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Nov 10, 2012, 05.02 AM IST | Source: Reuters

U.S. SEC staffers used govn't computers for personal use - report

SEC-CYBER-REPORT:U.S. SEC staffers used govn't computers for personal use - report

By Sarah N. Lynch

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Several U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission staffers responsible for monitoring the markets and exchanges broadly misused computer equipment to download music and failed to properly safeguard sensitive information, a report has found.

In a 43-page investigative report that probed the misuse of government resources, SEC Interim Inspector General Jon Rymer discovered that an office within the SEC's Trading and Markets division spent over $1 million on unnecessary technology.

The report also found that the staffers failed to protect their computers and devices from hackers, even as they were urging exchanges and clearing agencies to do just that.

Although no breaches occurred, the staffers left sensitive stock exchange data exposed to potential cyber attacks because they failed to encrypt the devices or even install basic virus protection programs.

Reuters first reported on the unencrypted computers on Thursday, citing people familiar with the matter.

On Friday, however, Reuters reviewed a copy of the full report, which details an even broader array of problems, from misleading the SEC about the office's need to buy Apple Inc

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