LulzSec reveals NHS web security holes

Just indulging in a spot of hacking, old sport
Just indulging in a spot of hacking, old sport

Notorious hacker collective LulzSec has targeted the NHS, publishing an email sent to the health organisation which highlights holes in its security systems.

In the typically bizarre correspondence, LulzSec describes itself as a "band of pirate-ninjas" and claims not to mean any harm to the department.

Setting the tone, Lulzsec begins: "We're a somewhat known band of pirate-ninjas that go by LulzSec. Some time ago, we were traversing the Internets for signs of enemy fleets."

It's not Star Wars, you know

"While you aren't considered an enemy - your work is of course brilliant - we did stumble upon several of your admin passwords, which are as follows..."

Here followed a number of passwords, although LulzSec was kind enough to blank them out when it published the email on Twitter.

It also clarified in a later tweet exactly where it had been poking around: "Subdomain NHS access compromised 5 core admins and contact info of several affiliates. Luckily they stored nothing of importance on that DB."

The Department of Health, meanwhile, is keen to stress that it's no big deal. A spokesperson told the BBC, "This is a local issue affecting a very small number of website administrators.

"No patient information has been compromised. No national NHS information systems have been affected. The Department has issued guidance to the local NHS about how to protect and secure all their information assets."

Bones and that

Concluding on a somewhat irrelevant note, LulzSec stresses that it merely wants to help the NHS with its "local issue":

"We mean you no harm and only want to help you fix your tech issues. Also, we hope that little girls feasts on the bones of many giving souls. All the best."

The weird point about the little girls feasting on bones is a reference to Alice Pyne, a 15-year-old girl with terminal cancer whose bucket list includes a wish to "make everyone sign up to be a bone marrow donor."


News Editor (UK)

Former UK News Editor for TechRadar, it was a perpetual challenge among the TechRadar staff to send Kate (Twitter, Google+) a link to something interesting on the internet that she hasn't already seen. As TechRadar's News Editor (UK), she was constantly on the hunt for top news and intriguing stories to feed your gadget lust. Kate now enjoys life as a renowned music critic – her words can be found in the i Paper, Guardian, GQ, Metro, Evening Standard and Time Out, and she's also the author of 'Amy Winehouse', a biography of the soul star.