Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Analytics

5/30/2018
06:00 PM
Connect Directly
Twitter
LinkedIn
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Dozens of Vulnerabilities Discovered in DoD's Enterprise Travel System

In less than one month, security researchers participating in the Pentagon's Hack the Defense Travel System program found 65 vulnerabilities.

White-hat hackers participating in a US Department of Defense bug bounty initiative recently rooted out 65 unique security vulnerabilities in the Defense Travel System (DTS), an enterprise application used by millions of DoD workers worldwide.

In less than one month, more than two dozen of the uncovered flaws — 28 — were flagged as high or critical in severity, according to HackerOne, the entity that managed the initiative for the DoD.

The DoD's Hack the DTS (Defense Travel System) contest is part of a broader DoD crowd-sourced bug hunting initiative called Hack the Pentagon. It's the fifth time the DoD has used such a program to try and proactively find vulnerabilities in important systems that its own security organizations might have missed. So far, since its launch in April 2016, the Hack the Pentagon program has helped the DoD find and fix some 3,600 vulnerabilities in total.

The Hack the DTS program ran from April 1 to April 29. A total of 19 security researchers participated in it and employed a bag of tricks including social engineering to try and find vulnerabilities in DTS that could be exploited. To be eligible to participate, the security researchers had to be citizens of or be eligible to work in the US, UK, Australia, Canada, or New Zealand.

In the 29 days that the program ran, the researchers reported a total of 100 vulnerabilities, of which 65 were confirmed to be valid issues. Sixteen of them were uncovered less than 24 hours after the Hack the DTS challenge launched.

Researchers who reported valid security flaws received varying bug bounties. Eight of the reported vulnerabilities garnered the maximum bounty of $5,000. In all, the DoD paid out a total of $78,650 to the security researchers who discovered the vulnerabilities.

Crowd-sourced bug hunting programs such as those managed by HackerOne, Bugcrowd, and Synack have surged in popularity in recent years. The programs have attracted tens of thousands of security researchers from around the world willing to find and disclose security vulnerabilities in return for monetary rewards.

For many organizations, the programs have offered a way to let outside security researchers take a crack at their websites and apps in a relatively controlled and managed environment.

For security researchers, bug bounty programs have offered an opportunity to monetize their bug hunting and vulnerability discovery work. Bug hunters can earn anything from a few hundred dollars for low-level submissions to tens- and even hundreds of thousands of dollars for major bug discoveries.

For organizations, the programs have offered a way to discover and fix flaws they might have otherwise missed, often at considerably lower cost than recruiting full-time employees to do it.

The model, says HackerOne CEO Marten Mickos, has been gaining traction within government as well.

"When Hack the Pentagon was launched in 2016, it marked a change in the entire industry," he says. "The world's most powerful organization decided it needed the help of external hackers to be secure."

Other federal agencies and corporations worldwide have taken the cue from DoD and have launched similar hacker-powered security programs, he says. Last year's bill directing the Department of Homeland security to launch a Hack the DHS program is one example of the continued momentum. The Singapore Ministry of Defense, the European Commission, and the tax authorities in Finland are all other examples, Mickos says.

Related Content:

 

Jai Vijayan is a seasoned technology reporter with over 20 years of experience in IT trade journalism. He was most recently a Senior Editor at Computerworld, where he covered information security and data privacy issues for the publication. Over the course of his 20-year ... View Full Bio
 

Recommended Reading:

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Oldest First  |  Newest First  |  Threaded View
Devidlaws
50%
50%
Devidlaws,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/31/2018 | 5:05:08 AM
Router
Hey, I read the article it was great for everyone. My friends are suggested me to read it. So that they are true it was great. But if you want to know more about it then visit the site. Internet Explorer 10 customer service.
Commentary
Ransomware Is Not the Problem
Adam Shostack, Consultant, Entrepreneur, Technologist, Game Designer,  6/9/2021
Edge-DRsplash-11-edge-ask-the-experts
How Can I Test the Security of My Home-Office Employees' Routers?
John Bock, Senior Research Scientist,  6/7/2021
News
New Ransomware Group Claiming Connection to REvil Gang Surfaces
Jai Vijayan, Contributing Writer,  6/10/2021
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win an Amazon Gift Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: Google's new See No Evil policy......
Current Issue
The State of Cybersecurity Incident Response
In this report learn how enterprises are building their incident response teams and processes, how they research potential compromises, how they respond to new breaches, and what tools and processes they use to remediate problems and improve their cyber defenses for the future.
Flash Poll
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
Recent breaches of third-party apps are driving many organizations to think harder about the security of their off-the-shelf software as they continue to move left in secure software development practices.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2021-31664
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-18
RIOT-OS 2021.01 before commit 44741ff99f7a71df45420635b238b9c22093647a contains a buffer overflow which could allow attackers to obtain sensitive information.
CVE-2021-33185
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-18
SerenityOS contains a buffer overflow in the set_range test in TestBitmap which could allow attackers to obtain sensitive information.
CVE-2021-33186
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-18
SerenityOS in test-crypto.cpp contains a stack buffer overflow which could allow attackers to obtain sensitive information.
CVE-2021-31272
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-18
SerenityOS before commit 3844e8569689dd476064a0759d704bc64fb3ca2c contains a directory traversal vulnerability in tar/unzip that may lead to command execution or privilege escalation.
CVE-2021-31660
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-18
RIOT-OS 2021.01 before commit 85da504d2dc30188b89f44c3276fc5a25b31251f contains a buffer overflow which could allow attackers to obtain sensitive information.