Making Sense of Census Bureau Hack

Making Sense of Census Bureau Hack

By Chris Brunau

The United States Census Bureau has released some information regarding the July 22 hacking by the group Anonymous.

The attack gained access to The Federal Audit Clearinghouse, “which is housed on an externally facing IT system that contains non-confidential information,” according to a blog post from John H. Thompson, Census Bureau Director.

While this is just another instance in a long list of data breaches, it again brings up the issue of downtime and recovery time. It also reminds us that while necessary, antivirus software and firewalls may not be enough to protect an organization’s data and systems.

“Within 90 minutes of learning of the breach, we made the system inaccessible. It will remain offline until we can complete our thorough investigation and take steps to ensure the systems integrity in the future,” according to Thompson.

We’re approaching a week now with their FAC system down while they complete their investigation. Luckily, it isn’t their most crucial subdomain, only containing details of the individuals submitting the information, but not confidential data, according to the Census Bureau.

However, when you’re approaching a week, it sure sounds like a downtime nightmare.

According to Thompson, the Census Bureau is increasing their efforts to ensure security, in addition to already using the latest IT security standards.

You can check out our handy Recovery Time Calculator to find out the real cost of downtime for your company.


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