Written Answers. - Computer Hacking.

Denis Naughten


289 Mr. Naughten asked the Minister for Finance if his Department's computer system or website has been hacked or if an attempt to hack it has occurred in the past three years; if so, when such an incident took place; the measures which have been put in place to protect against hacking; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8188/01]

My Department's computer system has not been hacked. The Centre for Management and Organisation Division, CMOD, in my Department hosts a number of departmental sites, including,inter alia, the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Department of Public Enterprise. No website located on the CMOD infrastructure has been hacked to date. However, attempts have been made to infiltrate the server which supports multiple websites. Following unsuccessful hacking attempts in April 2000, a web server security audit was carried out. As a result of this audit, all points of access to the web server were tested for possible and likely weaknesses-loopholes, all of which were identified and resolved.

My Department continually reviews and completes security audits. A recent audit showed no evidence of hacking since April 2000. Our firewall and web server security is constantly reviewed and we continually upgrade our software with up to date prevention mechanisms.