News
2/27/2008
03:28 PM
Terry Sweeney
Terry Sweeney
Commentary
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

From 'Energized' To Not So Interested

The little do-si-do between Congress and the White House over missing e-mails is apparently over. Cynics might predict the next steps will be a digging in of heels, followed quickly by threats to launch (and bungle) an investigation, or worse, appoint a special prosecutor.

The little do-si-do between Congress and the White House over missing e-mails is apparently over. Cynics might predict the next steps will be a digging in of heels, followed quickly by threats to launch (and bungle) an investigation, or worse, appoint a special prosecutor.Recall earlier this week that the White House CIO told a congressional hearing that her office was "energized about getting to the bottom of this." This, of course being what happened to more than two years' worth of White House e-mails. During that same period, the administration was rotating the same backup tapes over and over, and also was using the Republican National Committee's e-mail system for official and nonofficial communication.

And here's where what little backup-and-recovery goodwill existed then deteriorated even more. The RNC told Congress yesterday it "has no intention of trying to restore the missing White House e-mails."

Jeez, who do they think they are? Iron Mountain?

Other details have also emerged. Sometime in 2002, the White House transitioned from Lotus Notes to Microsoft Exchange. That's also when it began the practice of manually naming and saving e-mails in .pst files on local servers. While intended as a short-term solution, this "journaling" method became the standard operating procedure.

It also drew criticism from the National Archives and Records Administration. "It's our view that the journaling function is not the ideal," said Gary Stern, an NARA attorney in this account. It's a mess, and it's not clear the political will is there to get to the bottom of it any time soon. CIO Theresa Payton has estimated it would take "millions" to do a full restore from a related agency's backup tapes.

I'm still having a hard time figuring out whether the White House has been sloppy or willfully negligent. Given the administration's penchant for secrecy and nondisclosure, I'm now leaning toward the latter explanation.

But even if it's sloppiness, it wouldn't be tolerated at any corporation in America (nor, I suspect, at many government agencies). Dismissals, fines, or worse would result. Instead, we're left with a different sort of dance -- a combination of parry, stonewall, and distort. It's a shameful way to manage backup and archiving in the highest office of the land.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Flash Poll
Threat Intel Today
Threat Intel Today
The 397 respondents to our new survey buy into using intel to stay ahead of attackers: 85% say threat intelligence plays some role in their IT security strategies, and many of them subscribe to two or more third-party feeds; 10% leverage five or more.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2014-3352
Published: 2014-08-30
Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud (aka Cisco Cloud Portal) 2008.3_SP9 and earlier does not properly consider whether a session is a problematic NULL session, which allows remote attackers to obtain sensitive information via crafted packets, related to an "iFrame vulnerability," aka Bug ID CSCuh...

CVE-2014-3908
Published: 2014-08-30
The Amazon.com Kindle application before 4.5.0 for Android does not verify X.509 certificates from SSL servers, which allows man-in-the-middle attackers to spoof servers and obtain sensitive information via a crafted certificate.

CVE-2010-5110
Published: 2014-08-29
DCTStream.cc in Poppler before 0.13.3 allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (crash) via a crafted PDF file.

CVE-2012-1503
Published: 2014-08-29
Cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability in Six Apart (formerly Six Apart KK) Movable Type (MT) Pro 5.13 allows remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via the comment section.

CVE-2013-5467
Published: 2014-08-29
Monitoring Agent for UNIX Logs 6.2.0 through FP03, 6.2.1 through FP04, 6.2.2 through FP09, and 6.2.3 through FP04 and Monitoring Server (ms) and Shared Libraries (ax) 6.2.0 through FP03, 6.2.1 through FP04, 6.2.2 through FP08, 6.2.3 through FP01, and 6.3.0 through FP01 in IBM Tivoli Monitoring (ITM)...

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
This episode of Dark Reading Radio looks at infosec security from the big enterprise POV with interviews featuring Ron Plesco, Cyber Investigations, Intelligence & Analytics at KPMG; and Chris Inglis & Chris Bell of Securonix.