US Secret Service shackled by ancient mainframes

Posted by Aharon Etengoff

The US Secret Service is reportedly shackled by outdated computer systems and an ancient mainframe dating back to the 1980s.

According to ABC News, the agency's computers are currently operational only 60 percent of the time; with chronologically challenged databases that are frequently unable to execute cross-system searches.

US Secret Service shackled by ancient mainframes"We have here a premiere law enforcement organization in our country which is responsible for the security of the president and the vice president and other officials of our government, and they have to have better IT than they have," acknowledged Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn, who is chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee.

Indeed, a Secret Service memo (dated Oct. 16, 2009) obtained by ABC News revealed that 42 mission-oriented applications ran on a 1980s IBM mainframe with a 68 percent performance reliability rating.

In addition, networks, data systems, applications, and IT security did "not meet" current operational requirements, while the IT systems lacked appropriate bandwidth to run multiple applications to "effectively support" USSS offices and operational missions around the world.

Unsurprisingly, the Secret Service continues to maintain that its protective details "have not [yet] been impacted" by the woefully outdated  systems.

Really?! Yeah, right.