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Tag: cyber attacks

Former DOJ Official Warns Europe of Russia Meddling in Elections

ballot box flintBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A former Justice Department official warned European countries about the risks of Russia launching cyber attacks to meddle in their elections.

Former Assistant Attorney General John Carlin, who served in the Obama administration, said the U.S. wasn’t aggressive enough to deter hacking and leaking of Democratic Party emails prior to the presidential election, Reuters reports. 

“What we did was too late,” Carlin said during a panel discussion on election hacking at the RSA cybersecurity conference. “We weren’t bringing deterrence at all to the table.”

U.S. intelligence officials believe Russia hacked the Democratic Paty nan effort to disrupt the election and swing it in favor of Trump.

“Pre-election, it’s vital that not just the United States but partners like Germany, like France make it clear what the red line is, that there’s going to be strong deterrence and that in terms of deterrence, our policy has got to be we are going to take action until the action stops,” Carlin said.

“So there is no ceiling on the level we will ratchet up the deterrence when you are undermining a core value.”

Clinton Aide John Podesta Unleashes on FBI, Calling It ‘Deeply Broken’

John Podesta

John Podesta

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

John Pedesta, a top aide to Hillary Clinton, said the FBI’s response to Russia tampering with the presidential election reveals a “deep broken” bureau.

“The more we learn about the Russian plot to sabotage Hillary Clinton’s campaign and elect Donald Trump, and the failure of the FBI to adequately respond, the more shocking it gets,” Podesta wrote in a Washington Post op-ed Thursday.

Pedestal questioned the FBI’s priorities by focusing on Clinton’s private email server.

“As the former chair of the Clinton campaign and a direct target of Russian hacking, I understand just how serious this is. So I was surprised to read in the New York Times that when the FBI discovered the Russian attack in September 2015, it failed to send even a single agent to warn senior Democratic National Committee (DNC) officials,” he wrote.

“What takes this from baffling to downright infuriating is that at nearly the exact same time that no one at the FBI could be bothered to drive 10 minutes to raise the alarm at DNC headquarters, two agents accompanied by attorneys from the Justice Department were in Denver visiting a tech firm that had helped maintain Clinton’s email server.”

“Comparing the FBI’s massive response to the overblown email scandal with the seemingly lackadaisical response to the very real Russian plot to subvert a national election shows that something is deeply broken at the FBI,” Podesta added.

Podestà said Congress should investigate Russian meddling in the election.

“The election is over and the damage is done, but the threat from Russia and other potential aggressors remains urgent and demands a serious and sustained response. Congress should authorize a far-reaching, bipartisan independent investigation modeled on the 9/11 commission,” he wrote. 

Justice Department Charges 7 Iranians with Launching Cyber Attacks Against 40+ U.S. Banks

hacking By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department charged seven Iranians who are accused of cyber attacks targeting more than 40 U.S. banks.

One of the suspects also is accused of breaking into the computer network of a small New York dam, the Christian Science Monitor reports. 

The Iranians are accused of launching a campaign of distributed denial of service, or DDoS, attacks against 46 American companies between 2011 and 2013.

“The attacks were relentless, systematic, and widespread,” U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said in a press conference Thursday. “We believe that they were conducted with the sole purpose of undermining the targeted companies and damaging the online operation of America’s free market.”

Other Stories of Interest

Justice Department Files Charges Against Syrian Electronic Army Hackers

Syria mapBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The so-called Syrian Electronic Army has launched a series of cyber attacks targeting U.S. companies and government systems since 2011.

Now the Justice Department has filed charges against three of the group’s members, CNN reports.

The cyber-attackers targeted companies that they believe are oppose to Syria’s Assad regime, defacing websites, seizing social media accounts and penetrating computer systems from 2011 to 2014.

Among the targets were CNN, The Washington Post, NASA, the White House, Microsoft and Harvard University.

Charges filed in federal court in Alexandria, Va., allege the hackers are based in Germany and Syria.

FBI Warns of Threats, Attacks Targeting Planned Parenthood After Release of Videos

Planned ParenthoodBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI has issued warnings about possible attacks against Planned Parenthood employees after undercover videos were released by the Center for Medial Progress, 9 News reports. 

The videos, which show doctors discussing the costs of fetal tissue, has incensed anti-abortion activists.

The memo warned of nine incidents, ranging from arson to cyber attacks.

After threats to a Denver physician, Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains said the organization has “increased security measures over the last couple of months to ensure both our patients and staff continue to be completely safe.”

“it is likely criminal and suspicious incidents against Planned Parenthood will continue to occur in response to the release of future videos,” the FBI warned in the memo.

Homeland Security Computers Vulnerable to Cyber Attacks, Audit Reveals

computer spies2By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Department of Homeland Security is responsible for protecting government computers, but it turns out, the agency’s own information systems are vulnerable to a cyber attack, according to an audit, Newsweek reports. 

The audit found lapses in the internal systems used by ICE and the Secret Service and said Homeland Security needs to better train analysts and investigators in cyber training.

“We identified vulnerabilities on internal websites at ICE and USSS that may allow unauthorized individuals to gain access to sensitive data,” according to the report by the Office of the Inspector General for DHS.

The computers contain information on case tracking, information sharing and investigation statistics.

FBI Worries Mysterious Cyber Attacks Are Increasing on Federal Agency Websites

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A mysterious hacking group is breaching federal computer systems and gaining access to thousands of people’s personal information, Fox News reports.

The FBI issued warnings to federal agencies that the hackers, who are associated with Anonymous, may becoming more widespread.

So far, the agencies affected were the U.S. Army, Department of Energy and the Department of Health and Human Services.

The campaign has been going on for about a year and appears to be an act of retaliation for the prosecution of other hackers, Fox reported.

FBI Investigates Cyber Attacks Targeting Police Accused of Mishandling Rape Case

Part of Threatening Letter/fbi photo

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Local police in Ohio who are accused of mishandling a rape case involving high school football players have been bombarded with cyber attacks, the Associated Press reports.

Now the FBI is trying to determine who posted a death threat to the local sheriff on Facebook and an email that shut down the computer of the Steubenville Police Department.

As a precaution, the police and sheriff’s departments shut down their websites after business hours, the AP wrote.

“The police who protect them must be executed,” the Facebook post said, with “them” referring to students at Steubenville High School, the AP wrote.

“This has got to be some crackpot sick individual out there who would put this stuff out there,” Jefferson County Sheriff Fred Abdalla said Wednesday.