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Govt tells officials to stay off porn sites

Government officials are being again told to stay off pornographic websites and only use standalone computers for classified files as part of computer security guidelines being conveyed to several sensitive ministries.

delhi Updated: Nov 04, 2010 22:53 IST
HT Correspondent

Government officials are being again told to stay off pornographic websites and only use standalone computers for classified files as part of computer security guidelines being conveyed to several sensitive ministries.

The decision to reiterate the guidelines follows a counter-espionage operation that revealed highly classified information, including minutes of meetings and operational details of the armed forces, in possession of an unnamed organisation.

The intelligence establishment worked backwards. Inquiries revealed that the files found across the border were authentic copies of the ones in the computers of the defence establishment.

Hundreds of unsuccessful attempts are made every day to intrude into computers within the government.

Significantly, the cyber security establishment had not been able to detect the latest intrusion when it took place. Home ministry officials wouldn’t confirm if a visit to a porn site installed a malicious code in the computers in the last case but pointed that this had been a constant cause for concern. A detailed set of guidelines was issued by the home ministry four years ago.

A government official, however, indicated that it wasn’t “the most realistic set of guidelines”.

On its part, the ministry has started the process of going in for biometric recognition devices on computers of select officials handling sensitive information. Ideally, the guidelines also require departments to set up an internet room. A security review had also indicated that clicking on fake lottery emails was another key reason why government computers were exposed to hackers.