Hacking News After Fired Employee Easily Gains Access, Baltimore Increases Security at Municipal Buildings -- Security Today

Published on July 22nd, 2019 📆 | 4762 Views ⚑

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After Fired Employee Easily Gains Access, Baltimore Increases Security at Municipal Buildings — Security Today

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After Fired Employee Easily Gains Access, Baltimore Increases Security at Municipal Buildings

Since a May breach, the city has added security personnel at several buildings and plans to increase employee awareness of how to report suspicious activity.

The city of Baltimore is increasing its security measures in municipal buildings after an inspector general’s report found that a former employee was able to easily gain “unfettered access” to non-public areas, including employee offices and “locations containing sensitive material and equipment.”

Though the employee is not named in Baltimore Inspector General Isabel Mercedes Cumming’s report, The Baltimore Sun confirmed through multiple city sources that the individual was Tirell Clifton, who was fired in May 2018 for having alleged hacking tools on his work computer.

Clifton spent over two hours at the Abel Wolman Municipal Building on May 6, the day before the city government was struck by a ransomware attack that brought down several billing systems and employee email access. A potential connection between Clifton’s visit to the building and the attack was investigated and determined to be unlikely, according to the Sun’s sources.

The inspector general’s report places most of the blame for the breach on a guard employed by an outside vendor that provides security services to the city. The guard has now been barred from working at city properties.

“Despite being told directly by the individual that they had been terminated from city employment, the security guard allowed them access to the elevators without scanning identification, signing into a log book or confirming the individual was allowed access to nonpublic areas,” Cumming wrote in the report.

The guard told investigators that he did not follow normal procedures because he “recognized and knew of” Clifton. In addition, Clifton was wearing a tactical vest and “badge similar to those issued to law enforcement,” causing several employees to believe he had gone into law enforcement and not question his presence, Cumming wrote.

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