Risk
3/21/2011
01:17 PM
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Government Eyeing Security Technology To Prevent Another Wikileaks

The Intelligence Community is trying to find a "sweet spot" between sharing intelligence information while preventing unauthorized access to that data by people who might misuse it, an official told Congress.

Inside DHS' Classified Cyber-Coordination Headquarters
(click image for larger view)
Slideshow: Inside DHS' Classified Cyber-Coordination Headquarters
U.S. intelligence agencies are eyeing the use of new security technology to help prevent another insider data breach like the one that caused the Wikileaks international scandal last year.

Testifying before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee earlier this month, Corin Stone, the Intelligence Community's (IC) information sharing executive, said that striking a balance between sharing intelligence information while still protecting data against insider threats is a persistent problem within the community, and one that it will use technology to solve.

The Intelligence Community is a coalition of 17 U.S. intelligence agencies and departments -- including the Central Intelligence Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigations, the Office of National Intelligence, and the Defense Intelligence Agency -- that perform intelligence operations.

As information sharing executive, Stone is responsible for disseminating intelligence information within the community, a result of a reassigning of duties by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence last October. Previously, the IC CIO was responsible for that activity.

Stone said the community is trying to find a "sweet spot" between allowing its members to share intelligence information while preventing unauthorized access to that data by people who might misuse it.

She described the process of doing so as one in which both factors must be considered equally. "In other words, as we increase information sharing, we must also increase the protections afforded to that information," Stone said.

To do this, the community is in the process of implementing insider threat detection capability designed for it by the National Counterintelligence Executive, of which "technology refresh is a vital part," she said.

Stone outlined a two-pronged technology approach that will be implemented over the course of the 2011 and 2012 fiscal years that includes enhancements to logical and physical security controls and information-sharing capability that prioritizes mission needs of various organizations in the community.

Technologies the community plans to deploy include identity and access management; data protection and discoverability; and a reliable audit process, she said. The IC also is working on end-to-end data management technology to ensure that intelligence is appropriately secured throughout its entire lifecycle, she said.

New network authentication technologies also will be deployed to "authoritatively identify who is accessing classified information," Stone said.

The IC CIO is working on this task and aims to assign security certificates to eligible IC personnel in the first quarter of the 2012 fiscal year, she said. The community also is working on better user authentication at the application level, she added.

Stone's concerns are part of a broader move by federal agencies handling intelligence and other classified information to prevent unauthorized access or misuse of it. Last year was a tipping point in the government's thorny relationship with the whistle-blowing Web site Wikileaks, and the feds want to prevent future breaches from occurring.

Last July, Wikileaks published thousands of classified Department of Defense (DoD) documents related to the war in Afghanistan, then followed that up by releasing online 400,000 classified Iraq logs in October.

Then the release of thousands of classified U.S. embassy cables in late November spurred an incident that became known as Cablegate, which caused many to seriously question security at the DoD. Army Private First Class Bradley Manning was arrested last June and is suspected of leaking the information after removing it from the DoD's classified SIPRNet network.

Other top federal officials also have expressed the same concern about avoiding another major scandal. Testifying at the same hearing, new DoD CIO Teri Takai said the agency also is currently deploying new security technology to SIPRNet, to prevent future insider breaches.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
Partner Perspectives
What's This?
In a digital world inundated with advanced security threats, Intel Security seeks to transform how we live and work to keep our information secure. Through hardware and software development, Intel Security delivers robust solutions that integrate security into every layer of every digital device. In combining the security expertise of McAfee with the innovation, performance, and trust of Intel, this vision becomes a reality.

As we rely on technology to enhance our everyday and business life, we must too consider the security of the intellectual property and confidential data that is housed on these devices. As we increase the number of devices we use, we increase the number of gateways and opportunity for security threats. Intel Security takes the “security connected” approach to ensure that every device is secure, and that all security solutions are seamlessly integrated.
Featured Writers
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Dark Reading's October Tech Digest
Fast data analysis can stymie attacks and strengthen enterprise security. Does your team have the data smarts?
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2013-3304
Published: 2014-10-30
Directory traversal vulnerability in Dell EqualLogic PS4000 with firmware 6.0 allows remote attackers to read arbitrary files via a .. (dot dot) in the default URI.

CVE-2013-7409
Published: 2014-10-30
Buffer overflow in ALLPlayer 5.6.2 through 5.8.1 allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (crash) and possibly execute arbitrary code via a long string in a .m3u (playlist) file.

CVE-2014-3446
Published: 2014-10-30
SQL injection vulnerability in wcm/system/pages/admin/getnode.aspx in BSS Continuity CMS 4.2.22640.0 allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary SQL commands via the nodeid parameter.

CVE-2014-3584
Published: 2014-10-30
The SamlHeaderInHandler in Apache CXF before 2.6.11, 2.7.x before 2.7.8, and 3.0.x before 3.0.1 allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (infinite loop) via a crafted SAML token in the authorization header of a request to a JAX-RS service.

CVE-2014-3623
Published: 2014-10-30
Apache WSS4J before 1.6.17 and 2.x before 2.0.2, as used in Apache CXF 2.7.x before 2.7.13 and 3.0.x before 3.0.2, when using TransportBinding, does properly enforce the SAML SubjectConfirmation method security semantics, which allows remote attackers to conduct spoofing attacks via unspecified vect...

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Follow Dark Reading editors into the field as they talk with noted experts from the security world.