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.

Perimeter

9/22/2009
02:15 PM
Connect Directly
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

DoD Preparing To Lift USB Ban

'Authorized' users and only DoD-approved, DoD-purchased thumb drives and other USB devices will be allowed

The ban on USB drives that began late last year in the U.S. Defense Department will be lifted, but with a caveat: Only DoD-approved or procured devices will be allowed.

Robert Cary, CIO for the U.S. Navy, in a recent blog post said Defense officials are hashing out the final policy for allowing USBs back into the department. The Commander of the U.S. Strategic Command in November suspended the use of all USB flash and removable storage devices and camera flash cards from all DoD networks after a worm infection spread across some DoD networks.

"In the future, we expect that a government-owned and procured USB flash media that is uniquely and electronically identifiable for use in support of mission-essential functions on DoD networks will be permitted for use by authorized individuals," Cary said in his blog. "The bottom line is, the days of using personally owned flash media or using flash media collected at conferences or trade shows are long gone. What we connect to our home PCs is very different from what is and will be allowed to occur on DON [Department of Navy] networks."

The Navy is also reducing its reliance on USB flash media, Cary said. "...we are working on moving our access to information to the use of collaborative workspaces, file shares and portals within our protected enclaves. This will reduce our reliance on USB flash media, mitigate unnecessary risk to the GIG, and protect our data and information by keeping it stored within our network boundaries," he said.

Meanwhile, the DoD Removable Storage Media Tiger Team is coordinating a Defense USB policy that will be incorporated into USSTRATCOM guidelines, and the Navy and Marine Corps are working on their own organization-specific operational orders for when the ban is lifted.

Among other things, the Navy is upgrading its antivirus and malware detection, alerting, and remediation, Cary said, and improving controls that deny unauthorized USBs from the network.

Cary noted that although the DoD previously had policies in place for using USBs safely, "they were not being followed."

"Unfortunately, it was our bad IT hygiene that resulted in the ban of this all too flexible use of storage media," he said.

Have a comment on this story? Please click "Discuss" below. If you'd like to contact Dark Reading's editors directly, send us a message.

Kelly Jackson Higgins is the Executive Editor of Dark Reading. She is an award-winning veteran technology and business journalist with more than two decades of experience in reporting and editing for various publications, including Network Computing, Secure Enterprise ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
COVID-19: Latest Security News & Commentary
Dark Reading Staff 10/23/2020
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-2018-21269
PUBLISHED: 2020-10-27
checkpath in OpenRC through 0.42.1 might allow local users to take ownership of arbitrary files because a non-terminal path component can be a symlink.
CVE-2020-27743
PUBLISHED: 2020-10-26
libtac in pam_tacplus through 1.5.1 lacks a check for a failure of RAND_bytes()/RAND_pseudo_bytes(). This could lead to use of a non-random/predictable session_id.
CVE-2020-1915
PUBLISHED: 2020-10-26
An out-of-bounds read in the JavaScript Interpreter in Facebook Hermes prior to commit 8cb935cd3b2321c46aa6b7ed8454d95c75a7fca0 allows attackers to cause a denial of service attack or possible further memory corruption via crafted JavaScript. Note that this is only exploitable if the application usi...
CVE-2020-26878
PUBLISHED: 2020-10-26
Ruckus through 1.5.1.0.21 is affected by remote command injection. An authenticated user can submit a query to the API (/service/v1/createUser endpoint), injecting arbitrary commands that will be executed as root user via web.py.
CVE-2020-26879
PUBLISHED: 2020-10-26
Ruckus vRioT through 1.5.1.0.21 has an API backdoor that is hardcoded into validate_token.py. An unauthenticated attacker can interact with the service API by using a backdoor value as the Authorization header.