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State computers littered with online gambling links

State computers littered with online gambling links

BANGKOK: Authorities are facing a huge challenge as they try to clean up the computer systems of government organisations, after finding millions of links to online gambling websites.

crimetechnology
By Bangkok Post

Friday 20 January 2023, 09:00AM


A Police Cyber Taskforce technician examines computers after a raid on an online gambling operation in a house in Nonthaburi in March this year. Websites of government organisations have been found to contain millions of links to online gambling sites. Photo: Bangkok Post / File

A Police Cyber Taskforce technician examines computers after a raid on an online gambling operation in a house in Nonthaburi in March this year. Websites of government organisations have been found to contain millions of links to online gambling sites. Photo: Bangkok Post / File

The problem is the worst at public hospitals, most of which outsource website hosting and maintenance. But inconsistent website maintenance across the public service leaves many organisations vulnerable to hacks and other cyber threats, reports the Bangkok Post.

About 8 million scripts linked to online gambling were found on web pages of organisations under the Ministry of Public Health, according to Dr Anant Kanoksilp, information technology and communications director in the office of the ministry’s permanent secretary.

“Many website developers have retired or were transferred and thus websites were unattended and not updated while hackers are capable,” he said yesterday (Jan 19).

About 30mn URLs of gambling websites had been uncovered in about 1,000 public-sector websites, said AVM Amorn Chomchoey, secretary-general of the National Cyber Security Agency. Most belonged to the Ministry of Public Health, followed by those of the Ministry of Commerce.

The health ministry was the main target because it had many hospitals that are required by the Public Sector Development Commission to have their own websites.

“Most hospitals, especially small ones, neither develop their own websites nor have their own servers,” said AVM Amorn. “They depend on web hosting. This is their weak point because they cannot upgrade their security.

“Links to gambling websites are being removed. The tasks are 50% complete but the problem will recur.”

A long-term solution, he said, would be to authorise the Digital Government Development Agency (DGA) to manage the websites of the government sector.

The DGA has ready-made and standardised websites for government organisations to use and could manage and monitor their security, he added.

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Kamala Pete | 21 January 2023 - 10:08:15

So all my passport, insurance, credit card, contact and residential details are freely available to any competent russian or chinese hacker!   Wonderful.

JohnC | 21 January 2023 - 08:44:13

Isn't it obvious what's going on! Government employees are spending their work hours to online gamble. Let's be honest, Thais have a huge gambling problem and the advantage of being able to access gambling sites on work computers means they get infected not their own home laptops or dumbphones. Stop all employess from using work computers for private use and the problem will go away.

DeKaaskopp | 21 January 2023 - 00:28:17

Yeah K., it' so shocking.A national security threat.Now all your personal hospital records are in danger to be exposed.So shocking.

Pooliekev | 20 January 2023 - 21:28:38

I see we now have an elderly residential computer expert. Who would have thought it? Or is it another chance to bash Thailand? Hmmm.

Kurt | 20 January 2023 - 09:55:44

It is shocking to read that Thai State computer sites are not protected. All knowledge needed for that is full available. This is now what I call a real ...National Security threat...  Incompetence, laziness, indolence radiates towards you.

Kurt | 20 January 2023 - 09:24:15

Is it possible that here plays a demand/supply thing? Why should gamble sites penetrate/settle at hospitals/government computer sites if there is no play demand from these sites? At overstaffed Government offices workers have plenty of time during office hours to visit privately certain sites. Don't they know how to protect their computer systems with blocking certain non governmental sites.

 

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