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.

Risk

1/29/2008
03:49 PM
George V. Hulme
George V. Hulme
Commentary
50%
50%

Are You SCAP Ready?

In case you missed it, about a year ago the Office of Management and Budget issued policy memorandum M-07-11, aka the Implementation of Commonly Accepted Security Configurations for Windows Operating Systems. Essentially, this mandates that all federal agency systems must adhere to the Federal Desktop Core Configuration (FDCC) by February 2008. That's this Friday.

In case you missed it, about a year ago the Office of Management and Budget issued policy memorandum M-07-11, aka the Implementation of Commonly Accepted Security Configurations for Windows Operating Systems. Essentially, this mandates that all federal agency systems must adhere to the Federal Desktop Core Configuration (FDCC) by February 2008. That's this Friday.The goal is laudable; as these security configurations can go a long way to help CIOs and federal agency CISOs keep systems safer. But both the configuration and verification of this standard system implementation rely heavily on a rather obscure protocol known as SCAP, which is the Security Content Automation Protocol.

SCAP, basically, is a checklist that relies on a handful of open standards for naming software flaw conventions and configurations in applications and systems. So, if your scanner is SCAP compliant, you can more swiftly check to see if your agency systems are FDCC compliant.

That's probably why, in another memo, the OMB mandated that federal CIOs must use SCAP-validated tools for FDCC software acceptance for all U.S. government systems.

And that's where trouble starts to enter this acronym paradise. This Friday, those federal agencies are supposed to submit to OMB a listing of all of their systems running XP and Vista, as well as how many are FDCC compliant (Though SCAP is not required for this deadline).

Here's the rub: as of today, no SCAP products have been validated. There's just this Web page listing no validated SCAP tools. However, the National Institute of Standards and Technology has promised a list by this Friday.

There's nothing like pushing a deadline.

In the long run, SCAP will no doubt will make it easier for agencies, vendors, and auditors to maintain more secure federal systems. A secure configuration that can be easily validated means fewer mistakes and easier enforcement of sound security practices.

For those agencies that don't want to wait until Friday to get started, here's a list of scanners that purport to have SCAP capabilities.

 

Recommended Reading:

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
COVID-19: Latest Security News & Commentary
Dark Reading Staff 7/14/2020
Omdia Research Launches Page on Dark Reading
Tim Wilson, Editor in Chief, Dark Reading 7/9/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
Special Report: Computing's New Normal, a Dark Reading Perspective
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
The Threat from the Internetand What Your Organization Can Do About It
The Threat from the Internetand What Your Organization Can Do About It
This report describes some of the latest attacks and threats emanating from the Internet, as well as advice and tips on how your organization can mitigate those threats before they affect your business. Download it today!
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-10287
PUBLISHED: 2020-07-15
The IRC5 family with UAS service enabled comes by default with credentials that can be found on publicly available manuals. ABB considers this a well documented functionality that helps customer set up however, out of our research, we found multiple production systems running these exact default cre...
CVE-2020-10288
PUBLISHED: 2020-07-15
IRC5 exposes an ftp server (port 21). Upon attempting to gain access you are challenged with a request of username and password, however you can input whatever you like. As long as the field isn't empty it will be accepted.
CVE-2020-15780
PUBLISHED: 2020-07-15
An issue was discovered in drivers/acpi/acpi_configfs.c in the Linux kernel before 5.7.7. Injection of malicious ACPI tables via configfs could be used by attackers to bypass lockdown and secure boot restrictions, aka CID-75b0cea7bf30.
CVE-2019-17639
PUBLISHED: 2020-07-15
In Eclipse OpenJ9 prior to version 0.21 on Power platforms, calling the System.arraycopy method with a length longer than the length of the source or destination array can, in certain specially crafted code patterns, cause the current method to return prematurely with an undefined return value. This...
CVE-2019-20908
PUBLISHED: 2020-07-15
An issue was discovered in drivers/firmware/efi/efi.c in the Linux kernel before 5.4. Incorrect access permissions for the efivar_ssdt ACPI variable could be used by attackers to bypass lockdown or secure boot restrictions, aka CID-1957a85b0032.