Government shutdown: TLS certificates not renewed, many websites are down

Government shutdown: TLS certificates not renewed, many websites are down

More than 80 TLS certificates used by US government websites have expired so far without being renewed, leaving some websites inaccessible to the public.

More security news

NASA, the US Department of Justice, and the Court of Appeals are just some of the US government agencies currently impacted, according to Netcraft. The blame falls on the current US federal government shutdown caused by US President Donald Trump’s refusal to sign any 2019 government budget bill that doesn’t contain funding for a Mexico border wall he promised during his election campaign. This has resulted in hundreds of thousands of government workers being furloughed across all government agencies, including staff handling IT support and cybersecurity.

As a result, government websites are dropping like flies, with no one being on hand to renew TLS certificates. Websites with expired certificates where admins followed proper procedures and implemented correctly-functioning HSTS (HTTP Strict Transport Security) policies are down for good, and users can’t access these portals, not even to browse for basic information. Government websites with expired TLS certificates but which didn’t implement HSTS show an HTTPS error in users’ browsers, but this error can be bypassed to access the site via HTTP.

Nevertheless, visitors are warned not to log in or perform any sensitive operations on these sites, as traffic and authentication credentials aren’t encrypted and could be intercepted by threat actors.

Visiting and browsing content is fine, but users should also be aware that all websites will not be actively managed and there won’t be employees on hand to process requests or update sites with the latest correct information. The current government shutdown has been a disaster on the cybersecurity front so far. Experts from multiple cyber-security firms have warned that this would be the perfect time for hostile countries to carry out cyber-attacks against the US government, as agencies are understaffed and IT infrastructure is left largely unattended.

According to Axios, the Department of Homeland Security’s newly created Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has had 43 percent of its staff, which amounts to roughly 1,500 employees, sent home. The National Institute of Standards and Technology, which puts together and manages many security standards, has also kept only 49 employees of its normal 3,000. But besides the losses in current personnel, government agencies have also missed an important opportunity for recruiting new cyber-security talent this winter, according to CyberScoop.

No representatives for the FTC, NIST, the State Department, or CISA were present at booths at an important cyber-related student recruiting event held in Washington this year.

In the end, nothing good will come out of this shutdown.

May it be a cyber-attack that goes undetected or agencies losing cyber-security personnel leaving for the private sector, the ripple effects of this shutdown will haunt agencies for months or years to come.

More cybersecurity news:

Encapsulated power supply, 12V/1A• Size: 100 x 55 x 68 mm Input - 230V AC nominal + 10%/-15%• Output - 12V DC• Electronic shutdown until overload or short circuit removed. Thermal shutdown if overload for extended period• For internal use only• Plastic - More Info

Robocop Dark Justice (DVD)A cybernetic super-cop stumbles upon government corruption - More Info

Libbey - Fill to Brim Shooter 50ml Glassware - SmallThe 'fill to the brim' shooter glass. Capacity: 5cl/1.75oz. (Government stamped). - More Info

Coup GameIn the not too distant future, the government is run for profit by a new royal class of multi-national CEOs. Their greed and absolute control of the economy has reduced all but a privileged few to lives of poverty and desperation. Out of the oppressed masses rose The Resistance - an underground organization focused on overthrowing these powerful rulers. The valiant efforts of The Resistance have created discord, intrigue and weakness in the political courts of the new royals, bringing the government to brink of collapse. But for you, a powerful government official, this is your opportunity to manipulate, bribe and bluff your way into absolute power. To be successful, you must destroy the influence of your rivals and drive them into exile. In these turbulent times there is only room for one to survive. - More Info - EAN: 0722301926246

Coup GameIn the not too distant future, the government is run for profit by a new royal class of multi-national CEOs. Their greed and absolute control of the economy has reduced all but a privileged few to lives of poverty and desperation. Out of the oppressed masses rose The Resistance - an underground organization focused on overthrowing these powerful rulers. The valiant efforts of The Resistance have created discord, intrigue and weakness in the political courts of the new royals, bringing the government to brink of collapse. But for you, a powerful government official, this is your opportunity to manipulate, bribe and bluff your way into absolute power. To be successful, you must destroy the influence of your rivals and drive them into exile. In these turbulent times there is only room for one to survive. - More Info - EAN: 0722301926246

You may also like...

       
Apps & Games Clothing Electronics & Photo Large Appliances
Baby Womens Apparel Garden Lighting
Beauty Mens Apparel Outdoors Luggage
Books Girls Apparel Health & Personal Care Pet Supplies
Car Boys Apparel Home Shoes & Bags
Motorbike Computers & Accessories Kitchen Equipment Sports & Outdoors
Fashion DIY & Tools Jewellery Toys & Games