Government Wi-Fi Networks Not Secure
A hacker on a park bench could log onto dozens of U.S. government computer networks thanks to slipshod security standards at many agencies, according to a congressional report released on Tuesday. The report by the Government Accountability Office found that few government agencies can ensure that their wireless networks are protected from unauthorized access.
Government agencies shouldn’t set up high-speed wireless broadband networks, known as “Wi-Fi,” until they have figured out a way to secure them, according to guidelines issued by the National Institute for Standards and Technology. But nine of the 24 major agencies haven’t issued wireless-security plans, while many others provided little guidance for acceptable use, the GAO found. Thirteen agencies don’t require their Wi-Fi networks to be set up in a secure manner, and most don’t monitor their wireless activity, the report said.
GAO investigators were able to pick up Wi-Fi signals from outside all of the six agencies they tested, and they were able to find examples of unauthorized activity at all six as well.