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A civil employee infected a U.S. government network with malware due to his extensive porn habit. The unnamed employee at the EROS Center, located about 15 miles South of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, visited thousands of porn sites according to a report filed by the U.S. Department of the Interior’s inspector general.

An audit carried out by the department found that an employee of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) visited porn sites that contained malware, which downloaded to his work laptop. The malware “exploited the USGS’ network,” according to the report. “Our analysis confirmed that many of the pornographic images were subsequently saved to an unauthorized USB device and personal Android cellphone connected to” the unnamed employee’s personal computer, the report continues.

The report, filed on Oct. 17, does not detail how, or if, the employee was disciplined for his improper use of a government computer. It does list recommendations for the USGS to better prevent similar misuse in the future.

“We recommend that USGS enforce a strong blacklist policy of known rogue Uniform Resource Locators (more commonly known as web addresses),” the report details “and regularly monitor employee web usage history.”

The report further recommends that USGS tighten its security policy to restrict the use of unauthorized USB devices and personal cellphones. The employee admitted he received IT security training annually, which required he sign a statement “indicating they understand the directives and agree to abide by them.” He chose to visit numerous pornography sites despite knowing that it explicitly broke the rules he agreed to.

Luckily no national secrets were at risk from the malware. A spokesperson for the DOI told Tech Crunch the EROS Center doesn’t operate any classified networks. The center works to “study land change and produce land change data products used by researchers, resource managers, and policymakers across the nation and around the world,” according to its website. The DOI spokesperson told Tech Crunch there was no significant harm to national security.

This is not the first case of similar behavior on a government job. In late September, the National Solar Observatory in New Mexico closed its doors for more than a week following threats made by a janitor. In the days preceding the threats, the janitor’s laptop was seized by the FBI for downloading and distributing child pornography.

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H/T Tech Crunch

Nahila Bonfiglio

Nahila Bonfiglio

Nahila Bonfiglio reports on geek culture and gaming. Her work has also appeared on KUT's Texas Standard (Austin), KPAC-FM (San Antonio), and the Daily Texan.