Top 6 US Government Cyber Assets Prone to Attacks

Cyber security remains a pressing matter, and there is still quite a bit of work to be done. A new report by Trend Micro goes to show US cities are very prone to cyber attacks, with a multitude of exposed devices. Servers and databases are not safe from harm either, although a similar trend can be found all over the world. The most exposed critical service devices can be found in Lafayette, Louisiana, and Saint Paul. That is rather troublesome, especially when looking at touch devices prove to be very prone to cyber attacks right now.

6. Miscellaneous Security Devices

It is a bit unclear what these “miscellaneous” devices entail exactly, as any tool used for additional security should never be a target for cyber attacks. Unfortunately for most US cities, these miscellaneous devices are a prone target for hackers right now. As is the case with most internet-connected devices, a poor configuration seems to be the main culprit for this cyber threat.

5. Routers

It is no surprise to find out routers are one of the points of entry for hackers and online criminals. Considering entire governmental networks are connected to routers, infiltrating this “internet access” device can give hackers direct access to sensitive information. By compromising the router, attacking the rest of the network can be done with relative ease. It is unknown if these vulnerabilities pertain to one specific manufacturer, or if it is just a matter of using less-than-optimal security settings on most routers used by the government.

4. Webcams

One might argue there is no need for webcams where the government is concerned, but nothing is further from the truth. Webcams are integrated into nearly every modern device we use today, including smartphones, laptops, and even some monitors. If a hacker were to gain access to this webcam, they could use it to record audio and video, as well as spy on government officials during their day-to-day tasks.

3. Specialized Devices

No one knows for sure which devices the government uses other than those accessible to mainstream consumers. Specialized devices could encompass servers, data storage solutions, and other proprietary software. Having these tools vulnerable to cyber attacks is not a good thing, as specialized hardware and software should be the most secure of all to begin with. According to Trend Micro, that is not the case right now, which paints a worrisome future.

2. WAP

Any devices accessed through wireless application protocols are a prime target for hackers and other online criminals. Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) is a technical standard most commonly used by mobile devices. Government officials store a lot of sensitive information on their mobile devices, which make them an invaluable treasure trove of information for hackers. It is unclear which devices and software tools are affected by these flaws, but the report marks this as the second-largest cyber threat for US government officials right now.

1. Firewalls

On paper, a firewall is designed to keep networks and computer systems safe from harm. However, installing a firewall solution alone is not enough, as dedicated rules and exceptions have to be created. Without this proper setup, hackers can take advantage of a firewall in a matter of minutes, rather than days or weeks. The Trend Micro report states how firewalls represent nearly half of all exposed government cyber assets across all US cities right now. It appears as if a major cyber attack will take place sooner rather than later.

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