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

Security Flaws Found In DHS Network

An audit said the Department of Homeland Security's Active Directory use doesn't comply with security guidelines and leaves classified information vulnerable.

Federal auditors have found the connections that reach the Department of Homeland Security's network are not secure, making critical and classified information vulnerable.

A report by the Office of Inspector General said the DHS does not have the appropriate level of security on its network, nor is it properly validating the security of systems from outside the firewall that are connecting to it.

Auditors reviewed the Microsoft Windows Active Directory services the DHS uses to manage users, groups, systems, and services on its main network and found that "systems within the headquarters' enterprise Active Directory domain are not fully compliant with the department's security guidelines," according to the report.

Further, the Inspector General found that the DHS has nothing in place to ensure a certain level of security within its Active Directory implementation.

Specifically, auditors found fault with the way the Active Directory system is configured, according to the report. They said the DHS provides security controls for its own systems and users, but that they can be circumvented. Moreover, the DHS has allowed systems to connect to its network that do not comply with its published security policy.

"As a result, systems with vulnerabilities could allow unauthorized access and service disruption to the department's critical enterprise applications," said the report.

The Inspector General identified specific vulnerabilities to the DHS network due to its implementation of Active Directory that leave critical data and systems at risk.

Among them are the fact that local password policy is not set to DHS standards, the system is missing some security patches, and the system uses a protocol that is identified in DHS security policy as vulnerable.

The report makes three key recommendations to the DHS CIO to make its headquarters network more secure. They are: verify that security controls are implemented and configuration settings are compliant with DHS policy for systems that set up trusted connections with the headquarters network; address the current vulnerabilities on systems connected to Active Directory; and provide governance to ensure appropriate security measures are taken for all systems.

In the report, the DHS CIO office said it has begun taking steps to address the issues raised by the Inspector General's review.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
7 Tips for Infosec Pros Considering A Lateral Career Move
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  1/21/2020
For Mismanaged SOCs, The Price Is Not Right
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  1/22/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
IT 2020: A Look Ahead
Are you ready for the critical changes that will occur in 2020? We've compiled editor insights from the best of our network (Dark Reading, Data Center Knowledge, InformationWeek, ITPro Today and Network Computing) to deliver to you a look at the trends, technologies, and threats that are emerging in the coming year. Download it today!
Flash Poll
How Enterprises are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
How Enterprises are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
Organizations have invested in a sweeping array of security technologies to address challenges associated with the growing number of cybersecurity attacks. However, the complexity involved in managing these technologies is emerging as a major problem. Read this report to find out what your peers biggest security challenges are and the technologies they are using to address them.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2015-3154
PUBLISHED: 2020-01-27
CRLF injection vulnerability in Zend\Mail (Zend_Mail) in Zend Framework before 1.12.12, 2.x before 2.3.8, and 2.4.x before 2.4.1 allows remote attackers to inject arbitrary HTTP headers and conduct HTTP response splitting attacks via CRLF sequences in the header of an email.
CVE-2019-17190
PUBLISHED: 2020-01-27
A Local Privilege Escalation issue was discovered in Avast Secure Browser 76.0.1659.101. The vulnerability is due to an insecure ACL set by the AvastBrowserUpdate.exe (which is running as NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM) when AvastSecureBrowser.exe checks for new updates. When the update check is triggered, the...
CVE-2014-8161
PUBLISHED: 2020-01-27
PostgreSQL before 9.0.19, 9.1.x before 9.1.15, 9.2.x before 9.2.10, 9.3.x before 9.3.6, and 9.4.x before 9.4.1 allows remote authenticated users to obtain sensitive column values by triggering constraint violation and then reading the error message.
CVE-2014-9481
PUBLISHED: 2020-01-27
The Scribunto extension for MediaWiki allows remote attackers to obtain the rollback token and possibly other sensitive information via a crafted module, related to unstripping special page HTML.
CVE-2015-0241
PUBLISHED: 2020-01-27
The to_char function in PostgreSQL before 9.0.19, 9.1.x before 9.1.15, 9.2.x before 9.2.10, 9.3.x before 9.3.6, and 9.4.x before 9.4.1 allows remote authenticated users to cause a denial of service (crash) or possibly execute arbitrary code via a (1) large number of digits when processing a numeric ...