Vulnerabilities / Threats
6/1/2007
06:15 AM
50%
50%

All The Wrong Moves

Government missteps could make security tougher for everyone

2:15 PM -- Let's be clear: There's a ton of people in government who understand IT security. It's all the other people in government that I'm worried about.

Over the past week, we've seen governments becoming more involved in IT security issues and trends than ever before -- and as these events shake out, I'm not sure that's a good thing.

In Eastern Europe, Estonia and Russia are deeply embroiled in what could only be called the first incidence of all-out cyber war. As denial-of-service attacks continue on Estonian government systems, many businesses are beginning to wonder whether their own infrastructures might one day be pulled into cyber struggles between governments. (See Unknown Document 125416, Estonian Attacks Raise Fears of Cyber 'Nuclear Winter', and DOS Gets Political in Estonia.)

Is Estonia an isolated case? Not hardly. Governments are now recognizing cyber war as a new field of operations. Just look at China's revelations this week about its plans for cyber strikes. Talk about putting computers at risk... (See China to Use Computer Viruses as Cyberwarfare First Strike.)

You'd think that with so much military knowledge at their disposal, governments would have a better grip on how to handle IT security problems at home. Not so. In fact, both Germany and the U.S. this week advanced controversial legislation that, in some critics' eyes, might actually worsen the computer crime situation. Germany's law could threaten the activities of security researchers; the U.S. Spy bill could create a new law that's built around outmoded technology. (See New Laws Don't Solve Global Problems.)

And, of course, there's the question of whether government should clean up its own security act before advising others. A new survey from SecureInfo Corp. says many government workers still don't know about their key compliance specifications -- despite having completed training courses about security. (See Fed Workers Still in the Dark.)

Can government make a difference in the IT security picture? Absolutely. But based on the past week's events, I'm wondering whether the finished picture will look worse, rather than better.

— Tim Wilson, Site Editor, Dark Reading

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-2014-8802
Published: 2015-01-23
The Pie Register plugin before 2.0.14 for WordPress does not properly restrict access to certain functions in pie-register.php, which allows remote attackers to (1) add a user by uploading a crafted CSV file or (2) activate a user account via a verifyit action.

CVE-2014-9623
Published: 2015-01-23
OpenStack Glance 2014.2.x through 2014.2.1, 2014.1.3, and earlier allows remote authenticated users to bypass the storage quote and cause a denial of service (disk consumption) by deleting an image in the saving state.

CVE-2014-9638
Published: 2015-01-23
oggenc in vorbis-tools 1.4.0 allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (divide-by-zero error and crash) via a WAV file with the number of channels set to zero.

CVE-2014-9639
Published: 2015-01-23
Integer overflow in oggenc in vorbis-tools 1.4.0 allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (crash) via a crafted number of channels in a WAV file, which triggers an out-of-bounds memory access.

CVE-2014-9640
Published: 2015-01-23
oggenc/oggenc.c in vorbis-tools 1.4.0 allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (out-of-bounds read) via a crafted raw file.

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
If you’re a security professional, you’ve probably been asked many questions about the December attack on Sony. On Jan. 21 at 1pm eastern, you can join a special, one-hour Dark Reading Radio discussion devoted to the Sony hack and the issues that may arise from it.