SECURITY PUPPET THEATRE, Westminster, Wednesday (NTN) — An encryption tool used by a large chunk of the Conservative Party is flawed, potentially exposing reams of data meant to be hidden from prying eyes.
The bug, nicknamed “Arsebleed” by anyone who can’t distance themselves from Maria Miller fast enough, could affect two-thirds of active Tory MPs.
The bug exploits a problem with data on expenses claims, namely that there is any. Used inappropriately, the data could reveal not only the featherbedding but that the only checking is done by other MPs. Several researchers said earlier that they had been able to capture self-authentication on the part of MPs, despite the risk of blindness.
MPs increasingly use encryption to mask data such as second mortgages or paying family members as researchers. But with Arsebleed, anyone can reach out to the Internet and scoop out the data. Miller had attempted to close the security hole, but £5,800 in 31 seconds proved inadequate to the task.
Much of the party appeared to be caught off guard by the disclosures. David Cameron admitted he had underestimated the severity of the vulnerability. He said there was “more to do,” but committed to a root-and-branch reform of the party’s marketing, and said he would make sure the interface was as shiny and pleasant as was feasible given he only had Tories to work with. He also loudly talked up his newly-active Christian faith, in the hope people would pay attention to that instead.