Aarto website hacked - report

2013-04-25 09:11
The Aarto website after being hacked. (Beeld)

The Aarto website after being hacked. (Beeld)

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Johannesburg - A hacker has defaced the Aarto website, where motorists are able to pay traffic fines, it was reported on Thursday.

Pretoria IT manager Ruan Lombard discovered the hack during an online forum discussion earlier this week, Beeld reported.

He warned the website administrator to secure the site after finding a comedic tune, a cartoon and a graphic resembling a sinister Red Riding Hood and some graffiti had been left on the www.aarto.gov.za website by the hacker, who had identified himself as "Red X".

Lombard told the newspaper it seemed the free Joomla! content management platform had been used to develop the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (Aarto) website.

He said the hacker had not necessarily been able to access confidential information. "It's usually safer to design your own system, though."

JP Lishman, a senior systems administrator, told Beeld it was important for high-profile sites to adhere to the best security practices.

"There is technology that can be used to prevent hacking, but it is easier for hackers to get into free platforms such as Joomla!," Lishman said.

The transport department referred queries to the Road Traffic Infringement Agency (RTIA), which administers Aarto fines.

RTIA spokesperson Fakazi Malindziza confirmed that the site had been hacked, but said it contained no confidential information. It is now operating normally.

Read more on:    aarto  |  cybercrime

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