Sten Vesterli's Blog

The Intern Did It!

The intern did it! Solarwinds’ new CEO just added another top contender to the pantheon of bad excuses. This one is right up there with “the dog ate my homework” and is destined to become an instant classic.

Testifying before a U.S. Congressional Committee, Solarwinds came out looking like bungling amateurs. First, they had a system that allowed a password like solarwinds123. Second, they had an externally accessible system where that password worked. Third, they didn’t do anything about it when security researchers pointed it out. Fourth, they try to pin the blame on an intern that created that password.

As a CIO, you can either isolate your public-facing systems completely from the internal ones, and allow username/password access. Or you can use two-factor authentication or other additional security. The time when you could secure a non-trivial, externally-facing system with just a username and password are long gone.

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