Attacks/Breaches
3/21/2011
11:51 AM
50%
50%

SecurID Customers Advised To Prepare For Worst Case

EMC's RSA hasn't detailed exactly what was stolen, so security experts advise the authentication system's customers to implement a more layered network defense.

10 Massive Security Breaches
(click image for larger view)
Slideshow: 10 Massive Security Breaches
How serious is the security threat posed by the theft of inside information about SecurID, the two-factor authentication system sold by EMC division RSA? "It is important enough that it required an official note to the stock markets," said Martin Kuppinger, founder and principal analyst at KuppingerCole, in a blog post.

But, despite the apparent severity of the breach, RSA's failure to detail what was stolen is generating an immense amount of customer frustration, because they don't know if their SecurID hardware fobs are still secure, or if they might provide attackers with a conduit through enterprise defenses.

Here's the worst-case scenario: "The worry is that source code to the company's SecurID two-factor authentication product was stolen, which would possibly allow hackers to reverse-engineer or otherwise break the system," said Bruce Schneier, chief security technology officer of BT, in a blog post. In that case, attackers could spoof SecurID to access corporate systems.

Until RSA coughs up more information, security experts advocate conducting a thorough and immediate SecurID risk assessment. "Our recommendation for customers which have RSA SecurID cards implemented is to first carefully analyze the situation and their specific risks -- [for example] which type of information is at risk if the RSA SecurID-based authentication is not only at risk -- like now -- but an attack actually takes place?" said Kuppinger.

Next, identify specific technologies and remediation activities for securing at-risk data or accounts. "These actions might range from increased threat analysis and forensics to adding other authentication technologies," said Kuppinger.

But rather than just shopping for a SecurID replacement, numerous experts are recommending that security managers turn this situation into an opportunity to create a more layered security defense. "Many organizations rely too heavily on two-factor authentication and they have historically seen it as a silver bullet," said William Beer, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) director of OneSecurity, in an emailed statement.

Stay tuned for more details about the extent of the attacks, their effect on RSA, and the security and IT management ramifications for their customers. "RSA Data Security, Inc. is probably pretty screwed if SecurID is compromised," said BT's Schneier. "Those hardware tokens have no upgrade path, and would have to be replaced."

That would be no small task. RSA had 40 million SecurID hardware token customers by 2009, as well as 250 million users of SecurID software.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win a Starbucks Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: This comment is waiting for review by our moderators.
Current Issue
Five Things Every Business Executive Should Know About Cybersecurity
Don't get lost in security's technical minutiae - a clearer picture of what's at stake can help align business imperatives with technology execution.
Flash Poll
Dark Reading Strategic Security Report: The Impact of Enterprise Data Breaches
Dark Reading Strategic Security Report: The Impact of Enterprise Data Breaches
Social engineering, ransomware, and other sophisticated exploits are leading to new IT security compromises every day. Dark Reading's 2016 Strategic Security Survey polled 300 IT and security professionals to get information on breach incidents, the fallout they caused, and how recent events are shaping preparations for inevitable attacks in the coming year. Download this report to get a look at data from the survey and to find out what a breach might mean for your organization.
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2013-7445
Published: 2015-10-15
The Direct Rendering Manager (DRM) subsystem in the Linux kernel through 4.x mishandles requests for Graphics Execution Manager (GEM) objects, which allows context-dependent attackers to cause a denial of service (memory consumption) via an application that processes graphics data, as demonstrated b...

CVE-2015-4948
Published: 2015-10-15
netstat in IBM AIX 5.3, 6.1, and 7.1 and VIOS 2.2.x, when a fibre channel adapter is used, allows local users to gain privileges via unspecified vectors.

CVE-2015-5660
Published: 2015-10-15
Cross-site request forgery (CSRF) vulnerability in eXtplorer before 2.1.8 allows remote attackers to hijack the authentication of arbitrary users for requests that execute PHP code.

CVE-2015-6003
Published: 2015-10-15
Directory traversal vulnerability in QNAP QTS before 4.1.4 build 0910 and 4.2.x before 4.2.0 RC2 build 0910, when AFP is enabled, allows remote attackers to read or write to arbitrary files by leveraging access to an OS X (1) user or (2) guest account.

CVE-2015-6333
Published: 2015-10-15
Cisco Application Policy Infrastructure Controller (APIC) 1.1j allows local users to gain privileges via vectors involving addition of an SSH key, aka Bug ID CSCuw46076.

Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Security researchers are finding that there's a growing market for the vulnerabilities they discover and persistent conundrum as to the right way to disclose them. Dark Reading editors will speak to experts -- Veracode CTO and co-founder Chris Wysopal and HackerOne co-founder and CTO Alex Rice -- about bug bounties and the expanding market for zero-day security vulnerabilities.