UK government 'exposed to hackers'
By Sarah Left
© Silicon.com 1998, 1999
NOTE: mi2g's internal memorandum of 11 January 99 predicts
Cyber Threat to Government, Business and Fiancial
Lax security in email servers is putting the UK government at risk of cyber
attack, according to a study released today by security firm, NTA Monitor.
The study found that many government email servers are running software packages
with known security flaws. NTA Monitor sent emails to all organisations with
addresses ending in .gov.uk, and identified 345 live email servers.
From these tests, the company determined what software the boxes are running.
They found that 31 per cent were using early versions of software with known
The issue is that most IT departments are not keeping up to date with software
upgrades and patches, according to NTA's security services manager, Deri Jones.
Noting that 45 per cent of government organisations running Microsoft Exchange
are running flawed versions, he explained: "There's nothing intrinsically
wrong with Microsoft Exchange. It's entirely down to issuing updated versions
and patches. A lot of security isn't rocket science, it's about due care and
Jones declined to say which departments are the worst offenders, but he said
the results from the government are no worse than he has seen in the private
sector. "It highlights the fact that a lot of government organisations
aren't taking good enough care of their security," he said.
"One area of security can undermine all your good efforts in other areas.
Even a good firewall won't protect you if you're running an insecure mail
Now Read the mi2g
internal memorandum of 11 January 99
The Threat to Government, Business
and Financial Markets
Also read the mi2g
press release of 30 March 99
Cyber Warfare Risk far
exceeds The Millennium Bug (Y2k)
and the Silicon.com
editorial comment of 12 April 99
Why governments should fight
back in the cyberwars