US state auditor: Hackers infiltrated agency network

Hackers, apparently from outside the U.S., have made one Kentucky state agency's computer network their old Kentucky home, according to Kentucky's state auditor.

In a press conference held in the city of Frankfort Tuesday, State Auditor Ed Hatchett told reporters that hackers who appeared to be from France broke into servers on the internal network of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, the state agency for transportation and vehicle-registration functions. Since at least April, the hackers have been using it as a warehouse for pirated music, electronic games and movies - even new films like "Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life" and "Spy Kids 3D: Game Over."

The hackers also probably had access to bill-paying systems and state-held information such as driver's licenses, the state auditor said.

Harold McKinney, attorney in the state auditor's office, said the problems were uncovered during a recent vulnerability assessment of the state agency's computer network done as part of a routine financial audit of records.

There were signs that some activity originated from Canada and Croatia, in addition to France. The state auditor, who has no more specific information about the hackers, immediately notified the Transportation Cabinet staff about the matter and decided to call a press conference to inform the public.

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet wasn't aware of the problem until informed Tuesday. Since Tuesday, agency staff have been busy assessing the damage and trying to answer press questions.

Transportation Cabinet spokesman Mark Pfeiffer, who acknowledged some servers at the agency had been hacked, said the agency does not believe internal records and billing systems were compromised.

"The auditor claimed our public records and driver's license records were in jeopardy, but that's not true," said Pfeiffer, because those systems reside on separate networks that are securely separated from the hacked servers.

In addition to its hacker woes, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet was also coping with another shocking public disclosure by the state auditor yesterday: some Transportation Cabinet employees have been looking at porn sites on the Internet during their working hours.

The Transportation Cabinet has a policy prohibiting such activity, but according to the state auditor, a random check showed that 6,000 porn images were accessed in just four days.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Ellen Messmer

Network World

Most Popular Reviews

Follow Us

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Shopping.com

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Latest Jobs

Shopping.com

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?