Tags: Sensitive | Jobs | Security | Leaks

Report: Sensitive Jobs Data at Risk of Security Leaks

Thursday, 14 Jun 2012 07:50 AM

Sensitive economic data such as the monthly jobs report — which can move markets the millisecond they are released — are protected by flawed security measures at the Department of Labor, a report finds.

The government recently asked Sandia National Laboratories — the organization that ensures the safety of the nation’s nuclear weapons stockpile — to analyze and improve security measures used to keep monthly jobs report data secret until release.

The report, sent by GOP Representative Darrell Issa, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform committee to Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis, finds “unexamined flaws in the process,” CNBC reports.

Editor's Note: This Wasn’t an Accident — Experts Testify on Financial Meltdown

One such flaw involves the lockup, under which reporters are given access to the jobs report about a half an hour before it's released.

The jobs report is normally released on the first Friday of every month at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time.

Reporters use the time beforehand to write up their stories in a sealed room though the system isn't airtight.

The Labor Department wants reporters to use government computers, notebooks and pens, among other high security procedures, but according to Issa, such moves fall short.

"Sandia found unexamined flaws in the process that potentially put the sensitive economic information handled by the Department at significantly more risk than the lockup procedures,” Issa's letter to Solis reveals, CNBC adds.

Sandia, Issa writes in a not to Solis, "was prevented from examining the full scope of the department’s handling of economically significant data...Sandia did not examine all potential vulnerabilities in the data dissemination process."

Cyber attacks and high-tech espionage have grabbed headlines recently, as national security assets aren't the only sectors of the economy under attack.

The energy sector is under fire thanks to Chinese hackers looking to steal technology.

"Targeted attacks are increasing dramatically. It could be state sponsored or it could be just hacktivists or it could be a cyber criminal organization. But we know the number one target is government institutions and the second is manufacturing, including oil and gas," says Bulent Teksoz, chief security strategist for emerging markets at Symantec, a security software company, according to Reuters.

Editor's Note: This Wasn’t an Accident — Experts Testify on Financial Meltdown



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