Attacks/Breaches
7/2/2010
09:48 AM
50%
50%

Six Messy Database Breaches So Far In 2010

From a National Guardsman's external hard drive faux pas to a financial services firm's slack practice of password-sharing, this year has already had its share of shocking database exposures

4. Virginia Beach Department of Social Services

Breach Details: In April The Department of Social Services in Virginia Beach, Va., announced it had fired or disciplined at least eight employees and supervisors in the past year for abusing their database privileges to access restricted information about former employees, family members, and clients. In one egregious example, a supervisor made her employees access a Virginia database to find information about her husband's child.

Lessons Learned: Insider threats to database information are very real, as this example clearly illustrates. While all of the employees involved in these incidents had legitimate access to departmental databases, their use of credentials was for purposes way outside the bounds of their job duties. Robust database activity monitoring tools are the only reliable way for organizations to ferret out account abuse cases on this plane.

5. Florida International University

Breach Details: Though details are sketchy about the exact nature of this breach, what is clear is that Florida International University found the "existence of a database containing sensitive information that did not reside in a secure computing environment" during a risk assessment following an unrelated security incident, according to notification letters sent to nearly 20,000 students and faculty. The unsecure database contained personal data, such as student data related to state mastery standards, grade tracking, assignments, and Social Security numbers of both students and faculty.

Lessons Learned: Not only do databases themselves need to be secured, but so, too, do the systems on which they run and the networks that they're attached to. This means practicing diligent patch and configuration management on database servers, segregating critical databases onto the most secure network segments, and employing the rule of least privilege for these critical database environments.

6. Lincoln National Corp.

Breach Details: In January this financial services firm revealed that lax password management practices and frequent credential-sharing for access to the company's client portfolio database potentially exposed the records of 1.2 million customers. Some shared passwords were used for as long as seven years. The security lapse was not uncovered until an anonymous whistleblower sent Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) a user name and password combo that gave access to the portfolio.

Lessons Learned: Password-sharing is one of the most common and potentially damaging behaviors to affect enterprise database security postures. Not only do organizations need to develop and enforce password management policies, they also need a way to look for account use patterns that indicate illegitimate sharing.

Have a comment on this story? Please click "Discuss" below. If you'd like to contact Dark Reading's editors directly, send us a message.

Previous
2 of 2
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Dark Reading Tech Digest, Dec. 19, 2014
Software-defined networking can be a net plus for security. The key: Work with the network team to implement gradually, test as you go, and take the opportunity to overhaul your security strategy.
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2014-2188
Published: 2015-02-26
The Authentication Proxy feature in Cisco IOS does not properly handle invalid AAA return codes from RADIUS and TACACS+ servers, which allows remote attackers to bypass authentication in opportunistic circumstances via a connection attempt that triggers an invalid code, as demonstrated by a connecti...

CVE-2015-0594
Published: 2015-02-26
Multiple cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerabilities in the help pages in Cisco Common Services, as used in Cisco Prime LAN Management Solution (LMS) and Cisco Security Manager, allow remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via unspecified parameters, aka Bug IDs CSCuq54654 and CSCun1...

CVE-2015-0632
Published: 2015-02-26
Race condition in the Neighbor Discovery (ND) protocol implementation in Cisco IOS and IOS XE allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service via a flood of Router Solicitation messages on the local network, aka Bug ID CSCuo67770.

CVE-2015-0651
Published: 2015-02-26
Cross-site request forgery (CSRF) vulnerability in the web GUI in Cisco Application Networking Manager (ANM), and Device Manager (DM) on Cisco 4710 Application Control Engine (ACE) appliances, allows remote attackers to hijack the authentication of arbitrary users, aka Bug ID CSCuo99753.

CVE-2015-0882
Published: 2015-02-26
Multiple cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerabilities in zencart-ja (aka Zen Cart Japanese edition) 1.3 jp through 1.3.0.2 jp8 and 1.5 ja through 1.5.1 ja allow remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via a crafted parameter, related to admin/includes/init_includes/init_sanitize.php an...

Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
How can security professionals better engage with their peers, both in person and online? In this Dark Reading Radio show, we will talk to leaders at some of the security industry’s professional organizations about how security pros can get more involved – with their colleagues in the same industry, with their peers in other industries, and with the IT security community as a whole.