US Homeland Security network condemned as insecure

The US Department of Homeland Security's wide area network (Wan) is plagued by security problems, according to a government watchdog.

The US Department of Homeland Security's wide area network (Wan) is plagued by security problems, according to a government watchdog.

The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) found that the DHS’ Wan had 65 million security event messages between February and April 2005.

The number of security event messages represented a 400% increase from the year before, said the OIG.

Ten per cent, or 6.5 million, of the warnings were related to network alerts over the viewing of pornography on networked computers, although the DHS pointed out some of these incidents could have been linked to the department’s work in fighting illegal porn.

The OIG said the DHS’s network monitoring system could not confirm whether this was entirely the case.

The OIG said the DHS had failed to clearly outline baseline security controls or rules of use, to prevent unauthorised Wan transactions. Without such controls, the DHS cannot remove problematic users from the network, said the OIG.

The DHS said it was addressing the OIG’s concerns.

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