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

1/28/2008
12:13 PM
George V. Hulme
George V. Hulme
Commentary
50%
50%

IT Security Vs. Censorship

In a memo distributed to employees, Tribune Co. owner Sam Zell called for all of Tribune's business units to yank the use of content filters. Now, I'm not sure anyone, myself included, would list content filters among their most favorite things. Yet, I'm not so sure Zell made a good move -- at least not for Tribune's IT security.

In a memo distributed to employees, Tribune Co. owner Sam Zell called for all of Tribune's business units to yank the use of content filters. Now, I'm not sure anyone, myself included, would list content filters among their most favorite things. Yet, I'm not so sure Zell made a good move -- at least not for Tribune's IT security.Here's the memo as posted at Poynter.org.

From: Talk to Sam Sent: Tue 1/22/2008 11:03 AM Subject: Censorship, the First Amendment and the Fourth Estate

Everyone, I learned on the first leg of our tour of Tribune's business units that some of them were filtering Internet content. I do not see how a member of the Fourth Estate, dedicated to protecting the First Amendment, can censor what its own employees and partners can see. I have instructed that all content filters be removed. You are now exposed to the dangers of YouTube and Facebook. Please use your best judgment.

Let's focus on what is important, and go for greatness. Sam

I certainly agree with the sentiment. And over-zealous use of content filters can hurt productivity and morale. No one appreciates not being able to take five minutes to shop for something they need while at work, or check their personal Web mail accounts -- especially as employers ask employees to work longer and longer days. While I've never used YouTube or Facebook to gather sources, I use instant messenger and Web boards, especially hacker boards, all of the time.

And in a newsroom, access to information should flow unfettered. How else are you to do your job?

Nonetheless, Web-based e-mail access can be an easy way to circumvent corporate e-mail policy, and lead to the leakage of sensitive company information. And the combination of malicious Web sites, social engineering, and profit motive, such as what happened this weekend, have become the attack method of choice.

One of the best defenses here is a layer of content filtering that can be swiftly updated to include malicious URLS on top of traditional network traffic analysis.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
COVID-19: Latest Security News & Commentary
Dark Reading Staff 9/17/2020
APT Groups Set Sights on Linux Targets: Inside the Trend
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  9/11/2020
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-2020-25750
PUBLISHED: 2020-09-18
** UNSUPPORTED WHEN ASSIGNED ** An issue was discovered in DotPlant2 before 2020-09-14. In class Pay2PayPayment in payment/Pay2PayPayment.php, there is an XXE vulnerability in the checkResult function. The user input ($_POST['xml']) is used for simplexml_load_string without sanitization. NOTE: This ...
CVE-2020-25751
PUBLISHED: 2020-09-18
The paGO Commerce plugin 2.5.9.0 for Joomla! allows SQL Injection via the administrator/index.php?option=com_pago&view=comments filter_published parameter.
CVE-2020-25733
PUBLISHED: 2020-09-18
webTareas through 2.1 allows upload of the dangerous .exe and .shtml file types.
CVE-2020-25734
PUBLISHED: 2020-09-18
webTareas through 2.1 allows files/Default/ Directory Listing.
CVE-2020-25735
PUBLISHED: 2020-09-18
webTareas through 2.1 allows XSS in clients/editclient.php, extensions/addextension.php, administration/add_announcement.php, administration/departments.php, administration/locations.php, expenses/claim_type.php, projects/editproject.php, and general/newnotifications.php.