Modem Connections at USAID Missions
||January 23, 2001
||CIO Council Security Practices Subcommittee (SPS)
States Agency for International Development (USAID), Bureau for Management,
Information Resources Management (M/IRM), Information Systems Security Team
||Level of BSP
||Security Processes or other
||In the Security Process Framework:
- (18.104.22.168) Monitor Effectiveness and Compliance of Organizational
Technical Security Program
- (22.214.171.124.4) Review Security Posture
- (126.96.36.199.1) Assess Vulnerability
In the SSE CMM Framework:
- (PA-05) Assess Vulnerability
In the OMB A-130, Appendix III,
- (3.a.3) Review of Security Controls
||Not to be completed by the
||Points of Contact
||Government BSP Owner:
- James P. Craft, CISSP
USAID Information Systems Security Officer
Ronald Reagan Building
1300 Pennsylvania Ave., Suite 2.12-032
Washington DC 20523-2120
Telephone No - 202-712-5460
Fax No. - 202-712-3053
||What This BSP Does
||This BSP discusses how to detect unauthorized
modem connections to an official network as part of the cyber-security assistance visits
at USAID missions worldwide. The process involves the use of the 'PhoneSweep' software.
The scans can be conducted at various levels of specificity, for instance, detect only,
detect and identify protocols, detect and attempt to crack passwords. These levels are
discussed with management prior to conducting the scans.
||Requirements for this BSP
||OMB A-130 Appendix III, Section A.3.a.3 states:
"Review of Security Controls. Review the security controls in each system
when significant modifications are made to the system, but at least every three years. The
scope and frequency of the review should be commensurate with the acceptable level of risk
for the system. Depending on the potential risk and magnitude of harm that could occur,
consider identifying a deficiency pursuant to OMB Circular No. A-123, "Management
Accountability and Control" and the Federal Managers' Financial Integrity Act
(FMFIA), if there is no assignment of security responsibility, no security plan, or no
authorization to process for a system."
||Modem scanning was an integral part of the
cyber-security assistance visit provided to the mission in Lima, Peru in 1999 and Phnom
Penh, Cambodia and Manila, Philippines during November and December 2000. The
correspondence below is from a senior manager at Lima expressing the mission's
appreciation for raising their information system security posture through the
cyber-security assistance visit process.
Subj: COMPUTER SECURITY
Source: David Bayer, USAID Peru Executive Office
If you have the opportunity to have the
Information Systems Security Officer (ISSO) Jim Craft and his Risk Assessment Program Area
Manager, Rodney Murphy, visit your Mission with their team of computer security experts,
then take advantage of it. They did one hell of a job during their
February visit with us at USAID/Peru in getting us up to speed and raising our level of
consciousness about security issues. This is not to say that our dedicated IRM staff, led
by Systems Manager, Lucho Figueroa, have not been working their hearts
out to get us into shape, but it is a real injection of energy to have professional people
like Jim, Rodney, John Zoble, Mike Reiter and Steve Bui come in and sit down to review
your Computer Security Program and Computer Contingency Plan with you.
In addition, they trained some 80 employees to
become aware of computer security pitfalls.
And, last but not least, they have given us some key advice and methods
for closing out some computer security audit issues which are not
only USAID/Peru exposures but endemic to all Missions worldwide.
Computer security is becoming an important issue
in for USAID and all organizations. In this environment, new security standards and having
a formal security program in each overseas Mission is very
USAID/Peru was selected as a Beta site to define the model/templates for
the Computer Security Program to be applied in all overseas Missions.
Starting February 19 to February 25, during five workdays, a Computer
Security Team belonging to the IRM/ Security Group was in Lima. The
team had five members. Jim Craft acted as the team Leader.
Computer Security is a dynamic activity and demands coordination and
permanent follow-up. The Computer Security Team's role in the implementation
of the Computer Security Program in each Mission is critical. Computer Security activity
involves the entire USAID organization, starting from Washington and reaching out
worldwide to all Missions. If one Mission security system fails, it
endangers the entire USAID organization.
||What This BSP Is
||Description of BSP
- Scanning tool (PhoneSweep software)
- Laptop computer with modem
- Digital Converter, if needed
- Sample 'PhoneSweep' screens with selection choices
Step 1. Coordinate, with the appropriate personnel, approval to conduct
the modem scan. The Modem Scan activity should be completed after-hours to eliminate
disturbances to working staff and also to look for unauthorized modems operating after
normal working hours.
Step 2. Connect the hardware and configure the software.
- Connect the PhoneSweep Software dongle to the parallel port of the
- Connect the Digital converter to the laptop as outlined in the manual for
the Digital converter.
- Access the PhoneSweep software: Programs,
- Select I agree to the license agreement.
- Select File, New and you will be presented with a prompt to enter
a new profile name.
- Enter a profile name, _________________, OK.
- Select Phone Numbers from the PhoneSweep 1.1 Test screen,
and Add from the (next) screen.
- Enter the phone number or the starting number for a range of numbers
(ex., 7000) in the left hand box, and enter the ending number of the range (ex., 7900) in
the right hand box.
- Check the box for the appropriate dialing period Outside Hours.
- Check the button entitled Dial During Each Time Period.
- Select Add. Then, select Close to add the phone numbers to
the new profile.
- Select Options from the list of Tabs on the next screen
(PhoneSweep 1.1 Test), and then select the Modem Tab and choose the
appropriate Com Port. (The Com Port selection can be confirmed by selecting Modem Diagnostics in the Settings/Control Panel from Windows 95).
- Select the Time Tab and set the time period associated with the
Business Hours at the location of the scan. Most scans should be conducted during times
outside Business Hours. Change Outside Rings to 4 (in the Timeout in Rings
or Seconds section).
- Select the Effort Tab and choose the degree of effort desired for
the scan. Most scans will only require the Connect Level of Effort. Also ensure
that you select scan for Both Modems and Fax Machines. Other settings
- Select the Dial Tab and program any Dialing
Prefix required to initiate calls from your location. NOTE: You should verify these
settings by dialing the prefix and one assigned number to ensure proper configuration and
operation. In addition, set the Modem Baud Rate to 57600.
- Select the Report Tab and ensure all selections are chosen.
- Select the Status Tab, and Save your current configuration.
Step 3. Run the Scan, produce the Scan results Report, and Analyze the report data
- After selecting the Status Tab, and Saving your current configuration,
select Start to initiate the scanning process.
- When the Scan is complete, select the Report Tab and save the results of the scan
to a chosen file name. After saving the file, you must use MS Word to retrieve, edit, and
print the report.
- Analyze the data and confirm the findings in the Report. Then, issue the Report to all
Modem Scan Results
||Relationship to Other BSPs
||The cyber-security assistance visit process
comprises several subprocesses, one of which is the Modem Scan. Additional relationships
will be added as additional BSPs are submitted
||How To Use This BSP
- The Phone Sweep software operates at the optimal level using a Gold Modem
card installed in the laptop. Note: Other modem cards will work but do not always
provide complete information for reports.
- Having the Administrator of the system being reviewed work closely with
the individual conducting the after-hours Modem Scan can enhance the efficiency of this
||Personnel: Operating System Administrator
or trained security professional.
Time per System/Scan:
Preparation Time up-front: 2 - 4 hours identifying the current
system environment and obtaining proper approvals.
On-Site Time: 4 - 6 hours to connect hardware, configure
software, and tear down when finished. 12 hours to run After-hours Scan. (This is
dependent upon the number of phone numbers being scanned.)
Final Report Preparation Time: 4 hours; this includes the review
of data and documentation of activities by the reviewer, and also the transfer of the
documentation by the report writer into the final report.
||Performance Goals and
||General Goal: To eliminate those security
vulnerabilities associated with unauthorized access to system resources caused by the
existence/use of non-approved and unauthorized modems connected to the network.
Performance Goal: To perform the modem scan on an organization's networks, often
and routinely, in order to ensure detection of unauthorized modems connected to the
Outcome Goal: To search for the existence of modems connected to the
network and identify their specific location.
Output goal: To document the identification and location of modems
connected to the network.
General Objective: To identify the risk involved with the security
vulnerability associated with the presence of unauthorized modems connected to the
network. The organization's Senior Management can then use this information to make proper
information systems security decisions.
Performance Indicator: Assess the effectiveness of the modem scan by
routine analysis of the process. By keeping detailed records on the number of scans run,
the frequency and time of day of the scans, and scan results, an assessment can be made to
determine whether or not the process is keeping unauthorized modems off the network.
Modify the process, if necessary.
||The tools used to perform the Risk Assessment
After-hours Modem Scan are:
- Laptop with modem
- Digital Converter, if needed
||PhoneSweep v1.03 User's Manual, Sandstorm
||Executive Overview and
||Editor's Note: See App
A *.ppt briefing
||The United States Agency for International
Development (USAID) has contracted for general IRM support with Computer
Sciences Corporation (CSC) under the Agency's Principle Resource for Information
Management Enterprisewide (PRIME) contract (GS00K96AJD0012) with FEDSIM.
USAID obtains its information system security support from CSC under the
PRIME contract using the Performance Work Statement (PWS) at Appendix
||Not yet evaluated
||Version 1.0 of the BSP was reviewed after
conducting cyber-assistance visits to Phnom Penh, Cambodia and Manila, Philippines during
November and December 2000. The review has determined the original BSP remains valid and
has incorporated minor editorial revisions.