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US Government Also Uses 'Password' for Password

Report slams lazy cybersecurity measures in place at federal agencies
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 4, 2014 1:32 PM CST
US Government Also Uses 'Password' for Password
   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Yes, ordinary and lazy humans often use "password" as a computer password, but a new report complains that the same thing applies to sensitive government agencies, reports Mashable. The Senate cybersecurity report finds that agencies ranging from Homeland Security to the IRS use weak security measures that leave their data vulnerable to hackers. The report makes note of the use of "password," but it cites other head-scratchers common within the federal system such as expired virus protection and security patches in need of updates.

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“As a taxpayer, I’m outraged,” the director of cybereducation group the SANS Institute tells the Washington Post. “We’re spending all this money and getting so little impact for it.” Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma is particularly peeved at Homeland Security, which is charged with making sure other agencies are secure. “None of the other agencies want to listen to Homeland Security when they aren’t taking care of their own systems,” he says. A Columbia professor thinks the government needs to boost the salary of IT workers to retain top-notch employees. Until then, we're likely to get more fake zombie alerts, and worse, from hackers. (Read more computer passwords stories.)

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