DHS Cybersecurity Watchdogs Miss Hundreds of Vulnerabilities on Their Own Network
Kevin Poulsen writes on Threat Level:
The federal agency in charge of protecting other agencies from computer intruders was found riddled with hundreds of high-risk security holes on its own systems, according to the results of an audit released Wednesday.More here.
The United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team, or US-CERT, monitors the Einstein intrusion-detection sensors on nonmilitary government networks, and helps other civil agencies respond to hack attacks. It also issues alerts on the latest software security holes, so that everyone from the White House to the FAA can react quickly to install workarounds and patches.
But in a case of “physician, heal thyself,” the agency — which forms the operational arm of DHS’s National Cyber Security Division, or NCSD — failed to keep its own systems up to date with the latest software patches. Auditors working for the DHS inspector general ran a sweep of US-CERT using the vulnerability scanner Nessus and turned up 1,085 instances of 202 high-risk security holes [.pdf].
“The majority of the high-risk vulnerabilities involved application and operating system and security software patches that had not been deployed on… computer systems located in Virginia,” reads the report from assistant inspector general Frank Deffer.