CyberNews Briefs

US Census Bureau Slammed for 2020 Breach

The US Census Bureau has been heavily criticized by a government inspector for a 2020 breach in which the entity failed to implement a patch for a critical vulnerability. The attacker was not able to access the servers used for the 2020 census, however, they were able to modify user account data to prepare for remote code execution. The Office of Inspector General released a report detailing the incident and criticizing the Bureau. The attacker was unable to create a backdoor due to the Bureau’s firewalls, however, he was able to gain limited access by exploiting a vulnerability that was left unpatched.

The OIG report highlights a string of missteps that directly led to the attack and hindered incident response efforts. The Bureau ultimately left a critical vulnerability on its remote access servers that were exploited by the attacker unpatched for three weeks. The Bureau then failed to discover and report the incident in a timely manner as there was no system in place to analyze suspicious activity in real-time. The Bureau detected the intrusion two weeks after it took place.

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