Alaska: Cyber review finds government websites ‘critically vulnerable’ to hackers | Linda F. Hersey/Fairbanks Daily News-Miner
The state of Alaska is not keeping up with best practices for protecting its computer systems, according to an independent cyber review that found problems with patching software, maintaining certificates and securing web pages. Burke Stephenson, a consultant with Cybersec Innovation Partners, recently submitted the 28-page review to the joint Senate State of Affairs and Judiciary committees. The state government’s web infrastructure is in “a critically vulnerable position,” according to the findings. The report pointed to problems on public web pages available to anyone with a computer and internet access. Stephenson’s testimony before the joint Senate committee prompted lawmakers togo into executive session. They cited concerns about conveying sensitive information to cybercriminals for the decision to gointo the private meeting. But Stephenson said in public testimony the risks are readily known to hackers, as they are vulnerabilities that persist on state government public websites. He described the problems, which involve system maintenance and upkeep, as prevalent not just to the state of Alaska but across governments and the private sector.