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 10/27/2020
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-2020-7753
PUBLISHED: 2020-10-27
All versions of package trim are vulnerable to Regular Expression Denial of Service (ReDoS) [DNP] via trim().
CVE-2020-27182
PUBLISHED: 2020-10-27
Multiple cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerabilities in konzept-ix publiXone before 2020.015 allow remote attackers to inject arbitrary JavaScript or HTML via appletError.jsp, job_jacket_detail.jsp, ixedit/editor_component.jsp, or the login form.
CVE-2020-27183
PUBLISHED: 2020-10-27
A RemoteFunctions endpoint with missing access control in konzept-ix publiXone before 2020.015 allows attackers to disclose sensitive user information, send arbitrary e-mails, escalate the privileges of arbitrary user accounts, and have unspecified other impact.
CVE-2020-8956
PUBLISHED: 2020-10-27
Pulse Secure Desktop Client 9.0Rx before 9.0R5 and 9.1Rx before 9.1R4 on Windows reveals users' passwords if Save Settings is enabled.
CVE-2020-15352
PUBLISHED: 2020-10-27
An XML external entity (XXE) vulnerability in Pulse Connect Secure (PCS) before 9.1R9 and Pulse Policy Secure (PPS) before 9.1R9 allows remote authenticated admins to conduct server-side request forgery (SSRF) attacks via a crafted DTD in an XML request.