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.

News

10/14/2016
11:30 AM
Sara Peters
Sara Peters
Slideshows
Connect Directly
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail

Happy 30th Birthday CFAA!

Six things we still don't know about the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act after all this time.
2 of 7

What does without authorization mean?

The thorn in my side every day what we dont know, and weve never known, is what authorization means, says Nate Cardozo, senior staff attorney of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

For 30 years there have been attempts to make metaphors to the physical world: is a vulnerability scan more like looking at a house from the street, or more like peeking through the windows, or more like jimmying the door to see if its locked? Also, we cant automate lock-jimmying in the same way we can automate vulnerability scanning (unless perhaps you start including home security cameras in the mix), so the metaphors break down.

The trouble with without authorization is that online, people may stumble onto data and resources they were not given permission to see compromising photos, PII databases, sensitive intellectual property, etc. However, those people werent always trying to access those items; they just happened upon them because those resources were poorly secured. Should someone be punished for someone elses bad security? And how does one assume they were given or not given authorization to certain resources anyway?

Cardozo recommends the language of CFAA be updated to reflect the fact that in order to violate the law you must actively circumvent a technical barrier in order to obtain that unauthorized access.

(Image by wk1003mike, via Shutterstock)

2 of 7
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Comments
Threaded  |  Newest First  |  Oldest First
COVID-19: Latest Security News & Commentary
Dark Reading Staff 10/23/2020
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-2018-21269
PUBLISHED: 2020-10-27
checkpath in OpenRC through 0.42.1 might allow local users to take ownership of arbitrary files because a non-terminal path component can be a symlink.
CVE-2020-27743
PUBLISHED: 2020-10-26
libtac in pam_tacplus through 1.5.1 lacks a check for a failure of RAND_bytes()/RAND_pseudo_bytes(). This could lead to use of a non-random/predictable session_id.
CVE-2020-1915
PUBLISHED: 2020-10-26
An out-of-bounds read in the JavaScript Interpreter in Facebook Hermes prior to commit 8cb935cd3b2321c46aa6b7ed8454d95c75a7fca0 allows attackers to cause a denial of service attack or possible further memory corruption via crafted JavaScript. Note that this is only exploitable if the application usi...
CVE-2020-26878
PUBLISHED: 2020-10-26
Ruckus through 1.5.1.0.21 is affected by remote command injection. An authenticated user can submit a query to the API (/service/v1/createUser endpoint), injecting arbitrary commands that will be executed as root user via web.py.
CVE-2020-26879
PUBLISHED: 2020-10-26
Ruckus vRioT through 1.5.1.0.21 has an API backdoor that is hardcoded into validate_token.py. An unauthenticated attacker can interact with the service API by using a backdoor value as the Authorization header.