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Monday, 14 May 2018 18:40

Family Planning NSW becomes first known Australian victim of Drupal flaws Featured

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The website of Family Planning NSW on Monday evening. The website of Family Planning NSW on Monday evening. Screenshot

The first known Australian casualty of the Drupal vulnerabilities which came to light recently has been revealed, with Family Planning NSW announcing that its website had been compromised and the personal information of about 8000 clients exposed.

These include women who had inquired about abortions, contraception and other services. The FPNSW site is now offline and has a legend reading: "Our website is getting a security update. Thank you for your patience, we'll be back online as soon as possible. It's business as usual at our clinics."

But it does not seem to have been business as usual over the last month with the site being breached by attackers on Anzac Day. Data that had been submitted to the site over the past 2-1/2 years is said to have been at risk.

The website has been built and is managed by Adelphi Digital.

Drupal runs some high-profile websites, among them the White House; some 450 Australian Government sites run a customised version of the content management system known as govCMS, crafted by the Boston-based open source company, Acquia.

The first Drupal vulnerability came to light on 28 March, with the project behind the content management system warning that it was highly critical and affected versions 7.x and 8.x.

The second vulnerability, made public on 25 April, was again remotely exploitable on systems running Drupal 7.x and 8.x, with the Drupal project saying a few hours after the initial report that it was being exploited in the wild.

In early May, researcher Troy Mursch, who works with Bad Packets Report, warned that attackers were using these vulnerabilities to break in to systems and use them for mining the monero cryptocurrency.

Patches for both vulnerabilities have been available from the dates they were announced and warnings had been issued about applying them as soon as possible.

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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