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Archive for December, 2014

Happy New Year from ticklethewire.com

FBI Maintains North Korea Was Mastermind Behind Sony Hack Despite Other Evidence

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The FBI is not backing down on its claim that North Korea was the mastermind behind the disruptive Sony studio hack, the New York Post reports.

The bureau’s insistence comes after a growing number of private cyber-security firms are saying there is no evidence to conclude North Korea was the mastermind.

FBI agents were briefed earlier this week on a theory that the attack was launched by former disgruntled Sony workers.

In a statement, the FBI said North Korea was responsible, citing ” “intelligence from US intelligence community, DHS [Department of Homeland Security], foreign partners and the private sector.”

The FBI added “no credible information to indicate that any other individual is responsible for this cyber incident.”

FBI Investigates Lizard Squad After Massive Hack Attack on PlayStation, Xbox

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The FBI has launched an investigation into Lizard Squad, an online group that took credit for the massive disruption of PlayStation Network and Xbox Live, Venture Beat reports.

Sony apparently lost millions of dollars in lost transactions while the network was knocked offline for extended periods of time.

“The FBI is investigating the matter,” a spokesperson for the bureau told GamesBeat. “Given the pending nature of the case, we cannot comment further.”

Sony and Microsoft were unable to sell their digital games online and had to spend a lot of money getting their services back online.

The Lizard Squad responded in a tweet: “yawn.”

Police Fatally Shoot Man Who Threatened to Kill Officers, FBI Agents

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

A man who threatened on a video to kill police and FBI agents was fatally shot by police after they said they feared for their lives, the Associated Press reports.

Authorities said police were planning to executive a search warrant after the video surfaced. Police spotted the man near his suburban Philadelphia home in Upper Darby and tried to pull him over.

Instead, police said he accelerated and tried to ram into officers.

Police Supt. Michael Chitwood said the officers feared for their lives and “did what they had to do.”

No officers were injured.

Border Patrol’s Recruitment of Women Gets 5,500 Female Applicants for Jobs

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

A recruitment effort to hire more women into Border Patrol is paying off as CBP announced recently that it received applications from 5,500 female applicants, Federal News Radio 1500 AM.

The agency’s ranks of 21,000 agents only include about 5% women.

CBP wants more female agents, partly because more women are crossing the border.

“As a police chief for a long time, I know that women in law enforcement bring a huge amount of positive to any law enforcement agency, and increasing those numbers for the border patrol will do exactly the same thing,” CBP Commissioner Gil Kerlikowske said.

“The real goal, of course, is that we needed to increase the numbers at all the levels, all the ranks, and throughout the border patrol of women, because of all of the skills that they bring to the job,” he said.

Adviser: President Obama Would Block 2015 Homeland Security Spending if Amnesty Order Cut

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

President Obama said he won’t hesitate to block 2015 funding for Homeland Security if Republicans try to tinker with his executive amnesty along the border, The Huffington Post reports.

Obama adviser Dan Pfeiffer said the president would “absolutely not” sign a 2015 spending bill if there are limits on the amnesty spending.

Pfeiffer said the president would veto the spending cuts.

Whether Republicans plan to curb the amnesty spending is another question after top GOP congressional leaders went silent in early December.

”I think the Republicans know they have little to no leverage,” he said. “Are they going to shut down the Department of Homeland Security to undo our executive action? I don’t think they are going to do that.”

“There is an array of little things they can do. … I mean it is possible that insanity will prevail upon the House Republican caucus as it did last October during the [2013] shutdown,” he said.

Other Stories of Interest

 

 


FBI Agents Briefed on Theory That Disgruntled Sony Workers Staged Cyberattack – Not North Korea

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

FBI agents investigating the cyberattack on Sony Pictures were brief Monday on an alternative theory that points the finger at disgruntled, laid-off staff – not North Korea – as the culprits of the devastating hack, Politico reports.

Security firm Norse provided the information and said the U.S. jumped the gun by blaming North Korea without conducing a proper investigation.

“When the FBI made the announcement so soon after the initial hack was unveiled, everyone in the [cyber] intelligence community kind of raised their eyebrows at it, because it’s really hard to pin this on anyone within days of the attack,” Kurt Stammberger said in an interview as his company briefed FBI investigators Monday afternoon.

The meeting didn’t change the FBI’s suspicions that North Korea was behind the attack.

“The FBI has concluded the Government of North Korea is responsible for the theft and destruction of data on the network of Sony Pictures Entertainment. Attribution to North Korea is based on intelligence from the FBI, the U.S. intelligence community, DHS, foreign partners and the private sector,” a spokeswoman said in a statement. “There is no credible information to indicate that any other individual is responsible for this cyber incident.”

FBI Looking for Computer-Savvy Agents to Combat Growing Threats of Cyberattacks

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

This isn’t J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI.

A new criminal – a far more elusive one – is attacking companies, governments and personal computers.

The rising number of cyberattacks has prompted the FBI to look for more computer-savvy agents who can “keep pace with the evolving threat” of hackers, the Boston Herald reports.

“Although this wasn’t in response to the Sony hacking, investigating cyber crimes and widespread intrusions is a top priority for the FBI,” said Kristen Setera, spokeswoman for Boston’s FBI office. “This push to hire new people is an effort to keep pace with the evolving threat.”

This year has been been especially damaging for hacking victims like Sony and the customers of stores like Target, Neiman Marcus and Home Depot.

“We are completely understaffed and under attack from Iran, Russia, China and now North Korea — if that was actually them,” said Gary Miliefsky, a cybersecurity expert. “We’re bombarded, whether it’s our business or our critical infrastructure, and I think the FBI is going to have to find gems, and it’s hard to find talent.”