Feeds

Feds botch wireless security

Open to attack, claims report

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

SANS - Survey on application security programs

Federal agencies in the US are leaving their wireless networks open to attack by not implementing key security measures, according to a report issued by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) on Tuesday.

Wireless networks – also known as Wi-Fi or Wireless Local Area Networks or WLANs – can fall victim to malicious hacking techniques, from eavesdropping on company or agency secrets to computer network disruption and the launching of denial of service attacks.

Security is therefore a key issue when using a wireless network.

Despite this, the report found that nine agencies out of the 24 looked at by the GAO had not issued policies on wireless networks; 13 had not established requirements for setting up the networks in a secure way; 18 had no provision for training in wireless security; and the majority were not able to properly monitor their networks.

Of the six agencies physically tested by the GAO, “we were able to detect wireless networks at each of the agencies from outside of their facilities,” says the report.

“Wireless-enabled devices were operating with insecure configurations at all six of the agencies,” it explains. “For example, in one agency we found over 90 laptops that were not configured appropriately.”

The GAO found unauthorised wireless activity, which had not been detected by monitoring programs, at each agency.

The GAO has therefore recommended that the Director of the Office of Management and Budget instruct agencies to ensure that they address wireless network security in their information security programs.

© Pinsent Masons 2000 - 2005

See: GAO report (31-page PDF)

Related stories

WiPhishing hack risk warning
Wi-Fi security is getting worse
Hotspot paranoia: try to stay calm

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Parent gabfest Mumsnet hit by SSL bug: My heart bleeds, grins hacker
Natter-board tells middle-class Britain to purée its passwords
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Web data BLEEDOUT: Users to feel the pain as Heartbleed bug revealed
Vendors and ISPs have work to do updating firmware - if it's possible to fix this
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'
So it begins ... or maybe not, says one analyst
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.