Government IT system is a sitting duck

Government-appointed security firm highlights possible cracks in security, including an email system that could be seriously exploited

Flaws within the government's email infrastructure highlight wider security concerns, according to the security firm charged with testing its IT infrastructure.

NTA Monitor suggests the weaknesses may even make the government vulnerable to "fake leaked messages".

A recent survey by NTA Monitor suggests 37.7 percent of gov.uk Web sites could be used as relay points for spam and fake email. "We were surprised to see government come out so badly," comments security test services director at NTA Monitor, Roy Hills. "Although it must be realised that the tests included central, and local government, as well as many government organisations."

The weakness means the government could be held responsible for sending out spam and illegal content. According to another NTA Monitor representative, it may also highlight more serious security oversights.

"There may be [other] holes that could be exploitable. It's not impossible," says security services consultant with NTA Monitor Deri Jones.

Jones says that currently just over ten percent of the government's infrastructure is regularly subjected to security testing.

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