Yesterday the government and Treasury kept saying Treasury had been hacked.
At 9pm the night before David Farrar had a less sinister explanation:
. . . That possibly the material was put up on a website of some sort and someone found it. Treasury are calling it hacking because they didn’t think it was open to the public. But there is a difference between hacking a secure computer system, and locating information that is on the Internet (even if hidden). . .
This morning police say there wasn’t a hack:
The people who accessed Budget information from the Treasury website did not act illegally.
Instead, they appeared to have used a search tool on the Treasury department’s website, which “does not appear to be unlawful”, police advised Treasury.
The person or persons were able to “exploit” the system because Treasury staff had been preparing a clone website in the background that they intended to swap over with the live website on Budget day.
To do this they began uploading some Budget information onto the clone site.
Although not publicly accessible, some of the information could be seen when a search was made on the website. . .
This is supposed to be Finance Minister Grant Robertson’s day to shine. Instead at least some of the spotlight will be on the shambles at Treasury, the government department for which he’s responsible.
Budgets aren’t the super-sensitive documents they used to be when the value of the dollar, tariffs and taxes would change at the stroke of a government pen.
But it’s supposed to be be a positive focus for the government.
Instead Opposition leader Simon Bridges has stolen the limelight thanks to some simple technological tinkering by someone who, contrary to the accusations, was not acting illegally.