ONE Employee’s Porn Obsession Infects Government Network With Russian Malware
A government employee who used a government-issued computer to visit 9,000 adult pornography websites is the source of a malware infection that exploited the entire network.
According to a report published on October 17, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) launched an investigation into suspicious internet traffic discovered during an IT security audit of the network at the US Geological Survey (USGS), Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center satellite imaging facility in Sioux Falls, SD.
The employee’s name has been redacted from the report, which states:
We found that __ knowingly used U.S. Government computer systems to access unauthorized internet web pages. We also found that those unauthorized pages hosted malware. The malware was downloaded to __ Government laptop, which then exploited the USGS network. Our digital forensic examination revealed that __ had an extensive history of visiting adult pornography websites. Many of the 9,000 web pages ___ visited routed through websites that originated in Russia and contained malware. Our analysis confirmed that many of the pornographic images were subsequently saved to an unauthorized USB device and personal Android cell phone connected to __Government-issued computer. We found that __ personal cell phone was also infected with malware.
Employees are explicitly prohibited from using government networks for viewing pornography and other inappropriate activities, and the IG found the employee had agreed to these rules “several years prior to detection.”
OIG External Affairs Director Nancy DiPaolo told Nextgov that the employee no longer works at the agency.
Despite strict rules being in place, this is not an uncommon problem. There are many cases of government employees being caught viewing explicit content at work, reports Nextgov:
Over the last 15 years, similar scandals have enveloped the Environmental Protection Agency, Securities and Exchange Commission and IRS. Last year, a D.C.-area news network uncovered “egregious on-the-job pornography viewing” at a dozen federal agencies and national security officials have reportedly found an “unbelievable” amount of child pornography on government devices.
The problem is so prevalent that Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., has introduced legislation banning pornography at federal agencies three different times.
Government employees – hard at work, wasting taxpayer money…as usual.