Feeds

Oi, missile boffins! Stop ogling web filth at work - Pentagon

Top brass puts a rocket up defence agency's smut addicts

Website security in corporate America

Pentagon top brass have ordered missile defence boffins to stop using government computers to surf for porn.

An official memo, dispatched by Executive Director John James Jr, reprimanded employees and contractors over "inappropriate use of the MDA [Missile Defense Agency] network" over recent months.

"Specifically, there have been instances of employees and contractors accessing websites, or transmitting messages, containing pornographic or sexually explicit images," James writes in a 27 July missive obtained by Bloomberg.

"These actions are not only unprofessional, they reflect time taken away from designated duties, are in clear violation of federal and Department of Defense and regulations, consume network resources and can compromise the security of the network though the introduction of malware or malicious code," he added.

Those caught misusing the network will face disciplinary action, including suspension or summary dismissal, the director warned, adding that sanctions apply equally to contractors and agency staff.

Agency spokesman Rick Lehner told Bloomberg that the memo was a response to "a few people downloading material from some websites that were known to have had virus and malware issues".

The Missile Defense Agency is principally involved in developing defences against enemy ballistic missiles. The agency's traces its origins back to Ronald Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative (AKA Star Wars) programme. Perhaps fortunately, the agency is not in charge of the US's nuclear deterrent.

The Pentagon has requested a $7.7bn budget to run the agency next year. Its principal defence contractors include Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Northrop Grumman and Orbital Sciences. The agency itself and its contractors are prime targets for state-sponsored industrial espionage, which often uses advanced malware to infiltrate networks and steal information.

Dodgy porno websites are known to harbour malware, just like any sketchy corner of the internet. Using the sexual quirks of defence contractors to lure them into installing data-slurping software nasties is a somewhat scattergun approach - but it's not beyond the realm of possibility. ®

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

More from The Register

next story
Early result from Scots indyref vote? NAW, Jimmy - it's a SCAM
Anyone claiming to know before tomorrow is telling porkies
Home Depot: 56 million bank cards pwned by malware in our tills
That's about 50 per cent bigger than the Target tills mega-hack
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
UK.gov lobs another fistful of change at SME infosec nightmares
Senior Lib Dem in 'trying to be relevant' shocker. It's only taxpayers' money, after all
Critical Adobe Reader and Acrobat patches FINALLY make it out
Eight vulns healed, including XSS and DoS paths
Spies would need SUPER POWERS to tap undersea cables
Why mess with armoured 10kV cables when land-based, and legal, snoop tools are easier?
TOR users become FBI's No.1 hacking target after legal power grab
Be afeared, me hearties, these scoundrels be spying our signals
Blood-crazed Microsoft axes Trustworthy Computing Group
Security be not a dirty word, me Satya. But crevice, bigod...
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.