It appears that the geniuses at the Defense Department have been asleep at the wheel of their new Joint Strike Fighter program, leading some to believe that its super valuable aviation and weapons technology may have been compromised. The crux of the problem involves the fact that the Pentagon's Defense Security Service (DSS) has had a difficult time monitoring the contractors working on the aircraft. While no specific breaches have come to light regarding the classified information, an audit has uncovered that the DSS cut corners and the DoD suffered lapses in its controls designed to evaluate and protect the sensitive information from unauthorized access.
The audit also uncovered that the most significant of these lapses involved the DoD's handling of London-based weapons maker BAE Systems. According to the report, DSS failed to collect the company's internal audits—information that is crucial to determining potential weaknesses at the plant. The DSS responded saying that they have "a thorough and fundamentally sound facility inspection process which was only marginally diminished by the failure to systematically collect, analyze, and retain BAE's required reports" and that they have "taken action to resolve this shortcoming." However, a recent House Armed Services Committee hearing revealed that the DSS has been significantly understaffed for some time. Currently, around 750 people work for DSS and a rep claimed to be short staffed by "well over a hundred" persons.
So rest easy folks. Once again, you can be secure in the knowledge that our government has everything under control. UPDATE: BAE systems has responded to claims that their facility is not secure stating that "there is no basis whatsoever for that conclusion." [Wired]