U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL
Results of Technical Network
Vulnerability Assessment:
EPA's Region 6
Report No. 12-P-0659
August 10, 2012

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Report Contributors:
Rudolph M. Brevard
Warren Brooks
Scott Sammons
Jeremy Sigel
Hotline
To report fraud, waste, or abuse, contact us through one of the following methods:
e-mail:	OIG Hotlirie@epa.aov	write: EPA Inspector General Hotline
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fax:	202-566-2599	Mailcode 2431T
online:	http://www.epa.gov/oig/hotline.htm	Washington, DC 20460

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.* *. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency	12-P-0659
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' At a Glance
Why We Did This Review
We sought to assess the
security configurations of the
U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency's (EPA's) Region 6
wireless network infrastructure.
We sought to conduct network
vulnerability testing of the
Region 6 Local Area Network
to identify resources that
contained commonly known
high-risk and medium-risk
vulnerabilities. We also sought
to assess the physical controls
and environmental controls
around critical information
technology assets located in
Region 6. We conducted this
audit as part of the annual
review of EPA's information
security program as required by
the Federal Information
Security Management Act.
Furthering EPA's Goals and
Cross-Cutting Strategies
 Strengthening EPA's
Workforce and Capabilities
Results of Technical Network Vulnerability
Assessment: EPA's Region 6
What We Found
Our vulnerability assessments of EPA's Region 6 wireless network infrastructure
found no security weaknesses. However, our vulnerability testing of networked
resources located at Region 6 facilities identified Internet Protocol addresses with
potentially 35 critical-risk, 217 high-risk, and 878 medium-risk vulnerabilities.
Additionally, our server room assessments revealed a lack of adequate
monitoring of environmental controls, the lack of a process to ensure only
authorized personnel are approved for access to server rooms, and the existence
of unsecured and unlogged media in the server rooms. If not resolved, these
vulnerabilities could expose EPA's assets to unauthorized access and potentially
harm the Agency's network.
Recommendations and Agency Corrective Actions
We recommend that the Senior Information Official within Region 6 provide the
Office of Inspector General a status update for every critical-risk, high-risk, and
medium-risk vulnerability identified by the scanning tool; create plans of action
and milestones in the Agency's Automated Security Self-Evaluation and
Remediation Tracking system for all vulnerabilities according to Agency interim
procedures; perform a technical vulnerability assessment test of assigned
network resources within 60 days to confirm completion of remediation activities;
and remediate all identified physical and environmental control weaknesses
identified in the server rooms.
Region 6 representatives acknowledged the existence of the vulnerabilities that
we identified and stated they have begun developing corrective actions to
address the risks related to these weaknesses.
The detailed testing results have already been provided to Agency
representatives. Due to the sensitive nature of the report's technical findings, the
technical details will not be made available to the public.
For further information, contact
our Office of Congressional and
Public Affairs at (202) 566-2391.
The full report is at:
www.epa.gov/oiq/reports/2012/
20120810-12-P-0659. pdf

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< H0? s	UNITED STATES ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
\ V\l// 	WASHINGTON, D.C. 20460
PRO^
THE INSPECTOR GENERAL
August 10,2012
MEMORANDUM
SUBJECT: Results of Technical Network Vulnerability Assessment:
EPA's Region 6
Report No. 12-P-0659
FROM: Arthur A. Elkins, Jr. Chji*/Ur	(vy^.
TO:	Lynda Carroll
Senior Information Official
Region 6
This is our quick reaction report on the subject audit conducted by the Office of Inspector
General (OIG) of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Due to the sensitive nature
of the technical findings, we are issuing this report for urgent management remediation. The site
assessments were conducted in conjunction with our annual audit of EPA's information security
program as required by the Federal Information Security Management Act. This report provides
the summary of our security assessments of networked resources located at EPA's Region 6
office in Dallas, Texas, and laboratory in Houston, Texas.
Our tests disclosed that network resources at the Region 6 office and laboratory contained
potentially a combined 35 critical-risk, 217 high-risk, and 878 medium-risk vulnerabilities.
Our server room assessments revealed a lack of adequate monitoring of environmental controls,
the lack of a process to ensure only authorized personnel are approved for access to server
rooms, and the existence of unsecured and/or unlogged media in the server rooms. We provided
your office representatives with the technical results during our site visit to facilitate immediate
remediation actions.
We performed this audit work from February through August 2012 at EPA's Region 6 office in
Dallas and laboratory in Houston. We performed this audit in accordance with generally
accepted government auditing standards. Those standards require that we plan and perform the
audit to obtain sufficient and appropriate evidence to provide a reasonable basis for our findings
and conclusions based on the audit objectives. We believe the evidence obtained provides a
reasonable basis for our findings and conclusions.
12-P-0659
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We conducted testing to identify the existence of commonly known vulnerabilities using a
commercially available network vulnerability assessment tool recognized by the National
Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). We interviewed EPA personnel responsible for
managing the network resources located in Region 6. We reviewed relevant EPA interim
procedures to obtain an understanding of the Agency's Automated Security Self-Evaluation and
Remediation Tracking system used for recording identified weaknesses. We tested the Internet
Protocol addresses associated with network resources located in the Region 6 office and
laboratory. We used the risk ratings provided by the vulnerability software to determine the level
of harm a risk could pose to a networked resource due to the vulnerability and accepted the
results from the software tool as the level of risk to EPA's network. Upon follow-up with your
office representatives, they acknowledged the existence of the vulnerabilities and stated that
some mitigation activities had already begun related to these risks.
We performed an inspection of EPA's Region 6 server rooms with key information technology
(IT) personnel to assess the physical controls and environmental controls around IT assets. We
interviewed Agency IT staff to determine the extent to which IT equipment is protected from
physical, environmental, and human threats. We used NIST Special Publication 800-53,
Recommended Security Controls for Federal Information Systems and Organizations, as the
template for evaluating IT security controls around the server rooms. Appendix A includes a
summary of our findings at the server rooms assessed and our recommendations by site.
We also conducted testing of EPA's Region 6 wireless infrastructure to identify any possible
configuration weaknesses using a commercially available wireless scanning tool. Specifically,
we performed tests to identify whether any unauthorized wireless devices existed on the region's
network. We also performed tests to determine whether the wireless encryption protocols being
used on the region's wireless local area network were sufficient to secure it. We found no
weaknesses during either of these tests.
Recommendations
We recommend that the Senior Information Official within Region 6:
1.	Provide the OIG a status update for all identified critical-risk, high-risk, and
medium-risk vulnerability findings from the technical scanning tool within 30 days of
this report.
2.	Create plans of action and milestones in the Agency's Automated Security Self-
Evaluation and Remediation Tracking system for all vulnerabilities according to
Agency procedures within 30 days of this report.
3.	Perform a technical vulnerability assessment test of assigned network resources
within 60 days to confirm completion of remediation activities.
4.	Establish written procedures for granting authorized access to Region 6 server rooms
in Dallas and Houston.
12-P-0659
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5. Sanitize and secure all used drives kept in the Houston server room in addition to
logging their receipt, rotation, and/or disposal.
6. Establish a process for continuous monitoring of Dallas and Houston server rooms'
environmental conditions by personnel or real-time monitoring by existing IT
equipment with environmental monitoring capabilities.
Action Required
Please provide written responses to this report within 30 calendar days. You should include a
corrective actions plan for agreed-upon actions, including milestone dates.
Due to the sensitive nature of the report's technical findings, the technical details are not
included in this report and will not be made available to the public. The OIG plans to post on the
OIG's public website the corrective action plans that you provide to us that do not contain
sensitive information. Therefore, we request that you provide the response to recommendation 1
in a separate document; we will not make that response available to the public if it contains
sensitive information.
Your responses should be provided as Adobe PDF files that comply with the accessibility
requirements of Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended. Except for your
response to recommendation 1, which will not be posted if it contains sensitive information, your
responses should not contain data that you do not want to be released to the public; if those
responses contain such data, you should identify the data for redaction or removal.
If you or your staff have any questions regarding this report, please contact Patricia H. Hill,
Assistant Inspector General for Mission Systems, at (202) 566-0894 or hill.patricia@epa.gov; or
Rudolph M. Brevard, Product Line Director, Information Resources Management Assessments,
at (202) 566-0893 or brevard.rudv@epa. gov.
12-P-0659
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Status of Recommendations and
Potential Monetary Benefits
RECOMMENDATIONS	POTENTIAL MONETARY
BENEFITS (in $000s)
Rec.
No.
Page
No.
Subject
Status1
Action Official
Planned
Completion
Date
Claimed Agreed-To
Amount Amount
1
2
Provide the OIG a status update for all identified
critical-risk, high-risk, and medium-risk vulnerability
findings from the technical scanning tool within
30 days of this report.
U
Senior Information Official,
Region 6


2
2
Create plans of action and milestones in the
Agency's Automated Security Self-Evaluation and
Remediation Tracking system for all vulnerabilities
according to Agency procedures within 30 days of
this report.
U
Senior Information Official,
Region 6


3
2
Perform a technical vulnerability assessment test of
assigned network resources within 60 days to
confirm completion of remediation activities.
u
Senior Information Official,
Region 6


4
2
Establish written procedures for granting
authorized access to Region 6 server rooms in
Dallas and Houston.
u
Senior Information Official,
Region 6


5
3
Sanitize and secure all used drives kept in the
Houston server room in addition to logging their
receipt, rotation, and/or disposal.
u
Senior Information Official,
Region 6


6
3
Establish a process for continuous monitoring of
Dallas and Houston server rooms' environmental
conditions by personnel or real-time monitoring by
existing IT equipment with environmental
monitoring capabilities.
u
Senior Information Official,
Region 6


1 0 = recommendation is open with agreed-to corrective actions pending
C = recommendation is closed with all agreed-to actions completed
U = recommendation is unresolved with resolution efforts in progress
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Appendix A
Table of Server Room Assessment Findings and
Recommendations by Site
Key: X = Weakness found at location

Ui'l ulllllli'lMlilliolls | |o||s|o||
DiilLis
Lack of written procedures for
authorizing access to the server
rooms.
Establish written procedures for granting
authorized access to Region 6 server rooms
in Dallas and Houston.
X
X
Lack of environmental controls to
monitor server room temperature and
humidity and alert personnel of
emergency.
Establish a process for continuous
monitoring of Dallas and Houston server
room's environmental conditions by
personnel or real-time monitoring by
existing IT equipment with environmental
monitoring capabilities.
X
X
Charged wet-piped fire suppression
system leaves uncovered server racks
susceptible to water damage.
X

Un-sanitized data drives with EPA
information not logged and left
unsecured within server room.
Sanitize and secure all used drives kept in
the Houston server room in addition to
logging their receipt, rotation and/or
disposal.
X

No logging of rotation of backup
tapes or transportation/receipt at the
Addison offsite storage facility.

X
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Appendix B
Distribution
Office of the Administrator
Assistant Administrator for Environmental Information and Chief Information Officer
Regional Administrator, Region 6
Senior Information Official, Region 6
Agency Follow-Up Official (the CFO)
Agency Follow-Up Coordinator
General Counsel
Associate Administrator for Congressional and Intergovernmental Relations
Associate Administrator for External Affairs and Environmental Education
Senior Agency Information Security Officer
Audit Follow-Up Coordinator, Region 6
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