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Halifax police make arrest in breach of NS freedomofinformation website

first_imgHALIFAX – Halifax police have charged a 19-year-old Halifax man following a breach of Nova Scotia’s freedom-of-information web portal — a problem that went unnoticed until a provincial employee made a typing error, government officials confirmed Wednesday.Police Supt. Jim Perrin said the suspect is facing a charge of unauthorized use of a computer and was released on a promise to appear in court at a later date.“It’s a seldom-laid charge,” Perrin told a news conference at police headquarters, adding that police had seized computers as the result of a search earlier in the day.In all, about 7,000 documents were inappropriately accessed between March 3 and March 5, Internal Services Minister Patricia Arab said Wednesday.“This is not great news,” she said.The admission came nearly a week after the problem was first noticed and the portal was shut down on April 5.Deputy minister Jeff Conrad said the government filed a complaint with police the next day.He confirmed that thousands of people could have been affected.Officials said about 250 of the documents contained highly sensitive personal information including birthdates, social insurance numbers, addresses and government services’ client information. Credit card information was not accessed, they said.Conrad said the breach was detected by a provincial employee, but it was a fluke.“The employee was involved in doing some research on the site and inadvertently made an entry to a line on the site — made a typing error and identified that they were seeing documents they should not have seen,” Conrad told a technical briefing.Officials said the documents were accessed through a “vulnerability in the system” and not through a hack. They said someone wrote a script of computer code that allowed them to sequentially access “every document available on the portal.”“There’s no question, this was not someone just playing around,” said Conrad. “It was someone who was intentionally after information that was housed on the site.”The government briefing on Wednesday came a day after the portal’s prolonged closure was raised in the legislature by Progressive Conservative house leader Chris d’Entremont.At the time, Arab offered little information, and later described the problem as “an issue” when talking with reporters outside the legislature.During Wednesday’s briefing, she said the proper protocol was followed, saying her department wanted to let the police investigation unfold.“We are here today because the police have made significant progress in regards to this case,” she said.Arab defended the department’s decision not to inform the public immediately.“We wanted the person responsible for this to not know that we knew that this had happened,” she said. “We needed to let Halifax Regional Police do their job and couldn’t compromise the nature of their investigation.”She also said the department decided to wait, based on police advice.However, Perrin said that wasn’t the case.“There was no conversation between us and the province about holding off and not telling anybody,” he said.Catherine Tully, Nova Scotia’s information and privacy commissioner, has launched an investigation to determine the adequacy of security and whether Arab’s department was in compliance with the province’s privacy law.D’Entremont said the government’s answers were unacceptable, adding that the 250 people whose sensitive information was compromised should have been informed by now.He later noted the discrepancy around the government’s explanation for holding off.“We know there probably would have been no problem in letting the public know there’s been a breach and we’re investigating it,” said d’Entremont. “Instead, they’ve said they waited for the police to do their investigation. I think they got things a little backwards and I think they are not being quite forthcoming the way they need to be.”In fact, the government’s privacy breach protocol says that “generally the notification should happen as soon as possible.” It adds that in cases where police are involved, they should be consulted to determine if a notification would interfere with an investigation.The government said it was beginning the process of contacting those affected by the breach.New Democrat Dave Wilson said it was alarming that breach was found inadvertently.“This wasn’t found out because of checks and balances and security … We heard today that this was found by fluke.”Government officials said the department’s cybersecurity team is working with third-party service providers Unisys and CSDC Systems to secure the site and get it back online.Premier Stephen McNeil defended the government’s handling of the security breach, saying Arab had his full confidence.last_img read more


Bruce Willis Auctions Fifth Motorcycle For Charity

first_imgCalling all motorcycle enthusiasts – you can be the new owner of one of Bruce Willis’ motorcycles.The action film star donated five motorcycles from his garage for an online auction to benefit military, past and present, through the national 501c3 nonprofit, Boot Campaign. Now up for auction is a 1972 Harley Davidson Ironhead Sportster with a reverse shifter. Place your bid now through December 3, 2013 on Charitybuzz.This is the final bike being auctioned from Willis’ personal collection so don’t miss your opportunity to own this beautiful Harley. San Diego Harley Davidson recently restored the motorcycle. Renovations include: new carburetor, intake, and manifold, cleaned up wiring, new exhaust system, new battery, and new tires.Born on a military base in Germany, Bruce Willis has a long-standing commitment to supporting U.S. Forces. “I wanted to use my bikes in a way that would benefit our military service members, and I am thankful to have found the Boot Campaign as the catalyst for using my bikes in a way that will give back to our country’s true heroes,” said Bruce Willis. “These bikes have been a lot of fun to ride, and my hope is they can do a lot of good for our veterans.”The fifth and final bike of Bruce Willis’ five donated motorcycles will be auctioned online starting on November 5, 2013 at Charitybuzz.Motorcycles from Willis’ collection that were previously auctioned to benefit the Boot Campaign include: 1956 Cushman Eagle, 1988 Yamaha TW, 1991 Yamaha XT 350, 2005 Ducati 1000DS.The Boot Campaign is a national 501c3 nonprofit that is dedicated to showing tangible appreciation of our active military, raising awareness of the challenges they face upon return, and supporting their transition home. The Boot Campaign cultivates awareness, promotes patriotism, and provides assistance to military, past and present, and their families. Through the sale of its signature military combat boots, general public donations, and corporate sponsorship, the Boot Campaign operates five distinct initiatives – Jobs, Housing, Wellness, Urgent Assistance, and Family Support – that are caring for military personnel, past and present, healing from a variety of physical and emotional combat wounds, embodying the campaign motto that, “When They Come Back, We Give Back”.last_img read more