Abstracts: September 27th, 2001

Audit CommissionPublic bodies face growing levels of IT abuse as they implement the e-government agenda, is the main conclusion of the report. The Commission took a public service wide look at the problem and found that across 542 public sector organisations, reports of computer fraud and misuse rose by 45% from 1997 to 2000. Central government had the highest rise in reported abuse with a 60% change. In a case study of one health authority, telephone fraud was carried out using a dial-through feature in voice mail – a technique known as “phreaking”. Investigators found that a hacker had used voice mail to forward calls so that they were billed to another phone. The hacker had made international calls costing 7,780 pounds. The report makes it clear that risk assessment is not an option, but an integral part of the development process. It quotes UK Online as an exemplar with a self-assessment checklist for businesses and other organisations with sections on virus infection, hacking, misuse of personal data and unlicensed software.

yourbusiness@risk: An update on IT Abuse 2001. ISBN 186240289 2. Published by the Audit Commission www.audit-commission.gov.uk   http://www.audit-commission.gov.uk