DHS Assessment of Foreign VPN Apps Finds Security Risk Real, Data Lacking

The risk posed by foreign-made virtual private network (VPN) applications must be accounted for — even if government device users have avoided such apps — because adversaries are interested in exploiting the software, according to a senior Department of Homeland Security official.

“Open-source reporting indicates nation-state actors have demonstrated intent and capability to leverage VPN services and vulnerable users for malicious purposes,” Chris Krebs, director of DHS’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), wrote in a May 22 letter to Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., obtained by CyberScoop. There is no overarching U.S. policy preventing government mobile device users from downloading foreign VPN apps, according to Krebs.

“Even with the implementation of technical solutions, if a U.S. government employee downloaded a foreign VPN application originating from an adversary nation, foreign exploitation of that data would be somewhat or highly likely,” Krebs wrote.

Read more at CyberScoop

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The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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