OTTAWA, Ont. — A recent audit found that Transport Canada posted up to 5,000 confidential documents on a widely accessible database that is vulnerable to hackers.
The investigation determined that about one of every 10 documents in the department’s giant database was confidential and should not have been available to every staff member in Transport Canada.
The database is also likely susceptible to determined hackers, putting at risk between 4,000 and 5,000 items – including many secret documents that could harm Canada’s national interests if disclosed.
In one sampling, investigators readily obtained 17 national security documents marked ‘Secret’ that could be easily viewed and printed.
The system was originally intended to have an encryption system that would protect confidential material, but the additional software was never developed for reasons that remain unclear.
The audit report, dated Nov. 19, 2002, was obtained under the Access to Information Act.
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