Tuesday, May 28, 2019

EMBARRASSING OR WHAT

Not sure what's more embarrassing ... National's drip, drip release of extracts from the CoL's Budget; the Finance Minister's saying some of the numbers were right and others wrong; the feral reaction by the pinstriped dwarf or the Prime Minister refusing to express confidence in the Treasury.

Your call ... embarrassment all round.   Nationals's day in spades.

BTW ... didn't Roger Douglas, as Finance Minister, offer his resignation (not accepted) over reported budget leaks when he held office.  Will Grant Robertson do the same?     Do pigs fly?


59 comments:

gravedodger said...

Wouldnt have happnd in the Clark era, someone would have died by now.
Are the cracks widening, there must be some of Winston First props getting utterly fed up with Rat three times a day.
Some things are very difficult to accept when they destroy ones self esteem constantly.

It must be getting embarrassing even for some of Labour with Mallard and his stupid.

Noel said...

"Money for tanks but not for teachers' - Simon Bridges takes aim at Budget after claiming massive leak of details" says the headlines.
In fact the money is ear marked for the Orion replacement, a process that started some years ago.
Would National have agreed with the purchase if they had remained in Government? I suspect they would have.

Anyway the rest of us no longer wait patiently for the Budget to see if the ciggies or beer is going to go up in price. Pre budget announcements over the years have removed the need to wait.

Psycho Milt said...

I thought the most embarrassing part was National using the media's focus on the leak to camouflage the release of a few pages from its review of the party's culture, which Newshub appropriately headlined The National Party's Culture Review Fails to Mention What Prompted it. Must have been a pretty damning report, given it's being kept secret and Bridges is pretending he never said it was about women being able to feel safe in the National Party.

Johno said...

Yeah Milt. National are reaaaalllly embarrassed about a review than about 0.5% of the voting public could give a stuff about. Riiiiight. I mean, it's much bigger news than a budget leak that is very embarrassing to Labour, eh?

Nice try though. Not.

The Veteran said...

Right on Johno and we won't even talk about Mallard and his injudicious talk about rapists. For Milt ... to hear that arsehole JLR wax eloquent on TV about the release of the report is akin to inviting Malcolm Rewa to comment on rape prevention. Admitted adulterer and bully el supremo. He was the reason for the report. A malignant cancer exorcised and destined for the dustbin of history.

Noel ... it's not the detail. It's all about the leak. But the headline ain't a good look no matter how its presented and yes, it had already been foreshadowed. But on the eve of the biggest teacher strike in the nations history it will go down with many like a cup of warm sick. In politics explaining is losing.

Gerald said...

Simon not for coming on the origns.
https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/113077002/budget-leak-referred-to-police-after-treasury-finds-evidence-of-hacking

Psycho Milt said...

Johno: You're probably right. Now, what proportion of the population do you think cares about budget papers being leaked?

Psycho Milt said...

Gerald: oh dear, oh dear:

Treasury has referred the apparent leaking of Budget information to police, saying it has sufficient evidence to indicate that its systems have been deliberately and systematically hacked.

I guess the first person the cops will want to talk to will be a Mr S. Bridges of Tauranga, who was seen shopping the hacked info to TV reporters earlier this evening. I'm sure they'll keep his name out of it though, and just refer to him as "helping Police with their enquiries."

Psycho Milt said...

Ow! Ow! Ow! Embarrassing alright - the replies on Simon Bridges' Twitter feed are the arse-kicking to end all arse-kickings: https://mobile.twitter.com/simonjbridges/status/1133292488511197186?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Etweet

Tom Hunter said...

ALRIGHT

For once there are two shitstorms in NZ politics worth noticing - and almost on the same day.

Regarding the "arse-kicking" on Simon's Twitter... Nah. He's a useless plonker but that's just Lefties defending their hopeless Labour Party by attacking.

And based on my experience with IT Wellington government departments and local government, most of them would not know a hack if it fell on them. I'd be willing to bet some clown fucked up the placement of the data on the Treasury website and all this screeching from them abut hacking is simply a result of angry phonecalls from the Minister of Finance to Treasury, followed by some good-old fashioned arse-covering down through the layers.

After all, today's modern budgets are supposed to not be a big deal with regard to leaks. It's not like we're all sitting around waiting to hoard ciggies and petrol like the old days.

alloy said...

I would suggest they ask Nicky Hager, he associates with those sorts of people.

Anonymous said...

Well done Tom....you at last spelling "arse" correctly. Must be that NZ Varsity training kicking in.

Lord Egbut Nobacon said...

Chunter .....could you elucidate on your experience with the Treasury IT systems? I have no idea how these things work. Are they hiring work experience kids to work the system for example?

It is very reassuring to have an expert on board to guide us on how things go wrong.

Johno said...

Grasping the "hack" straw Milt?

Doesn't look like it was...

https://mobile.twitter.com/norightturnnz/status/1133305324796952576?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1133305764280332289&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.kiwiblog.co.nz%2F

Psycho Milt said...

Idiot/Savant (and DPF) are wrong. Stuff reports:

A spokeswoman for Treasury said that nothing had been removed, however.

"The documents weren't uploaded to a publicly available website and then removed," she said.


The cops really do need to track down Mr S. Bridges of Tauranga and get him to "help Police with their enquiries."

Psycho Milt said...

I would suggest they ask Nicky Hager...

I would suggest Simon Bridges should be talking to Nicky Hager ASAP, because receiving stolen data is a criminal offence. Hager received stolen data and was successfully able to defend himself with the claim of being a journalist pursuing the public interest. How's Bridges going to defend himself? I expect Hager would be able to give him some pretty good advice.

Noel said...

On no 2400 hack attempts an hour.Simon your not in collusion with the Russians are you? Just asking.

Johno said...

I saw "over 2000 in 48 hours", Noel. Around 1.5 a minute. Hardly an automated brute force attack.

Johno said...

Milt, that's very convenient for the Treasury boss, who's arse is on the line, to say.

National (Mark Mitchell) are adamant this morning that the data was leaked not hacked. Which is also convenient for him to say. However given the implications of getting that wrong, I can't see him saying it without being confident about it - his whole career is about risk management.

Labour are losing this one and are just making it worse for themselves so hope they carry on with their shrill squealing.

Psycho Milt said...

Milt, that's very convenient for the Treasury boss, who's arse is on the line, to say.

Nice bit of victim-blaming there. Poor National, what defence is there when public officials blatantly lie about what's happening in their departments and get the police involved to help cover it up?

National (Mark Mitchell) are adamant this morning that the data was leaked not hacked.

Bit of a change from yesterday, when they refused to say the data was leaked. Almost like they now realise how much shit they're in.

Labour are losing this one and are just making it worse for themselves...

They are? Simon Bridges has once again demonstrated his reverse-Midas power (everything he touches turns to shit) by turning the propaganda victory of releasing budget documents into an explaining-is-losing defence to claim National hasn't really committed a criminal offence. There's only going to be one story about "leaked" budget documents in the media today and it isn't going to be about National's great victory over Labour.

The Veteran said...

Calm down Mlt before you lose it. You're leftie mate Idiot/Savant has nailed it. You can see it over at Kiwiblog. Mud on faces and certainly not Bridges.

Johno said...

Bridges now echoing Mitchell.

Some other questions for Treasury to answer - how many attempts to access their systems have occurred prior to this 48 hour period? It would be safe to assume that foreign governments such as Russia, China and North Korea trawl around government websites as a matter of course, particularly finance and trade related sites. Malkouf needs to confirm if these "2000 attempts" can be linked to the budget details that were released.

As to "reverse Midas" Milt... you are now parodying yourself. This has been absolute gold for National - Stacey Kirk of all people calling it "impeccably timed" and "It's the stuff of nightmares for finance ministers, but it's class A oppositional work."

Labour are hugely embarrassed and their only tactic seems to be crying about meanie National. Pathetic.

Psycho Milt said...

Veteran: see my 7:33am comment.

The Veteran said...

Yep ... and the article (which didn't say Idior/Savant wuz wrong). Mores the point, you would have expected IS as a hard left blogger to echo the Party line. The fact he didn't is instructive. There is a fair amount of dissembling going on here but the bottom line appears to be that the Treasury f****d up and a smart Opposition caught the Government napping.

The role of any Opposition is to oppose, expose and propose. You would hardly expect them to sit on their hands and overlook incompetence.

Methinks you protestith too much with the amount of pushback by government and its apologists directly proportional to their level of embarrassment.

Johno said...

And now a few security folk are weighing in with the opinion that the stuff was quite possibly picked up on unprotected servers as NoRightTurn described, and further, that this does *not* comprise "hacking".

Malkouf and Robbo are making a real mess of this digging themselves an ever deeper hole.

https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/113082731/budget-hack-theory-could-raise-questions-as-to-what-is-illegal

'Another security expert, Darkscope technical director, Joerg Buss said he not believe the Treasury had been hacked.

"A more likely scenario is that someone used a spider or crawler program to find 'hidden' content in the Treasury website, which is not considered a cyber-attack, and may have found the Budget 2019 files which were not protected properly at that stage," he said.

"It is our conclusion that Treasury was not hacked, but it is possible that the information leaked from the webpage because of a human error."'

Psycho Milt said...

...the article (which didn't say Idior/Savant wuz wrong)

Idiot/Savant found a Google-cached list of document titles and assumes that means the documents were inadvertently uploaded to a publicly-available server where anyone (eg, Google) could find them.

Treasury says the documents were not uploaded to a publicly-available server. Therefore, Idiot/Savant's assumption is wrong (unless Treasury is lying, of course, but that would be a bold claim).

Mores the point, you would have expected IS as a hard left blogger to echo the Party line.

Not if you read his blog you wouldn't. I/S thinks Labour is a party of neo-liberal sellouts, he's certainly not going to do them any favours.

Tom Hunter said...

I/S thinks Labour is a party of neo-liberal sellouts, he's certainly not going to do them any favours.

But don't you also think they're a bunch of neo-liberal sellouts? The most frequent reason I saw you state for moving to the Greens was not their environmental stuff but the fact they would be further Left than Labour when it came to spending on the Welfare State.

Perhaps, unlike I/S, you're just more pragmatic than ideological in defending Labour, and hence the coalition government you hope will retain power in 2020, but without the horrors of Winston First.

The Veteran said...

Milt ... well, IS found them.

Johno said...

And two security consultants quoted in the stuff.co.nz article above support the theory that the documents were visible for a period of time.
Treasury are hanging in the wind for this and of course they would claim that the documents were not on an open server. So what?

Johno said...

Ardern being hammered by Bridges in Question Time today:

https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/113055687/live-national-party-claims-its-got-leaked-budget-details

This comment from Stacey Kirk (my new favourite MSM regurgitator) is pertinent to this discussion thread:

"Developments on this are fast-paced, but the more time drags on the more it seems clear the Treasury grossly over-played the fears it was the victim of a malicious hack."

Hate to say I told you so.


Psycho Milt said...

But don't you also think they're a bunch of neo-liberal sellouts?

Nope. They're not left enough for me, but that's a long way from thinking they're neo-liberal sellouts. I have little time for left-wing purists who think anyone less left than they are should be denounced as capitalist running dogs.

Perhaps, unlike I/S, you're just more pragmatic than ideological in defending Labour, and hence the coalition government you hope will retain power in 2020, but without the horrors of Winston First.

You bet. There's no way the Greens will be governing alone any time soon, so I have a big interest in the health of their major-party collaborator. And yes, please please without the horrors of Winston First.

Psycho Milt said...

Milt ... well, IS found them.

He found a cached placeholder page with the list of documents on it. I haven't seen him claim to have found the documents themselves.

Noel said...

"A more likely scenario is that someone used a spider or crawler program to find 'hidden' content in the Treasury website, which is not considered a cyber-attack, and may have found the Budget 2019 files which were not protected properly at that stage.

That makes sense. So the successful hacker eventually hit pay dirt then probably cc all and sundry except perhaps the Coalition. The media on receiving their copy were already preparing articles around the Budget and took the approach the information was embargoed so there was no advantage for them apart from been able to have a cut and paste facility before the hard copy was released.

That left National who with glee thought here's an opportunity and went with it.

Johno said...

I think it would be fair to say that the Nats have completely pissed all over Robbo's big day tomorrow:

https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2019/05/budget-2019-eclipsed-by-allegations-treasury-was-hacked.html

So Bridges is picked to reveal how the files were obtained. If so, the volume of egg on faces from Robbo to Winston to Milt will be sufficient to feed Africa.

Ardern has been wise to distance herself from this abject clusterfuck.

Mallard must be absolutely over the moon about it all taking the spotlight of him. It's almost enough to make one wonder if he somehow leaked the files! Cui bono and all that...

Johno said...

Get your eggs here:

https://i.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/113109311/no-further-police-action-on-budget-leaks

Now waiting for all those that claimed the Nats took advantage if an illegal hack to apologise. Winston can also apologise for lying.

Another field day for the Nats today.

Noel said...

On Thursday morning he said that while the action may not have been illegal, it was clearly "unacceptable behaviour" and a breach of conventions around Budget confidentiality.

I guess Simon has set a precedence now.

Noel said...

http://www.medialawjournal.co.nz/?p=717

Psycho Milt said...

From Johno's linked article:

Head of Treasury: "In my view, there were deliberate, exhaustive and sustained attempts to gain unauthorised access to embargoed data."

Simon Bridges: National acted "entirely appropriately."

It doesn't surprise me that Simon Bridges sets such a low ethical bar for a supposed government-in-waiting, but it does surprise me that this particular means of exploiting a security flaw to obtain confidential information isn't illegal. The government should do something about that.

The Veteran said...

Noel ... there are NO conventions around budget confidentiality that apply to the Opposition. If the gummit is so lax as to fail to ensure the integrity of the budget process then its fair game ... the head of the Treasury should be stood down while the SSC Commission carries out their review of the matter while Robertson should resign ... but he won't. Neither do I expect any apology from all the Labour apologists who yesterday were making all sorts of hysterical allegations against National including collusion with the Russians ... collective egg on their collective faces will have to do.

Put simply, National has pissed all over Labour's parade.

The Veteran said...

Milt .... 'Simon Bridges sets a low ethical bar' ... how then would you describe St Jacinda's failing to sack Shane Jones for lobbying the Transport Minister to have his cuzzie bro (and donor) appointed to the NZTA Board while at the same time he was being investigated by the Board for serious misconduct?

Leading the most honest, transparent and open government ever ('her' words) comes with a certain expectation ... fail.

Tom Hunter said...

It doesn't surprise me that Simon Bridges sets such a low ethical bar...

Chuckle.

But Psycho, just yesterday you were gleefully talking about how Mr Bridges would now become a man helping the Police with their inquiries (wink, wink, snarking laughter).

And it certainly makes sense to have a former Crown prosecuter helping them realise that there's no there there, when it comes to screams of "WE WUZ HACKED", rather than relying on the dull incomprehension of things legal and technical exhibited by Government Ministers and bureaucrats.

And so quickly realised too. Bridges must be a pretty smart, competent guy.

Johno said...

"It doesn't surprise me that Simon Bridges sets such a low ethical bar for a supposed government-in-waiting, but it does surprise me that this particular means of exploiting a security flaw to obtain confidential information isn't illegal. The government should do something about that."

Milt you are just advertising your ignorance here. It isn't illegal and I hope it is never illegal to take something available for the public to see and show it to the public.

I suspect that deep down you actually do understand this and are struggling to reconcile yourself to the inescapable fact: if the roles were reversed the COL would be revelling in this just as much if not more than the Nats.

Speaking of rank leftie hypocracy, I see that all this noise has kept the spotlight off Mallard and his false rape bully nonsense. As above, if the roles were reversed the left would be absolutely losing their shit over this. But when the left do it?

....

...

Johno said...

Milt, you need to stop quoting the pro-tem head of Treasury Makhlouf and his "sustained attack" nonsense. He's been exposed as being economical with the truth by his own staff.

https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2019/05/exclusive-human-error-that-led-to-treasury-budget-information-access-well-known-source.html

Psycho Milt said...

I should stop paying attention to what the head of the organisation that suffered the data security breach says, and instead give credence to news reporters and their anonymous sources? Well, that's an interesting recommendation but not one I'm going to take you up on.

Psycho Milt said...

Milt you are just advertising your ignorance here. It isn't illegal and I hope it is never illegal to take something available for the public to see and show it to the public.

Your opinions of my level of knowledge are worthless. I work in IT for an organisation in which data security is important, and no I'm not finding it hilarious that it's apparently quite legal for people to probe your site for security holes, find one and exploit it, as long as human error meant the data wasn't properly secured. Every organisation is susceptible to human error.

Psycho Milt said...

But Psycho, just yesterday you were gleefully talking about how Mr Bridges would now become a man helping the Police with their inquiries (wink, wink, snarking laughter).

He certainly should be helping them with their enquiries, but apparently NZ's legislation doesn't adequately protect organisations against data theft. As you say, trust a Tory to know where the loopholes are - all those years finding ways to avoid paying their taxes builds up some pretty slick skills. I hope the government moves to close this particular loophole quickly, for the sake of all the other organisations out there holding confidential data and relying on ordinary old humans to keep it safe.

Bridges must be a pretty smart, competent guy.

His dirty politics crew are certainly smart, competent guys. All we know about him and his party is that they have the ethics of a stoat.

Johno said...

Ethics of a stoat? What are the ethics of the COL that has a minister like Shane Jones? Or a speaker like Mallard?

If the roles were reversed Labour would be all over this just like National and then some. And if you disagree you are in simple denial.

The Veteran said...

Milt ... you're in melt-down defending the indefensible. And now you're smearing 42% of the population in claiming that National supporters are expert in avoiding paying taxes. Clearly you know nothing about taxation. Avoidance is not a crime, evasion is. Are you seriously arguing that a person is avoiding his tax liability by claiming back on donations made to charity? Meanwhile we won't even talk about Matt McCarten's play toy, United Support Services, formed to supply support services to Unions and placed in receivership owing $92k in unpaid taxes to the IRD ... now that's evasion.

You present as a boxer on the ropes, lashing out indiscriminately in the forlorn hope that one of his wild punches will connect ... they're not ... then there's the small matter of ethics and Mr Jones and St Jacinda on which you bottle out.

Suggest you quit while you're behind.

Psycho Milt said...

The roles have been reversed many times, and I don't recall Labour exploiting any security loopholes so it could get unauthorised access to budget documents when it was in opposition.

What this incident says to me is that, if Simon Bridges found my wallet on the ground, he'd pocket the cash and the tap-and-go card and then put the wallet back on the ground. And Johno would write comments saying "Anyone else would do the same." Well, I fucking wouldn't and please don't suggest otherwise.

Psycho Milt said...

Avoidance is not a crime, evasion is.

Er, yes. That was my point. The clever figuring out of how to avoid taxes while staying within the law is a skill worth a lot of money. I expect the dirty politics crew who figured out how to steal Treasury's data while staying within the law are also worth a lot of money.

Psycho Milt said...

...then there's the small matter of ethics and Mr Jones and St Jacinda...

I'm ignoring Johno's what-aboutery, yes.

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

Come now Milt. Do you seriously expect me to believe Labourites and Greens make no effort to avoid paying tax. Purer than driven snow, they are.

So tell me about that wonderful Green Party tax rort a few years ago involving investment properties owned by their own superannuation funds.

Johno said...

Haha whenever lefties get caught out in their rank hypocrisy they immediately bleat "whataboutery".

And finding a wallet on the ground and keeping it is a laughably inappropriate metaphor. You can't publish physical property. You can publish information and that's what the nincompoops at Treasury did.

Keep digging, denying and excusing, Milt. This shit never gets old.

Johno said...

"The roles have been reversed many times, and I don't recall Labour exploiting any security loopholes so it could get unauthorised access to budget documents when it was in opposition."

Wow, if you want to make your example so specific that makes it so easy to exceptionalise it, eh Milt?

Labour and other lefties have used leaks of secret information countless times, always to the applause of hypocritical lefties. But when National do it.... BAD!

The information was obtained legally. Deal with it.

Psycho Milt said...

My example was specific because leaks by whistleblowers are different from data theft. National's thesis that data theft is "entirely appropriate" presents a serious issue for anyone with an interest in IT security. I'm not going to comment any more on this thread but will write a post on the subject.

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

Milt, it's time for you to go to bed. Even the coppers told the dickwit Coalition of Losers there is no data theft involved.

Johno said...

It's not theft, Milt. Can't you get that through your head? Everybody apart from you seems to have grasped this by now.

Gerald said...

Wondered Why Simon was drip feeding so little.
All be had was Treasury appropriations. Not exactly putting all the Budget at risk.

Certainly not enough to expect a resignation.
Budgets usually carry an in confidence security classification.

I guess going by Veterans comment that security classification of Government documents do not apply to the opposition I would be inclined to add sensitive or restricted ad deny the opposition access to anything.

The Veteran said...

C'mon Gerald ... you know the security classification system and 'Budget sensitive' ain't part of the meme. You're flogging a dead horse on this one and the only ones with egg on their faces are Grant et al.

In the immortal words of Lcpl Jones ... 'They don't like it up em' and the hysterical reaction by some to the events of the last few days is witness to that.

Bridges did what any leader of the Opposition would do ... he played it like a piano and Robertson and Peters bit and were made to look foolish. At least St Jacinda had the whit and the nous not to express confidence in the Treasury when asked ... so where does that leave Robertson? ... would give quids to be a fly on the wall at their next one-on-one.

The gaffe over the photograph was cream on the cake.