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

Homeland Security: Devices, Components Coming In With Malware

Some imported components for electronic and computer hardware pose a complicated security risk, says the Department of Homeland Security.

Strategic Security Survey: Global Threat, LocalPain
(click image for larger view and for full slideshow)
Strategic Security Survey: Global Threat, LocalPain
A Department of Homeland Security (DHS) official acknowledged the persistent threat of pre-existent malware on imported electronic and computer devices sold within the United States, sparking renewed interest in a problem the federal government has been trying to mitigate for some time.

Calling the threat "one of the most complicated and difficult challenges we have," Greg Schaffer, acting deputy undersecretary for the National Protection and Programs Directorate for the DHS, said that he is "aware that there are instances where that has happened," although he did not go into specifics about those instances.

He was pressed to acknowledge the threat under questioning from Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, at a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing. The lawmaker asked Schaffer point blank about the security risks already embedded into components coming into the United States, as well as what the DHS and other agencies are doing about it. A video of the hearing is available online.

Indeed, the cybersecurity supply chain requires securing the multiple steps of the supply chain--product assembly and acquisition, data sharing among partners, governance, and more--to ensure components of devices such as laptops and smartphones aren't already infected by malware before they're sold. This makes it a difficult problem to manage, not that federal officials aren't trying, Schaffer said.

Schaffer said there are a number of existing federal efforts under way to tackle the problem. He mentioned a task force co-managed by the DHS and the Department of Defense to identify "short-term mitigation strategies" against such threats. He said the agencies also are working with the private sector to better monitor the manufacturing supply chain to prevent infected components from coming into the U.S. market.

Indeed, the Comprehensive National Cyber Initiative and the Cybersecurity Policy Review--the former set up under the George W. Bush Administration, the latter under President Obama--are aimed at shoring up the security of cyber supply chains.

The House hearing last week was one of a series on a comprehensive cybersecurity legislative proposal the Obama administration unveiled in May. A key focus of the National Security Strategy is to work with the private sector to identify some of the biggest risks and allow companies to draw up their own plans to thwart them.

Black Hat USA 2011 presents a unique opportunity for members of the security industry to gather and discuss the latest in cutting-edge research. It happens July 30-Aug. 4 in Las Vegas. Find out more and register.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Microsoft Patches Wormable RCE Vulns in Remote Desktop Services
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  8/13/2019
The Mainframe Is Seeing a Resurgence. Is Security Keeping Pace?
Ray Overby, Co-Founder & President at Key Resources, Inc.,  8/15/2019
GitHub Named in Capital One Breach Lawsuit
Dark Reading Staff 8/14/2019
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
7 Threats & Disruptive Forces Changing the Face of Cybersecurity
This Dark Reading Tech Digest gives an in-depth look at the biggest emerging threats and disruptive forces that are changing the face of cybersecurity today.
Flash Poll
The State of IT Operations and Cybersecurity Operations
The State of IT Operations and Cybersecurity Operations
Your enterprise's cyber risk may depend upon the relationship between the IT team and the security team. Heres some insight on what's working and what isn't in the data center.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2019-15132
PUBLISHED: 2019-08-17
Zabbix through 4.4.0alpha1 allows User Enumeration. With login requests, it is possible to enumerate application usernames based on the variability of server responses (e.g., the "Login name or password is incorrect" and "No permissions for system access" messages, or just blocki...
CVE-2019-15133
PUBLISHED: 2019-08-17
In GIFLIB before 2019-02-16, a malformed GIF file triggers a divide-by-zero exception in the decoder function DGifSlurp in dgif_lib.c if the height field of the ImageSize data structure is equal to zero.
CVE-2019-15134
PUBLISHED: 2019-08-17
RIOT through 2019.07 contains a memory leak in the TCP implementation (gnrc_tcp), allowing an attacker to consume all memory available for network packets and thus effectively stopping all network threads from working. This is related to _receive in sys/net/gnrc/transport_layer/tcp/gnrc_tcp_eventloo...
CVE-2019-14937
PUBLISHED: 2019-08-17
REDCap before 9.3.0 allows time-based SQL injection in the edit calendar event via the cal_id parameter, such as cal_id=55 and sleep(3) to Calendar/calendar_popup_ajax.php. The attacker can obtain a user's login sessionid from the database, and then re-login into REDCap to compromise all data.
CVE-2019-13069
PUBLISHED: 2019-08-17
extenua SilverSHielD 6.x fails to secure its ProgramData folder, leading to a Local Privilege Escalation to SYSTEM. The attacker must replace SilverShield.config.sqlite with a version containing an additional user account, and then use SSH and port forwarding to reach a 127.0.0.1 service.