Taking the Bait

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6 | Th e M Rep o RT Ellie Mae: Network Outage Not Triggered by Attack The company dodged a securiTy bulleT buT plans To address securiTy concerns as a resulT of The issue. I n a fortuitous reversal for Ellie Mae, the company an- nounced that a previously reported outage stemming from a presumed cyber-attack was in fact "triggered by a confluence of factors involving network, hardware, software, and de- mand for service." The company previously reported that the outage was similar to a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack, where an unknown third-party would send multiple requests to a specific URL in an attempt to overwhelm servers. The com- pany hypothesized that a cyber- attack could have occurred from someone with knowledge of the mortgage industry. The company later issued a press release noting that there in fact had been no attack on its system. A company press release said, "[F]ollowing a thorough review of the incident, with as- sistance from a leading security and cybercrime forensics firm, Ellie Mae has now concluded that there was no malicious at- tack on its systems." Furthermore, the company commented that there was no breach of client or personal bor- rower data. Additionally, Ellie Mae noted that it has already tak- en steps to prevent outages in the future, including adding capacity and redistributing traffic across all of its data centers, according to the company's press release. Sig Anderman, CEO and founder of Ellie Mae, said, "We are pleased to confirm there was no breach of client or borrower data. We sincerely apologize to our clients and any affected bor- rowers for the unavailability of Encompass services during the outage and thank them for their patience and understanding as we worked to bring the system back to normal functioning levels." Anderman added, "We are fo- cused on continuing to enhance our systems to deliver the functionality, reliability, and scalability our clients need to run their businesses, remain compliant, and originate high-quali- ty loans efficiently." A media contact for Ellie Mae declined to comment further, referring back to the company's press release. Protection and Security Top Priority Companies are taking notice of the recent news on cyber threats and taking action to protect themselves. Agencies Advise Banks on Cyber- Security companies are waking up To cyber-securiTy concerns as a resulT of recenT aTTack. A release issued by FDIC urged financial institutions to "actively utilize available resources to identify and help mitigate potential cyber-related risks." The timing of the release is particularly germane, considering the recently discovered Heartbleed bug, which affects almost two- thirds of the web. "Cyber threats have been widely covered in the national media, and we believe that financial institutions and their technology service providers have been managing system updates to mitigate potential vulnerabilities in an effective manner," said Doreen Eberley, director of the FDIC Division of Risk Management Supervision. The FDIC release would ap- pear to reference the recently discovered Heartbleed bug. The bug, according to the appropri- ately named, "is a serious vulnerability in the popular OpenSSL cryptographic software library. This weakness allows stealing the information protected, under normal condi- tions, by the SSL/TLS encryp- tion used to secure the Internet." The site continues, "SSL/TLS provides communication security and privacy over the Internet for applications such as web, email, instant messaging (IM), and some virtual private networks (VPNs)." SSL, or secure sockets layer, is a standard web protocol used for encrypting secure data. A com- puter using SSL sends a request to another computer, verifying the other computer is in fact the one it is attempting to reach. If successful, the second computer responds with data verifying itself, and a handshake occurs to exchange data securely. Heartbleed exploits this con- nection. "Web servers that use the af- fected versions of the code store some data unprotected in memory. on the web

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