By Brian Krebs
Washington Post Staff Writer
April 5, 2009
Years after the Interior Department was warned that its computer network
was dangerously exposed to hackers and was ordered by a federal judge to
fix the problem, the vulnerabilities remained, to the point that the
department probably could not tell if outsiders had gained access to its
data, according to a newly disclosed internal report.
The report was written last spring by Interior's then-inspector general,
Earl A. Devaney, but it became public only Wednesday, when it was filed
with a federal appeals court as part of a decade-old,
multibillion-dollar lawsuit by Native Americans against the federal
"It is unfathomable anyone could give assurance the Department's network
is secure," Devaney wrote, adding that the department had "persistently
failed to meet minimum standards in information security."
"According to the Department's own analysis, nearly 70% of the network
traffic leaving the Department through a single one of its Internet
gateways during the month of January 2008 was bound for known hostile
countries and the Department lacked the capability to even determine
what the traffic was," the report reads.
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