IG says hackers could sink Coast Guard database

The Coast Guard does not have adequate database security controls for its Marine Information for Safety and Law Enforcement (MISLE) system, which contains sensitive but unclassified information for Coast Guard missions, according to a new report from Homeland Security Department inspector general Richard Skinner.

MISLE is a Web-based database system used to track marine safety and law enforcement activities involving commercial and recreational vessels. It contains information on Coast Guard waterway details, vessel and facility inspection information, and incident investigation. The Vessel Documentation System, which tracks vessel ownership, also is accessible through MISLE.
Although the Coast Guard has implemented many controls for the system, it has not established effective procedures for monitoring user access, nor has it developed an adequate IT contingency plan, the report said. Furthermore, there are vulnerabilities on Coast Guard database servers related to access rights, password administration, configuration management and encryption.

To read the IG's report, go to www.gcn.com and enter 493 in the GCN.com/box.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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