Risk
8/13/2010
03:56 PM
50%
50%

VA Posts Data Breach Reports Online

Monthly updates show the different ways data has leaked out of the agency, including lost or stolen hardware and misdirected emails.

Once again showing that it's serious about transparency, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has begun posting reports about data breaches on its website.

The monthly reports, which the agency compiles for Congress, list different ways the VA has lost data, such as through lost hardware or misdirected emails.

For example, a report (PDF) from July 5 to Aug. 1 shows the agency lost two PCs, 13 BlackBerry devices and six laptops. It also reported 103 of so-called "mis-mailed" incidents, and 90 "mis-handling" incidents.

All of the lost laptops were encrypted, according to the report.

In the past the VA has had some major data breaches, including one in April that involved the loss of two unencrypted laptops that contained personal information about more than 600 veterans.

Another infamous data breach in 2006 involved the theft from a VA employee's home of a laptop that contained data on more than 26 million veterans. That incident spurred a Congressional review, as well as cost the agency $20 million to settle a class-action suit.

The VA is taking its data breaches seriously enough that VA CIO Roger Baker has begun monthly calls with members of the press to discuss them.

Since taking his position, Baker has made a concerted effort to improve IT operations at the VA, with data security being a major priority.

The posting of the reports also shows how far the agency has come in terms of transparency and accountability for its IT operations, which historically have been criticized for serious inefficiency.

Baker has put into effect an accountability program that flags IT projects behind schedule, over budget, or both. That program, which was recently expanded to all of the VA's IT projects, saved the agency $54 million in its fiscal-year 2010 budget.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
Flash Poll
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2014-9651
Published: 2015-08-28
Buffer overflow in CHICKEN 4.9.0.x before 4.9.0.2, 4.9.x before 4.9.1, and before 5.0 allows attackers to have unspecified impact via a positive START argument to the "substring-index[-ci] procedures."

CVE-2015-1171
Published: 2015-08-28
Stack-based buffer overflow in GSM SIM Utility (aka SIM Card Editor) 6.6 allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code via a long entry in a .sms file.

CVE-2015-2987
Published: 2015-08-28
Type74 ED before 4.0 misuses 128-bit ECB encryption for small files, which makes it easier for attackers to obtain plaintext data via differential cryptanalysis of a file with an original length smaller than 128 bits.

CVE-2015-6266
Published: 2015-08-28
The guest portal in Cisco Identity Services Engine (ISE) 3300 1.2(0.899) does not restrict access to uploaded HTML documents, which allows remote attackers to obtain sensitive information from customized documents via a direct request, aka Bug ID CSCuo78045.

CVE-2015-6267
Published: 2015-08-28
Cisco IOS XE before 2.2.3 on ASR 1000 devices allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (Embedded Services Processor crash) via a crafted L2TP packet, aka Bug IDs CSCsw95722 and CSCsw95496.

Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Another Black Hat is in the books and Dark Reading was there. Join the editors as they share their top stories, biggest lessons, and best conversations from the premier security conference.