Queensland Police who are well known for their heavy handed approach, yesterday detained and questioned Fairfax Media journalist Ben Grubb and seized his iPad after he reported details of a successful hacking attempt on the Facebook social networking site at the AusCERT security conference here.Christian Heinrich, billed as a security researcher, in a session at the conference had shown privacy-protected photos posted to Facebook by the wife of a disliked rival security professional after he spent seven days hacking into them.
Grubb did not attend the session, but was later given a one-hour demonstration of the complex technique involved.
He subsequently posted a message on Twitter that said: “I’ve been arrested by Queensland Police for a story I wrote today. They’ve also seized my iPad.”
However he was released and Queensland Police said he not been arrested, merely questioned. His iPad will be returned as soon as possible, the coppers said.
Heinrich’s actions were described as “unethical” by a number of other conference attendees, including HP TippingPoint security expert John Pirc.
“I wouldn’t have done it. I think if you’re going to demonstrate something like that you should get permission from somebody that would allow you to do that,” Pirc said.