UNICEF Australia project at TechEd

August 7, 2008

It was unfortunate news when I heard that the UNICEF Australia site was hacked a little while ago. An old colleague of mine called me to let me know, and to ask if I knew anyone who could help them out. I used to work at a hosting company with this guy, and had seen quite a few websites get hacked one way or another (the typical methods being SQL Injection or Cookie Poisoning).

UNICEF is one of my favourite charities. They work to promote and protect the rights of children all over the world. As a kid I remember a book called “I Like This Poem” on my mother’s bookshelf – a UNICEF publication containing poems that were nominated by children (like Alfred Noyes’ “When Daddy Fell Into The Pond”) that I can’t seem to find any reference of online. So I was more than happy to help them get back online. I got in touch with their hosting provider, who could not have done anything to prevent the attack but were very helpful in trying to help resolve the problem. I also contacted the MVP community and got some help from a few friends in fixing up code.

They got back online, and I hope are relatively secure, but I also had a chat to some people at Microsoft about what they could do, and they’ve come to the party!

A couple of years ago, there was a community project at TechEd Australia to help the Smith Family (in the DevGarten). This year, UNICEF are getting helped.

If you’re going to be at TechEd Australia this year, please try to find some time to get involved in the UNICEF project. The idea will be to make sure that they have a great new (secure) website, that will encourage people to visit, donate, find out what’s happening with this great charity. I’m sure everyone who donates some time will learn a lot from the experience, and also enjoy the chance to work for the children of the world.

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