USA government shutdown: Websites insecure and inaccessible

US government shut down president donald trump

One of the side effects of this is that security certificates for websites are not being renewed.

Government websites with expired certificates that fail to implement HSTS show an HTTPs error in user's web browsers, but this error can be bypassed to access the site via HTTP.

Cybersecurity experts are concerned that the shutdown could leave government websites vulnerable to hackers.

Meanwhile, the Department of Homeland Security's new cybersecurity and infrastructure security agency is now operating with less than half of its staff, according to Suzanne Spaulding, a former official, in a column for The Hill. "Operating at less than half strength means we are losing ground against our adversaries", said Spaulding. Several staff members, including staff handling IT support and cybersecurity, haven't been paid to maintain the.gov websites.

Expired digital security certificates are not being renewed, undermining millions of US citizens' security.

"Defending federal networks is already an act of triage, due to personnel shortages, legacy IT overhang, uneven risk management practices and a hostile threat environment". "What that means as a practical matter is that these people have to do even more than usual".

Without the automatic renewal of certificates, even more sites would be affected by the growing expired certificate problem, Netcraft's Mutton told The Daily Swig.

More than 80 security certificates used by.gov websites have expired so far, according to research carried out by Netcraft. For instance, if a connection is not secure, websites can be impersonated and sensitive information (like credit card numbers and passwords) can be stolen if entered into the fake site.

A "Closed" sign is seen during a news conference after a House Democratic Caucus meeting at the U.S. Capitol January 9, 2019 in Washington, DC. The page's TLS has not been renewed since it expired on December 17, just days before the government shutdown began.

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