Government's seal of security

Wednesday, 17 July 2002, 12:15 AM EST

Creating a "Good Housekeeping" approval seal of sorts, the government is releasing standards and a software program that will help computer users configure their systems for maximum security against hackers and thieves.

The program will be made available free to anyone and mandated for some federal agencies.

The Pentagon, National Security Agency and other agencies will join with private partners Wednesday in announcing the security standards for computers that run Microsoft's Windows 2000. The operating system is commonly used by businesses and government.

The seal of approval comes in the form of a small program that probes computers for known security flaws and makes suggestions on how to eliminate holes used by hackers.

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