AusCERT demo piques police interest

AusCERT demo piques police interest

Summary: Queensland Police is conducting an investigation following a Facebook demonstration at the AusCERT security conference this week, having already approached a journalist on the matter.

TOPICS: Security, iPad, AUSCERT

Queensland Police is conducting an investigation following a Facebook demonstration at the AusCERT security conference this week, having already approached a journalist on the matter.

Fairfax journalist Ben Grubb published an article today on a demonstration, conducted by Christian Heinrich, that reportedly centred around extracting privacy-protected Facebook photos via the social networking site's content delivery network by running a program to guess the URL of the photos. The article said that Heinrich targeted security contractor Chris Gatford's profile without his consent, lifting family photos.

Following the publication of the article, Grubb tweeted that he had been "arrested" briefly in connection with the article and that his iPad had been confiscated.

The Queensland Police Media unit said on its Twitter account, however, that Grubb was not arrested, instead saying that he had been "interviewed briefly by police" and that the iPad would be returned as soon as possible.

"Police talk to people for a range of reasons. We interview witnesses all the time," it said.

It said that police can seize any material that they think may have been used in a crime, and added that an investigation is ongoing.

When ZDNet Australia called the unit, it would not say whether Heinrich was being investigated, and said that it could not yet comment on whether the investigation was relating to the legality of the demonstration at AusCERT; however, following Grubb's questioning, images were removed from the Fairfax story.

ZDNet Australia spoke to Heinrich, who has since returned to his home in Sydney. He said that Queensland Police has not got in touch with him about the presentation.

"The Queensland Police haven't been in touch with me, but I'm very easy to find," Heinrich said.

"I've offered to go back up [to Queensland] if they want me to," he added.

Heinrich said that in addition to his not being contacted by police, he had not been stopped while leaving Queensland or upon his arrival back in NSW.

Stilgherrian also contributed to this article.

Topics: Security, iPad, AUSCERT

Luke Hopewell

About Luke Hopewell

A fresh recruit onto the tech journalism battlefield, Luke Hopewell is eager to see some action. After a tour of duty in the belly of the Telstra beast, he is keen to report big stories on the enterprise beat. Drawing on past experience in radio, print and magazine, he plans to ask all the tough questions you want answered.

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  • I cannot believe how much of a wild sensationalism Grubb's article is. What ever happened to professional journalism and accuracy of fact?
    There was no "target" being lined up in cross hairs and he failed to mention that all of the images that were displayed (perhaps 2) had blacked out faces removing identifiable features. Grubb also fails to mention the "unethical" Tweeting of Gatford under a fake account pretending to be Heinrich but adding an additional _ in the handler.
    Then Grubb's claims about being affested - wtf?
    Seems to me like a GenY "talking it up" for linkbacks, likes and tweets - how Grubby is that?
    Ohh, and I too am a GenY and actually attended the BSides-Australia event rather than making up a bunch of detail from 3rd hand info...
    • so you are 1 of the 20 in the room and in the Gen Y category? Qld police could ID you and talk to you
  • @The article: he was arrested. Police Media changed their story later on.
    @s.andrews1: He did mention the blacking out of faces, but that's not the point. Ppl who put their photos on social network pages are putting their photos up where anyone can get to them. The headline is sensational, but that seems to be what is needed to get the sheeple to read how vulnerable they are making themselves
  • Our follow-up story clarifies the "arrest for questioning" issue. At the time this article was written on Tuesday night, we only had Ben Grubb's initial tweet that said had been arrested and his word in conversations, and then a tweet from @QPSmedia, the official police Twitter account, saying he had not been. By the time we had the @QPSmedia tweet, Grubb had gone off-grid on legal advice. Hence the "he said, she said" journalism and hedging it to a journalist being "approached".

    Journalism is a curious thing. The truth emerges only slowly, if ever.
  • @fadsfasfdafa - awesome. I should start drafting my tweets and story now! Any buyers?
    @stilgherrian - never let the truth get in the way of a good story eh?