WASHINGTON Feb 21 U.S. Department of Homeland
Security employees in the Washington area were unable to access
some agency computer networks on Tuesday, according to two
sources familiar with the matter.
It was not immediately clear how widespread the issue was or
how significantly it affected daily functions at DHS, a large
government agency whose responsibilities include immigration
services, border security and cyber defense.
Employees began experiencing problems logging into networks
at 5 a.m. ET (1000 GMT) on Tuesday due to the expiration of the
personal identify verification cards used by federal workers and
contractors to access certain information systems, one source
said. At least four DHS buildings were affected, the source
said, including locations used by U.S. Citizenship and
DHS did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Government agencies redoubled efforts to implement the use
of "smart" cards for network log-ins following the 2015
discovery of a massive hack at the Office of Personnel
Management that compromised nearly 22 million background check
President Donald Trump vowed to make cyber security a
priority during his administration. At a White House event last
month he said he would "hold my Cabinet secretaries and agency
heads accountable, totally accountable, for the cyber security
of their organizations."
(Reporting by Dustin Volz; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)