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U.S. FEDERAL AGENCIES FLUNK COMPUTER SECURITY

Source: Security Wire Digest

Posted on November 12, 2001

      U.S. Federal computer network security is getting worse, rather than better, according to the latest "computer security report card" released Friday by the General Accounting Office (GAO). The investigative arm gave 24 government agencies an overall score of "F" this year, down from the already dismal D-minus grade they were given last year, according to the Associated Press.

      The exception to lax protection was the National Science Foundation, which earned the highest grade--a B-plus. The Social Security Administration and NASA both earned a C-minus. Others, however, again received failing or near-failing scores in the GAO annual security evaluations. Agencies rounding out the bottom of the list include the Agency for International Development, Office of Personnel Management, Small Business Administration and the departments of Education, Agriculture, Health and Human Services, Interior, Labor, Transportation and Veterans Affairs.

      Mandated by Congress, the GAO evaluations are based on agencies' security policies or plans and investigators' routine, random penetration tests. The latest results -- released at a time when the government is on heightened security alert -- were to be introduced at a House Government Reform subcommittee hearing last Friday.




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