Lieberman rips DHS wireless

DHS Inspector General's report

Sen. Joseph Lieberman (D-Conn.) compared wireless network insecurities discovered within the Homeland Security Department to a failure of fire officials to install smoke detectors in the firehouse.

Reacting to a DHS inspector general's report, Lieberman said in a statement released by his office this week the IG findings reveal "a troubling lack of diligence" by DHS officials. By failing to protect internal wireless networks, DHS officials have exposed sensitive information to unauthorized access and left the networks vulnerable to attack, said Lieberman, ranking member of the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee.

In the report issued June 30, the IG recommended that DHS officials improve operations in the department's Wireless Management Office, which was set up to oversee the use of wireless technologies. The IG also advised DHS officials to improve internal wireless policies and procedures and to certify and accredit their wireless systems as required by law.

The IG found a growing number of DHS employees use wireless laptops and wireless messaging devices on networks with signals that leak from secure facilities at DHS into adjacent parking lots, public roads and residences.

"This lapse leaves sensitive information and systems exposed to an unacceptable risk of access or attack by criminals and terrorists," Lieberman said.

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