $11,000 for fake test results so they could qualify for visas to be skilled workers. The fake results were allegedly being entered in via the log-in of a Curtin University employee.

The software was outdated, requiring manual double checks and leaving no audit trial, according to The Australian, which reported that IELTS said better software was being rolled out at test centres from May.

But how many test results have already been entered to rort the system?

Surely this is a sign of how contemptuously many organisations view the security of software while physical security of the nation's borders suck away at taxpayers' pockets like a vampire. "Stop the hacks" is not as catchy as "Stop the boats".

And to my mind, this incident raises concerns about government systems. How many are suffering similar issues? Who'd advocate e-voting in a country where a little bit of dirty business could change the results?

Topics: Security, Government : AU, Software

About

Suzanne Tindal cut her teeth at ZDNet.com.au as the site's telecommunications reporter, a role that saw her break some of the biggest stories associated with the National Broadband Network process. She then turned her attention to all matters in government and corporate ICT circles. Now she's taking on the whole gamut as news editor for t... Full Bio

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