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.

Attacks/Breaches

Energy Department Updates Breach Count, Says 53,000 Affected

DOE offers employees a free year of identity theft monitoring services after hackers steal personal info, including social security numbers.

9 Android Apps To Improve Security, Privacy
9 Android Apps To Improve Security, Privacy
(click image for larger view)
The Department of Energy (DOE) has confirmed reports that it suffered a data breach in July that lead to the theft of employees' personally identifying information (PII).

"The department has now identified approximately 53,000 past and current federal employees, including dependents and contractors, whose name, social security number, and date of birth were compromised by this cyber incident," read a July 2013 Cyber Incident breach notification posted Friday to the DOE's public-facing website.

The July breach involved an outdated, publicly accessible ColdFusion system known as DOEInfo, which sources said hadn't been patched against known vulnerabilities. DOEInfo is an employee database owned and maintained by the agency's Office of the Chief Financial Officer.

"Based on the findings of the department's ongoing investigation into this incident, we do believe PII theft might have been the primary purpose of the attack," according to the notification. "Accordingly, the Department encourages each affected individual to be extra vigilant and to carefully monitor bank statements, credit card statements, emails and phone calls relating to recent financial transactions."

[ How dependable are iris scans? Read Iris Scans: Security Technology In Action. ]

In a phone interview Tuesday, an agency spokeswoman said that all affected employees have been offered a free year of identity theft monitoring services.

As is standard practice, the DOE breach is being investigated by the agency's Cybersecurity office, the Office of Health, Safety and Security, and the Inspector General's office, as well as federal law enforcement agencies. "Once the full nature and extent of this incident is known, the Department will implement a full remediation plan," said the notification.

Previous
1 of 2
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
MarciaNWC
50%
50%
MarciaNWC,
User Rank: Apprentice
9/3/2013 | 9:59:51 PM
re: Energy Department Updates Breach Count, Says 53,000 Affected
This doesn't sound very comforting: "If you do not receive a notification letter by
September 15, 2013, you should assume it is unlikely your PII was
affected," according to the notification. "If DOE later determines your
PII was affected you will be notified, regardless of the date of
discovery." All around poor breach handling.
kcfredriksson
50%
50%
kcfredriksson,
User Rank: Apprentice
9/3/2013 | 6:35:34 PM
re: Energy Department Updates Breach Count, Says 53,000 Affected
53,000 individuals. $15/month for 12 months credit monitoring. That's $9.5 million (probably a bit less if they've negotiated a bulk discount), plus administrative costs. They don't have money to patch a known software vulnerability, but they have money to pay for credit monitoring? Oh, that's right. The taxpayers -- you and me -- will pay for this. Incompetence bordering on criminal. Do you trust these people to protect our nation's nuclear weapons designs? Oh wait... they've proven unable to do that as well.
Guest
50%
50%
Guest,
User Rank: Apprentice
9/3/2013 | 6:14:37 PM
re: Energy Department Updates Breach Count, Says 53,000 Affected
53,000 affected individuals, $15/month, 12 months. That's over $9.5M in credit monitoring at list prices (probably less since they should get a little bit of a discount from what I'd pay as an individual), plus the cost of administering it. They didn't have money to patch known vulnerable software, but they have it to pay these fees (and any fines that individual states will pile on as well)? Oh, that's right. We taxpayers will pay that, not the
WKash
50%
50%
WKash,
User Rank: Apprentice
9/3/2013 | 5:40:09 PM
re: Energy Department Updates Breach Count, Says 53,000 Affected
DOE's lack of transparency and double speak about this breach tends to reinforce the bad rap govt. gets on events like this.

As the DOE's answer to its own rhetorical question (above) suggests, "Department of Energy networks and employee information hosted on these networks are protected in accordance with federal laws and Department of Energy policies"-- except when they get hacked.

Hacks happen. But it's not very reassuring for DOE or federal employees in general to be told "We (DOE) are working with interagency partners on actions that can be taken against those responsible and to reduce the likelihood of another
successful attack."
DAVIDINIL
50%
50%
DAVIDINIL,
User Rank: Apprentice
9/3/2013 | 4:52:09 PM
re: Energy Department Updates Breach Count, Says 53,000 Affected
A year's worth of free credit monitoring is a steaming pile of dung. The DOE's incompetence would now require me to go thru the hassle of enrolling for the monitoring, monitioring it, having to go thru the hassle of getting reimbursed, then remembering to cancel it at the end of the year. Then I would be barraged by sales emails for as long as I owned the email address.
I see more of these announcements coming as the govt ramps up Obama care.
COVID-19: Latest Security News & Commentary
Dark Reading Staff 10/27/2020
Modern Day Insider Threat: Network Bugs That Are Stealing Your Data
David Pearson, Principal Threat Researcher,  10/21/2020
Are You One COVID-19 Test Away From a Cybersecurity Disaster?
Alan Brill, Senior Managing Director, Cyber Risk Practice, Kroll,  10/21/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
Special Report: Computing's New Normal
This special report examines how IT security organizations have adapted to the "new normal" of computing and what the long-term effects will be. Read it and get a unique set of perspectives on issues ranging from new threats & vulnerabilities as a result of remote working to how enterprise security strategy will be affected long term.
Flash Poll
How IT Security Organizations are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
How IT Security Organizations are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
The COVID-19 pandemic turned the world -- and enterprise computing -- on end. Here's a look at how cybersecurity teams are retrenching their defense strategies, rebuilding their teams, and selecting new technologies to stop the oncoming rise of online attacks.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-9982
PUBLISHED: 2020-10-27
This issue was addressed with improved checks to prevent unauthorized actions. This issue is fixed in Apple Music 3.4.0 for Android. A malicious application may be able to leak a user's credentials.
CVE-2020-3855
PUBLISHED: 2020-10-27
An access issue was addressed with improved access restrictions. This issue is fixed in macOS Catalina 10.15.3, Security Update 2020-001 Mojave, Security Update 2020-001 High Sierra. A malicious application may be able to overwrite arbitrary files.
CVE-2020-3863
PUBLISHED: 2020-10-27
A memory corruption issue was addressed with improved memory handling. This issue is fixed in macOS Catalina 10.15.3, Security Update 2020-001 Mojave, Security Update 2020-001 High Sierra. An application may be able to execute arbitrary code with system privileges.
CVE-2020-3864
PUBLISHED: 2020-10-27
A logic issue was addressed with improved validation. This issue is fixed in iCloud for Windows 7.17, iTunes 12.10.4 for Windows, iCloud for Windows 10.9.2, tvOS 13.3.1, Safari 13.0.5, iOS 13.3.1 and iPadOS 13.3.1. A DOM object context may not have had a unique security origin.
CVE-2020-3880
PUBLISHED: 2020-10-27
An out-of-bounds read was addressed with improved input validation. This issue is fixed in watchOS 6.1.2, iOS 13.3.1 and iPadOS 13.3.1, tvOS 13.3.1, macOS Catalina 10.15.3, Security Update 2020-001 Mojave, Security Update 2020-001 High Sierra. Processing a maliciously crafted image may lead to arbit...