Porn threatens network security of public institutions

One inquisitive General Services Administration employee has threatened the US agency's security by his/her rather enthusiastic pornography consumption in the workplace.

According to records obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, said employee would access pornographic content and dating sites for two hours a day, resulting in a phishing attack on GSA email accounts.

Records obtained by The Washington Times suggest that porn consumption across government agencies may pose a considerable security risk. Employees from the Treasury Department, the Postal Service and the Environmental Protection Agency have all been investigated in recent years.

"It's a big problem everywhere," said Sharon Nelson, president of computer forensics firm Sensei Enterprises Inc.

Also an issue in the private sector, she cited one anonymous case where Sensei had "done audits of particular individuals where the individual was so valuable that people didn't want to fire them, but yet they can't stop looking at pornography."

Many free porn sites secretly sell their ability to spread malware, Nelson continued, and this poses a risk to government departments.

IT departments can block certain sites, but use of a proxy server can dodge such restrictions, said John Simek, also from Sensei Enterprises Inc.

Details from a recent case investigating an EPA deputy revealed that 7,000 pornographic images were found on the implicated employee's computer.

Porn sites recently hit back at claims that they harbour malware