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Small percentage of Interior's IT systems secure

Only 21 percent of the information technology systems at the Department of Interior are secure, according to a report released by the White House Office of Management and Budget on Monday.

Interior's rating was one of the worst in the federal government. Only Veterans Affairs, at 14 percent; Agriculture, at 4 percent; and Housing and Urban Development, at 0 percent were worse.

Interior's rating was also far below the government-wide average of 70 percent.. Some agencies reported scores in the 90-100 percent range.

Interior's computer systems have been plagued by network vulnerabilities. In the summer of 2001, hackers were able to break into systems housing billions of dollars in Indian trust fund without detection.

But according to a report by Lynn Scarlett, Interior's assistant secretary for policy, management and budget, the systems have shown great improvement since December 2002, when a federal judge first ordered the department to disconnect from the Internet. Recent scans of the network show no risks, Scarlett said. Only the "perimeter" is scanned and it was not clear whether the Bureau of Indian Affairs was included.

In spite of the changes, the BIA is still removed from the Internet. The agency has not received permission to bring its systems back online.

Get the Story:
OMB touts management agenda successes (Government Computer News 8/9)
Management agenda progresses (Federal Computer Week 8/9)

Get the Report:
All Agencies | Interior

Relevant Links:
Indian Trust: Cobell v. Norton -
Cobell v. Norton, Department of Justice -
Indian Trust, Department of Interior -

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