Tags: Homeland Security | cybersecurity | state department | computers

Report: 1,391 Cyberattacks Made Against State Dept. in 2013

By    |   Monday, 17 November 2014 01:10 PM

The State Department this weekend was forced to close down its unclassified computer network after evidence that it may have been hacked, but the possible breach could reflect a persistent weakness with the agency's cybersecurity.

According to Politico, auditors have long warned that the State Department has inadequate cybersecurity.

In a report from October, the auditors said that more than 100 different systems have been affected by cyber threats since September 2009.

In 2013 alone, the department experienced 1,391 security incidents, Politico reported.

Ineffective cyber risk management is "undoubtedly systemic in nature, requiring global measures in attempt to remedy this deficiency," the auditors said.

Other reports indicate that the official ratings for the agency's compliance with federal cybersecurity requirements have plummeted from 79.4 percent in 2010 to 51 percent in 2013.

And the Office of Management and Budget ranked the department as the fourth worst agency in cybersecurity compliance among all of the 23 major civilian departments and agencies, according to Politico.

Officials gave few details of the nature of the breach this weekend, describing it simply as an "activity of concern." But one analysis of past incidents indicates a prevalence of social engineering attempts, which are considered to be attempts by sophisticated or advanced actors, Politico reported.

Earlier this year, the agency's inspector general warned that the State Department's computer systems were vulnerable to a security breach that could result in large-scale hacking or the theft of classified documents.

The IG said that "classified information vital to the preservation of national security in high-risk environments across the globe" is in danger of a cyberattack, along with the personal information of 192 million U.S. passport holders

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The State Department this weekend was forced to close down its unclassified computer network after evidence that it may have been hacked, but the possible breach could reflect a persistent weakness with the agency's cybersecurity.
cybersecurity, state department, computers
279
2014-10-17
Monday, 17 November 2014 01:10 PM
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