By Wade-Hahn Chan
March 19, 2008
Visitors to Energy Department Web sites should not be redirected to
pornography, the departments Inspector Generals Office said in a report.
But that has happened, the oversight office found. DOE sites suffered 60
security incidents on public servers in the past three years, with some
22 incidents occurring in the past year, the report states.
More than half of those attacks resulted in defaced home pages,
including the changing of the home page of Brookhaven National
Laboratorys Web site to route visitors to pornographic links.
The IG report also found that some sites had lax controls on publicly
accessible information, resulting in eight incidents in which personally
identifiable information was exposed. It noted that some of the sites
did not meet National Institute of Standards and Technology standards
for securing public Web servers.
The IG report recommended that DOE complete guidance on how to secure
its agencies Web sites. Previous attempts to create such guidance
stalled. The agency released a Web guidance manual in 2005 that was
never released. DOE created another manual last year that has not been
issued yet, but the IG report criticized the draft manuals lack of
specificity and a timeline.
Facilitating communication with the citizenry is in the national
interest, Energy IG Gregory Friedman said in a letter attached to the
March 13 report. However, the unavoidable fact is that such
communication may well impact agency cybersecurity vulnerabilities.
The report found that some of the national labs have taken proactive
steps toward securing their Web sites. The IG praised Oak Ridge,
Lawrence Livermore, Los Alamos and Lawrence Berkeley national
laboratories for implementing Web applications that detect possible
It also noted that the Los Alamos, Lawrence Livermore and Sandia labs
developed separate Web sites for use in emergency situations.
Additionally, Oak Ridge moved all of its systems and independent Web
sites under its central information technology management, resulting in
enhanced security and possible cost and time savings.
Subscribe to InfoSec News