September 23, 2019
A physical security penetration test went sour this month as two pentesters working for the firm Coalfire were arrested at an Iowa courthouse. The employees were arrested around 12:30 am on September 11 as they were walking around on the courthouse’s third floor allegedly carrying a variety of burglary tools.
The men told officials they were conducting an assessment on the building’s security, located in Dallas County. A report in The Perry News quoted a police report that said the men told officials “they were contracted to break into the building for Iowa courts to check the security of the building.”
Despite their protests, the men were charged with third-degree burglary and possession of burglary tools and will return to court on September 23 for a preliminary hearing.
The Iowa Judicial Branch released a statement confirming that Coalfire was hired to check for vulnerabilities in its electronic records, but the agreement “did not intend, or anticipate, those efforts to include the forced entry into a building,”
Coalfire told SC Magazine that over 10,000 security assessments have been conducted since 2001, and “employees work diligently to ensure our engagements are conducted with utmost integrity and in alignment with the objectives of our client.” Coalfire said it cannot provide further comment on the issue.
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