By Robert McMillan
IDG News Service
July 25, 2008
In its bid to protect the city from one computer security risk, the San
Francisco District Attorney's Office may very well have created another.
The office of San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris has made
public close to 150 usernames and passwords used by various departments
to connect to the city's virtual private network. The passwords were
filed this week as Exhibit A in a court document arguing against a
reduction in $5 million bail in the case of Terry Childs, who is accused
of holding the city's network hostage by refusing to give up
administrative networking passwords. Childs was arrested July 12 on
charges of computer tampering and is being held in the county jail.
Though they placed the passwords in the public record, city prosecutors
do seem to think that they are sensitive.
The passwords, discovered on Childs' computer, pose an "imminent threat"
to the city's computer network, according to the court filing. Childs
could use the names and passwords to "impersonate any of the legitimate
users in the City by using their password to gain access to the system,"
the motion against the bail reduction states.
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