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Attacks/Breaches

12/13/2013
12:53 PM
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Energy Department Breach Years In Making, Investigators Say

July data breach that affected up to 150,000 employees traces back to a string of managerial and technical failures, investigators conclude

The July 2013 Department of Energy breach happened because of an ongoing number of managerial and technological failures, some of them stretching back years.

That's the top-level takeaway from a 28-page report, released Wednesday, by Gregory H. Friedman, the inspector general (IG) of the Department of Energy. The IG's report is a result of an investigation that was launched, in part at the request of the DOE's CIO, after an attacker hacked into the DOE Employee Data Repository (aka DOEInfo), which is accessed via a gateway provided by the agency's management information system (MIS).

The list of failures cataloged by the report is extensive, starting with a "lack of urgency" over information security matters. "While we did not identify a single point of failure that led to the MIS/DOEInfo breach, the combination of the technical and managerial problems we observed set the stage for individuals with malicious intent to access the system with what appeared to be relative ease," said Friedman. The attacker exploited a DOEInfo vulnerability for which attack code was publicly available on the Internet.

Read the full article here.

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