Christopher Krebs, director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and a 2020 Wash100 Award recipient, is mandating agencies to update their Domain Name System-based (DNS) Windows servers following reports of new cyber threats.
Krebs wrote in a blog post published Thursday that agencies must implement the July 2020 security update for Windows servers running DNS. Agencies may enact interim registry-based approaches if patching cannot be done within 24 hours.
The emergency directive comes as part of CISA’s efforts to address “wormable" vulnerabilities in Windows servers, which are commonly used among civilian agencies under the Executive Branch. According to Krebs, remote attackers could exploit Windows servers and control affected systems through Local System Account codes.
He added that agencies should also implement CISA’s recommendations for cyber hygiene including web application and vulnerability scanning as well as phishing and campaign analysis. CISA also “strongly recommends our partners in the private sector” to take the necessary precautions, Krebs noted.