Cybersecurity: Hacking the Federal Government (Rep. Bennie Thompson)

Since the late 1990s, government officials have been concerned about the theft of materials stored on government servers.  In 2006, information systems at the Departments of State and Commerce were penetrated by hackers who origins are believed to be Chinese.  Government officials are unclear about how long attackers were inside government systems, or how much information may have been copied and removed.

In response to these attacks, the House Committee on Homeland Security held a subcommittee hearing last week discussing the vulnerabilities of federal information systems.  Witnesses testified that the penetrations may be much more significant and dire than reported earlier.  Though failure to comply with the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) resulted in witnesses being unable to assert for certain whether these attacks could have affected classified networks, the Committee learned that an agency is still vulnerable to attack even if it receives a high FISMA grade.

The security of our Federal information is a critical issue for our nation.