Wednesday, November 18, 2009

GAO: Los Alamos computer security has weaknesses

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.—Security weaknesses uncovered in Los Alamos National Laboratory's classified computer network could increase the risk of a breach of classified information, the U.S. Government Accountability Office said in a new report.

The GAO audited key parts of the nuclear weapons lab's classified computers from November 2008 to July 2009. The classified computer network consists of more than 3,900 computers and devices for about 3,800 users, the report said.

Preventing leaks of sensitive information on the northern New Mexico lab's classified computer network is "critical to national security," the report stated.

"While the laboratory has taken steps to protect information on its classified computer network, a number of security weaknesses remain," the report said.

Lab spokesman Kevin Roark said Tuesday the vast majority of the issues raised by the report already have been resolved.

"All classified data at Los Alamos is extremely well protected and isolated from the Internet and all indications -- including other external audits -- confirm that this most important of information continues to be safe," Roark said. SF Gate

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