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OPM Breach Scope Widens, Employee Group Blasts Agency For Not Encrypting Data
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Gallavin
Gallavin,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/19/2015 | 11:05:14 AM
Re: Encryption is NOT a panacea
Your firewalls don't matter if you allow "root" access to people. Encryption doesn't matter , nothing matters. Privielged access controls were totally absent here...which given the nature of the information and the fact it was thrid partied out to a NON US firm , is frankly, mindboggling. 

I find it distrurbing the amount of data breaches lately and the lack of understanding on HOW the real damage is caused.

Here is a fact to chew on...

100% of all advanced attacks exploit privileged credentials. In this case however, they didn't even have to exploit them because they were given full authorization to access anything they wanted from the get go.

Hello!?!?!? Anyone over at the OPM ever hear of "least privlieged" access policies! Geez.

Scarier yet , even though most in the business would say it's ill advised to offer such carte blanc access to any administrator in the private sector, giving root access to admin's is still quite common in all industries , from small businesses to large mulkti national corporations. 

Ask Sony Pictures, Athem, Premera, and Target. 
RayM227
RayM227,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/16/2015 | 11:31:32 PM
Re: Encryption is NOT a panacea
I'd like to know what route the attackers took into the OPM network(s), if firewall rules were in place that should have prevented or slowed their access, and how the account and password information was obtained. Was it an administrative direct database access, or access to a front end application? I think it's important for other IT professionals to know this.
aws0513
aws0513,
User Rank: Ninja
6/15/2015 | 2:44:27 PM
Encryption is NOT a panacea
This compromise was not caused by lack of data encryption practices.  Even if true, data encryption would not have stopped this.

This compromise was conducted using resource accesses that had the necessary credentials and keys to view encrypted data.

The people yelling about encryption shortfalls may have legitimate claims about data-at-rest (DAR) issues, but are coming across as clueless to the real causes for breaches of this magnatude: compromise of data using accesses that have been provided by the system.

I agree, especially on notebook and mobile device platforms, that encryption of data is a good practice if done correctly.  But data encryption is not and will never be a protection against the compromised user account (with access rights) scenario.


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