UK Webmasters - Be AWARE!

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UK webmasters should be aware:

"25m child benefit records lost
Personal details of every family receiving child benefit in the UK are
on two discs which went missing after being posted from HM Revenue and
Customs to the audit office, the chancellor says. "

This data includes the full names of parents, children, NI numbers,
address and bank account details.

BUT most significantly are the names, which while I'm sure none of us
ever use as a password, MOST people in the UK do apparently use a
memorable family name as a password (according to an expert at the LSE
interviewed by the BBC).

You may wish to change your passwords!


Author of The Probert Encyclopaedia


Re: UK Webmasters - Be AWARE!

On 20 Nov 2007  wrote in alt.www.webmaster

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now if someone wuld just take 25m kids as well.

Yorkshire Pete /

Re: UK Webmasters - Be AWARE!

<Matt Probert> wrote in message
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Good point about passwords - and whilst some of mine do incorporate a
memorable name, none of them use just a name.

Personally, I'm more concerned with how much of that information could be
used for identity theft purposes. Ugh.
Brian Cryer

Re: UK Webmasters - Be AWARE!

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It's horrific. I've been reading today that the discs that were lost
were unencrypted, just password MDB files. 30 seconds googling will
find you something to crack the password on an MDB file. As well as
names, the files contain bank details, and your NI number. Basically
all you'll need to forge someone's ID.

The government saying they will make sure it doesn't happen again and
that the banks will monitor all 25 million accounts is just... not
good enough. Being polite :) It may take a while (if the data gets
out) for someone to exploit the data they have in their hands; so will
the government pay to insure all 25 million names are protected?
That's what they need to do now. Roll out insurance for all those
effected, because there will be a lot of vulnerable folks on that list
who have no idea how to protect themselves now, or how to ensure their
data isn't used.

Horrible, unforgivable situation. Alistair Darlings' response was
pitiful; why the government insists on calling those effected
"customers". Customers!??? We're talking BRITISH CITIZENS not
customers of some corporate machine. This isn't some company that made
a boo-boo with a few 1000 records. We're talking about 25 million
British citizens detail.

Re: UK Webmasters - Be AWARE!

Matt Probert wrote:
: BUT most significantly are the names, which while I'm sure none of us
: ever use as a password, MOST people in the UK do apparently use a
: memorable family name as a password

Though not in the UK I used to do that... not always a family name but a
normal memorable word.
Well after having my hosting accounts hacked a few times and all sorts of
nasty *#(# from it I don't
do that now. I have a password generator on my pc and I chose 8-10 digits of
a number/letter mix now.
Plus if I don't like the first one I keep clicking the button until I get a
good mix of numbers/letters.

I hope this all gets sorted. If that ever happened here I would freak out
big time. They would refer to us
as customers too because that is all we really are anymore. Especially


Re: UK Webmasters - Be AWARE!

On Tue, 20 Nov 2007 17:25:40 GMT, Matt Probert wrote:

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Very valid point. Whats more worrying is that UKGOVplc admit to this
stupidity and blatant carelessness with our info in the _very same
week_ that they unveil plans to make more of us pass over sensitive
info just for the pleasure of queuing for a doubtless late train!

Re: UK Webmasters - Be AWARE!

Doug Baiter wrote:

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Indeed. See link in sig.

Toby A Inkster BSc (Hons) ARCS
[Geek of HTML/SQL/Perl/PHP/Python/Apache/Linux]
[OS: Linux, up 17:12.]

                    It'll be in the Last Place You Look

Re: UK Webmasters - Be AWARE!

On Fri, 23 Nov 2007 12:15:02 +0000, Toby A Inkster

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I never used to think of myself as a 'privacy advocate' and always
considered those who championed privacy issues as Someone With
Something To Hide (TM). Only in recent years as the UK enacts more and
more legislation, supposedly under the anti-terror umbrella but all
too easily transferable to Joe Public Esq. which limits freedoms to
such an extent that we _all_ now appear to be 'potential terrorists'
and bear watching very closely. I remember reading somewhere that
England has more CCTV per capita than any other place on Earth, we are
the _only_ country in the world to have the - frankly barmy - one
piece of hand luggage rule*, we have new legislation that permits
jailing of citizens for the 'crime' of failing to reveal an encryption
key, and there are now apparently fifty-some organisations that have
the power of entry to your home purely on _suspicion_ that you might
owe them money or something. Frankly, though, we deserve all we get,
because we're as a group dumb enough to permit these gross intrusions
into our privacy and eagerly elect people whos only wish is to ensure
that they know absolutely everything about what we do, where we do it,
and increasingly what we think.

*Although I was amazed at Barbados airport this week to be told that
no lighters of any kind is permitted on my person, in my hand luggage,
or even in my _hold_ luggage!  

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