Federal employees and contractors are unwittingly undermining a $10 billion-per-year effort to protect sensitive government data from cyberattacks, according to a published report.
The Associated Press says that workers in more than a dozen agencies, from the Defense and Education departments to the National Weather Service, are responsible for at least half of the federal cyberincidents reported each year since 2010, according to an analysis of records.
They have clicked links in bogus phishing emails, opened malware-laden websites and been tricked by scammers into sharing information. One was redirected to a hostile site after connecting to a video of tennis star Serena Williams. A few act intentionally, most famously former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, who downloaded and leaked documents revealing the government’s collection of phone and email records.