The United States is incapable of defending itself from cyber attack, according to a report compiled by the US Department of Homeland Security.
The report revealed that the government agency responsible for the protection of personal computers and the safeguarding of sensitive data, the US Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT), is badly understaffed.
The report also highlighted the fact that the department has no powers to order government agencies to keep a track of their systems.
Cyber intrusions have been on the rise in recent years, and the number of security vulnerabilities found by federal agencies increased by more than 400 per cent between 2006 to 2009.
Jane Harman, a Californian Democrat member of the United States House of Representatives, warned: “We could have a broken network or networks, spewing tens of thousands of bits of information on critical infrastructure, national security and mission critical data, financial and personal data.”