According to press reports citing a statement made by BLS Commissioner Katharine G. Abraham, this happened when information was moved to an internal computer by a BLS employee who did not know it would thereupon be transferred immediately to the agency's World Wide Web site and thus be made available to the public.19 The processes for managing data apparently depended on manual procedures. What kind of automated process-support tools could be developed to make it much more difficult to release information prematurely?

In the security research literature, problems and solutions are abstracted into a set of technologies or building blocks. The test of these building blocks is how well researchers and technologists can apply them to understand and address the real needs of customers. While there are a number of unsolved research questions in information security, solutions can in many cases be obtained through the application of known security techniques. Of course the right solution depends on the context; security design is conducted on the basis of knowledge of vulnerabilities and threats and the level of risk that can be tolerated, and this information is specific to each individual application or system. Solving real problems also helps advance more fundamental understanding of security; the constraints of a particular problem environment can force rethinking of the structure of the world of building blocks.

19  

John M. Berry. 1998. “BLS Glitch Blamed on Staff Error; Premature Release of Job Data on Web Site Boosted Stocks,” Washington Post, November 7, p. H03.



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