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[] US-Regierungs-Netze immer unsicherer,

Gov't Networks Get an 'F' 
Associated Press 

7:03 a.m. Nov. 9, 2001 PST 
WASHINGTON -- Despite dramatically tighter security since the terrorist
attacks, a House panel is giving the government failing marks for lax
protection of federal
computer networks against hackers, terrorists and others. 

The "F" grade dropped from the "D-minus" that the government earned in
September 2000. Fully two-thirds of federal agencies -- including the
departments of
Defense, Commerce, Energy, Justice and Treasury -- flunked the latest
governmentwide "computer security report card." 

The National Science Foundation, with "B-plus" marks, ranked best of the
24 largest agencies and departments; the Social Security Administration
was given a
"C-plus" and NASA was given a "C-minus" grade. 

The grades were based on information the departments gave to the Office
of Management and Budget. Under a new federal law, agencies must report
regularly to
OMB on their efforts to keep computers safe. 

Congressional investigators from the General Accounting Office
considered whether agencies had developed security policies or plans,
such as limiting the ability
of users to install rogue software. 

The GAO routinely hacks into federal computers to test security, and it
rarely fails. Last August at the Commerce Department, for example, the
GAO found some
computers didn't require any passwords; some used "password" as the
password; and entire lists of passwords were stored in plain view on the
themselves. When one Commerce employee detected investigators trying to
hack the agency's computers during their testing, he launched an
illegal, electronic
counterattack against the GAO. 

The House Government Reform subcommittee on government efficiency,
headed by Rep. Stephen Horn (R-California), was announcing the findings
at a hearing
Friday. At a hearing earlier this year, Horn complained that government
has made little progress improving computer security. "Are we going to
wait until these
vital systems are compromised, or worse?" Horn asked. 

The Environmental Protection Agency and State Department were given
"D-plus" grades in the latest listing. The General Services
Administration, Federal
Emergency Management Agency and Housing and Urban Development Department
earned "D" marks. 

Other agencies that earned an "F" were the Agriculture Department,
Agency for International Development, Education, Health and Human
Services, Interior and
Labor departments, Office of Personnel Management, Small Business
Administration, and the Transportation and Veterans Affairs departments.

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