Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations Rips Into Equifax Over Its Massive 2017 Data Breach.

So the Congressional report on Equifax’s massive 2017 databreach was released. The title gives you a clue as to what you can expect to read in it:

HOW EQUIFAX NEGLECTED CYBERSECURITY AND SUFFERED A DEVASTATING DATA BREACH

STAFF REPORT

PERMANENT SUBCOMMITTEE ON INVESTIGATIONS

UNITED STATES SENATE

The report is 71 pages, and the following is just a snippet:

Equifax Failed to Prioritize Cybersecurity. Equifax had no standalone written corporate policy governing the patching of known cyber vulnerabilities until 2015. After implementing this policy, Equifax conducted an audit of its patch management efforts, which identified a backlog of over 8,500 known vulnerabilities that had not been patched. This included more than 1,000 vulnerabilities the auditors deemed critical, high, or medium risks that were found on systems that could be accessed by individuals from outside of Equifax’s information technology (“IT”) networks. The audit report concluded, among other things, that Equifax did not abide by the schedule for addressing vulnerabilities mandated by its own patching policy. It also found that the company had a reactive approach to installing patches and used what the auditors called an “honor system” for patching that failed to ensure that patches were installed. The audit report also noted that Equifax lacked a comprehensive IT asset inventory, meaning it lacked a complete understanding of the assets it owned. This made it difficult, if not impossible, for Equifax to know if vulnerabilities existed on its networks. If a vulnerability cannot be found, it cannot be patched.
Equifax never conducted another audit after the 2015 audit and left several of the issues identified in the 2015 audit report unaddressed in the months leading up to the 2017 data breach.
Equifax Could Not Follow Its Own Policies in Patching the Vulnerability That Ultimately Caused the Breach. Equifax’s patching policy required the company’s IT department to patch critical vulnerabilities within 48 hours. The company’s security staff learned of a critical vulnerability in certain versions of Apache Struts – a widely-used piece of web application software – on March 8, 2017, from the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The National Institute of Standards and Technology gave the vulnerability the highest criticality score possible; it was widely known that the vulnerability was easy to exploit. Equifax employees circulated news of the vulnerability through an internal alert the next day that went to a list of more than 400 company employees.
You can access the whole report on the Senate’s web site, here.  I’ve also made a copy available on this site, below:
h/t, Joe Cadillic

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