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November 26, 2014

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Audit: Lax security in Nevada prison computer system

A quarter of the desktop computers used by the Nevada Department of Corrections are susceptible to unauthorized access by hackers, according to a legislative audit.

The examination released Monday said that without software security patches, hackers can get into confidential information.

The audit of the information technology security at the prisons found that 52 of the 211 computers had not received Windows updates in more than three months. In one prison, employees indicated most desktop computers had not had updates installed since September 2010.

Without these computer patches there is an increase in unauthorized access to the systems.

Five percent of the 211 computers tested “lacked adequate virus protection.”

“Employees whose computers do become infected will lose production time while their units are “purged of the infected files,” said the audit.

The department said it has upgraded its system to automatically deploy patches to ensure the security on the desktop computers.

The audit sampled computers at 10 of the 18 prison locations.

The audit was presented to the Legislative Commission's Audit Subcommittee.

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