AOH :: IS1579.HTM

Auditor: IRS Still Vulnerable to Cyber Breaches

Auditor: IRS Still Vulnerable to Cyber Breaches
Auditor: IRS Still Vulnerable to Cyber Breaches 

By Grant Gross
IDG News Service
January 09, 2009

The U.S. Internal Revenue Service remains vulnerable to a wide range of 
cybersecurity problems, and the agency has fixed less than half of the 
vulnerabilities identified in a November audit, according to a report by 
the U.S. Government Accountability Office released Friday.

The IRS has fixed just 49 of 115 computer security problems found by the 
GAO in the November audit, the GAO said. The agency, which collects 
about US$2.7 trillion in taxes each year, still does not always enforce 
strong password management, does not encrypt some sensitive data and 
does not always limit the number of workers with access to sensitive 
information, the GAO said.

"IRS continues to, among other things, allow sensitive information, 
including IDs and passwords for mission-critical applications, to be 
readily available to any user on its internal network, and grant 
excessive access to individuals who do not need it," the GAO report 
said. "Despite IRS's progress, information security control weaknesses 
continue to jeopardize the confidentiality, integrity, and availability 
of financial and sensitive taxpayer information."

The GAO report [1] did note that the IRS has taken several steps to 
improve information security since the November report.


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