Shooting the messanger

Here's one for the shame file. An Australian security researcher, while accessing his superannuation fund's website, noticed a security flaw - a direct object vulnerability when the website displayed customer statements.

He notified the company, provided them his personal details and the details of the vulnerability. He even notified the ex-colleague whose records he accidentally viewed. The companies reaction? Call the cops, engage the lawyers and even threaten that he may be held liable for the cost of fixing the vulnerability!

Seriously? What planet are these guys living on? Would the outcome have been better if he had sold or disclosed the vulnerability to some less ethical party? Or done nothing and waited for someone else to exploit it in future? Maybe it's time to implement some kind of whistleblower-style laws to protect researchers in these circumstances.

I guess no good deed really does go unpunished. This kind of URL manipulation (ie: changing a single digit) hardly constitutes hacking in my mind. It'll be interesting to see the outcome here, and how our judicial system handles this case (if it gets that far).

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