Office of the Chief Information Officer

United States Department of Agriculture

Departmental Manual 3525-002




The proliferation of the Internet as a working tool in USDA has

necessitated that security measures for its use be more clearly defined.  This has been highlighted by the results of Intrusion

Detection Scans (IDS) of networks and firewalls nationwide.  During these scans, Cyber Security has detected increased activity in areas that users should know are unauthorized.

Scans of department Internet Protocol (IP) addresses have identified users engaging in the download of programs that enable the user to subsequently download other software, music, graphics or videos, including pornographic materials; in some instances, this material is downloaded and distributed to others.  These users are using a number of Peer-to-Peer (P2P) programs and “file sharing” products available for download from the Internet.   Some of the products detected include: gnutella, LimeWire, SwapNut, KaZaA, and Morpheus.  These “evasive” programs have the ability to send inbound and outbound traffic to regular Internet ports for transport, thus disguising their purpose.

Removing these programs from Government equipment causes undue departmental expense and can involve days of effort.  Repeated and continuous use of this type of software can impact network resources and inhibit USDA’s ability to properly discharge our mission.  Software downloads have been detected independent of the use of P2P programs and the like.  As indicated above, the fact that special programming is not involved in downloading these materials does not alter the possible criminal nature of distributing pornographic material to others.  In addition, copyright infringement may exist if the material being downloaded found its way onto the Internet without the owner’s permission, or if the user employs the downloaded material contrary to instructions therewith.

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