Homeland Security Report: LAX Vulnerable to Attack
Posted on Nov 13, 2008
With nearly 62 million passengers having traveled through its terminals last year, Los Angeles International Airport is the world’s fifth-busiest. Thanks to lax security practices, it’s also embarrassingly vulnerable to cyber attack, according to a report from the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general.
Center for Investigative Reporting:
Computer systems and other equipment used by customs and border officials, the U.S. Coast Guard and transportation security personnel for homeland security operations at Los Angeles International Airport are vulnerable to theft and tampering, according to a report by the Inspector General of the Department of Homeland Security.
The report, heavily redacted for national-security reasons, noted that telecommunications equipment and servers used by the agencies are left unobserved and contain poorly protected passwords. It includes a photo of a wide-open door leading to a server room used by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The door is always left open because the room doesn’t have a ventilation system sufficient enough to keep it cool, according to the report.
“Anyone entering the server room would have access to ICE back-up tapes, server, router, and switches because they are not stored in a locked cabinet,” the IG found.
Department of Homeland Security
A portable fan cools the TSA’s switch and server area at Los Angeles International Airport. This image comes from a critical report by the inspector general of the Department of Homeland Security. The IG found numerous infractions that leave the world’s fifth-busiest airport vulnerable to attack.