AUG 30 1999 

Pentagon's computers open to attacks 

US Defence Department computer systems liable to be infiltrated, despite
years of warnings and efforts to correct the problem

WASHINGTON -- The computer systems of the United States Defence Department
remain open to infiltration, after years of warnings and efforts to correct
the problem, according to a report by the General Accounting Office. 


Concerns about the security of federal computer systems were heightened
this spring, when hackers broke into the websites of the White House, the
FBI and the Senate, posting photographs and text and leading the government
to shut down the sites temporarily. 

[The FBI's web page was not defaced. It was victim to a 
 Denial of Service attack.]


The report also found that some personnel had enough programming and
security clearance to change programs or data -- for example, adding
unauthorised pay cheques -- and then to cover their tracks. 

Defence Department officials generally agreed with the findings.--New York