The Department of Homeland Security’s Inspector General issued a warning, suggesting that a crucial immigration agency had such loose regulations for using handheld devices that adversarial countries may shadow agents or intercept their data.
According to the Inspector General (IG), U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has an overly liberal policy on the use of agency-issued devices. Workers are free to use any software, including chat apps created by firms with links to foreign governments.
The IG claimed his investigators looked mainly at ICE but warned the issue may extend across Homeland Security and encouraged the government to determine how deep the danger extends.
The published report omits the names of the hostile nations and the applications, but the IG claims that several are made by firms that the United States has blacklisted.
According to the agency, no malicious activity has been detected on these gadgets, and there has been no unauthorized access to ICE databases.
Jim Crumpacker, the inspector general liaison for Homeland Security, has said that ICE implemented modifications in June to rectify the situation.
He said that ICE is considering restricting the use of its API to just pre-approved applications.
ICE has blocked and disabled some susceptible chat apps and VPN apps to improve device security, per the auditors’ recommendations.
According to reports, DHS also disputed the assessment that ICE security procedures did not protect government mobile devices and sensitive data. Homeland Security also stated that ICE-managed devices without mobile threat protection capabilities were significantly fewer than the IG’s audit figure.
The audit found that ICE hasn’t totally addressed the user-installed program concerns identified in the notice.
A report shows the White House declared that fifty U.S. government personnel were targeted with commercial malware that infects cell phones with the ability to spy upon their owners in May.
According to an anonymous White House official, there were U.S.-employed victims of spy apps in at least ten countries. The official stated they are still identifying targeted persons and that they cannot rule out further cases.