Navy searching for hundreds of missing computers

Tuesday, 22 October 2002, 12:23 PM EST

At least 595 laptops and desktops belonging to the Navy's Pacific Command in Hawaii have been potentially lost or compromised, according to an internal report that detailed the service's inability to account for hundreds of computers, some of which contained classified data.

The audit, conducted in July by the Naval Audit Service, concluded that the mishap poses a "threat to national security." It was obtained last week by Defense Week, a defense industry trade magazine, despite Navy efforts to block its release.

The report identifies failures and breakdowns in the Navy's system for tracking sensitive equipment deployed aboard Navy ships and submarines -- a system that remains largely paper-based and manual.

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