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Homeland Security staff locked out of their own networks

It's not clear whether this was a glitch or a security issue.
Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
February 21, 2017
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Alex Wong via Getty Images

Department of Homeland Security workers in Washington, DC ran into a massive headache when they came to work on Tuesday. Reuters sources say that staff were locked out of multiple networks starting around 5AM Eastern, possibly due to an issue with the personal identity verification cards needed to access certain systems. While it's not clear just how much this interfered with work, there were issues across four buildings, including some used by US Citizenship and Immigration Services.

We've reached out to the Department for more details on the nature and scale of the problem.

The big question is whether or not this is just everyday IT trouble or a security issue. It's entirely possible that is 'just' a glitch, but the government is understandably on edge after a string of hacks targeting federal organizations. The last thing it needs is a Homeland Security breach that compromises potentially very sensitive data.

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