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Revealed: how MP's son used computer in hacking scandal
From: InfoSec News <isn () c4i org>
Date: Wed, 5 Sep 2001 01:12:59 -0500 (CDT)
By Geesche Jacobsen
September 5, 2001
The son of Mr Tony Kelly, the Labor MP at the centre of hacking
allegations, was using a computer in his father's parlia-mentary
office late one Friday night to run software that can scan computer
networks for security weaknesses while his father was overseas on
An independent I.T. report that said nothing illegal had happened
found a number of computer programs and games had been loaded on the
computer since last September, many on weekends and in the early
The report, by a Melbourne firm, eSec, also found that files belonging
to the Opposition MP Mr Charlie Lynn had been accidentally put onto
the computer by I.T. staff. This was unrelated to the use of the
unauthorised software on the computer.
The eSec report found, given the range of computer security-related
programs installed, that it was "reasonable" to conclude someone with
an interest in computer security had used the computer on various
occasions, including July 20, and that the computer was used to
"launch scans within the [parliamentary] network".
But Mr Kelly said his son was merely trying to protect his computer
Parliamentary I.T. staff were alerted to problems with the computer on
July 24, when a number of files were removed from the computer, the
report found. The computer was not secured until the Clerk of the
Parliament, Mr John Evans, was notified the next day.
There was little information to show if any of the other programs had
been used, it said.
Mr Kelly admitted yesterday that one of his sons had accessed the
computer and loaded the software on July 20 from 9.33pm until 11.32pm,
when the LANguard software was apparently being run on more than 250
computers in Parliament.
The report said the software could be used "aggressively" and appeared
to have been used to scan various Internet addressees on the computer
networks. It could also be used to identify security weaknesses,
including weak passwords.
But Mr Kelly said the software was used - without his knowledge or
authorisation - because his son suspected the computer was insecure.
"The purpose was to check the security of the system to make sure my
computer was hackerproof," he said.
Mr Kelly defended his son's actions and access to the computer, and
denied reports that his son had been barred from his office.
"Volunteers and family members of a lot of the members help out in
[their] offices. To say that they be banned would be a ridiculous
He also called for an apology from the Opposition, saying he had been
vindicated. However, the Opposition Leader, Mrs Chikarovski, called
for an Upper House inquiry.
The Premier said police and the independent inquiry had cleared Mr
Kelly. "An innocent man had his reputation traduced for months," he
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- Revealed: how MP's son used computer in hacking scandal InfoSec News (Sep 05)