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Tag: hack

Democrats Declined Requests by FBI to Inspect Hacked Computer Servers

democratic national comitteeBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Democratic National Committee wouldn’t allow federal agents to inspect computer servers that had been infiltrated by hackers during the presidential campaign, forcing the FBI to rely on third-party cyber security data, Bloomberg reports. 

The news comes on the eve of President-elect Donald Trump meeting with U.S. intelligence chiefs to get briefed on Russia’s alleged involvement in the hack.

The intelligence agencies went on the defensive this week after Trump repeatedly expressed criticism that senior Russian officials were responsible for the hacking.

“The Democratic National Committee would not allow the FBI to study or see its computer info after it was supposedly hacked by Russia……” Trump said. “So how and why are they so sure about hacking if they never even requested an examination of the computer servers? What is going on?”

In a statement, the FBI confirmed Trumps claim.

“The FBI repeatedly stressed to DNC officials the necessity of obtaining direct access to servers and data, only to be rebuffed until well after the initial compromise had been mitigated,” the agency said. “This left the FBI no choice but to rely upon a third party for information. These actions caused significant delays and inhibited the FBI from addressing the intrusion earlier.”

FBI Investigates Several Years of China-Linked Hacks of FDIC

computer spies2By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is investigating what appears to be Chinese military-sponsored hacks of computers at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation since 2010, sources told Reuters. 

During the security breach, hackers infiltrated dozens of computers belonging to the FDIC, one of the largest federal agencies that regulates commercial banks in the U.S.

Congressional staff reviewed the internal communications between senior FDIC officials.

It’s unclear how long the FBI has been investigating, but the probe is active.

The FDIC declined to comment on the investigation, but said “immediate steps” were taken to find the hackers.

FBI’s New Surveillance Powers Raise Questions about Civil Liberties

Data securityBy Editorial Board
Orange County Register

The FBI quietly acquired sweeping surveillance powers, beginning Dec. 1, it had sought for years, and the change came without a single congressional hearing or vote.

Under a change to Rule 41 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, the FBI will now be able to obtain a single warrant from a magistrate that allows it to hack thousands – or perhaps millions – of computers across the country, or even outside it, in certain circumstances.

It would apply when technology like Tor or VPNs (virtual private networks) are used to hide the location of users, or when a computer is swept up in a “botnet,” a network of private computers infected by malware and controlled without the users’ knowledge, such as by an email spammer. “In these circumstances, law enforcement could remotely access, search, seize or copy data on computers, no matter where the computers were located and without providing notice to the users being searched,” the Electronic Frontier Foundation cautioned.

Previously, magistrates could only issue warrants for searches within their districts. Thus, the rule change raises fears about “forum shopping,” under which the FBI could seek warrants from magistrates known to hand out warrants with little scrutiny, even if no devices to be searched reside in their districts. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., who led a bipartisan group of senators attempting to block the rule change the day before it went into effect, but was rebuffed by Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, called it “one of the biggest mistakes in surveillance policy in years and years.” Wyden contended that government hacking attempts could inadvertently damage personal computers and cellphones, hospital systems or even the power grid. “(I)nnocent Americans could be victimized twice – once by their hackers and a second time by their government,” he said on the floor of the Senate. “This rule change will give the government unprecedented authority to hack into Americans’ personal phones, computers and other devices.” Wyden was joined on the floor by Republican Sen. Steve Daines of Montana. “This proposed solution essentially gives the government a blank check to infringe upon our civil liberties,” Daines asserted. “Our civil liberties and our Fourth Amendment can be chipped away little by little until we barely recognize them anymore. We simply can’t give unlimited power for unlimited hacking which puts Americans’ civil liberties at risk.”

The rule change also illustrates an astonishing lack of oversight.

To read more click here.

FBI Launches Investigation into Massive Breach of Yahoo Accounts

Yahoo headquarters

Yahoo headquarters

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is investigating a massive hack that may have comprised more than 1 billion Yahoo accounts, the White House announced Thursday.

The technology company recently announced the 2013 breach, just three months after disclosing a 2014 intrusion involving roughly 500 million accounts, USA Today reports. 

In September, Yahoo said it had evidence tying the previous hack to a state-sponsored hacker. It’s unclear who was behind the most recent attack, but Yahoo said it doesn’t believe the two are linked.

The FBI declined to comment further on the September disclosure.

“We take these types of breaches very seriously and will determine how this occurred and who is responsible,” the FBI said at that time. “We will continue to work with the private sector and share information so they can safeguard their systems against the actions of persistent cyber criminals.”

Sen. Reid: FBI Director Comey Should Be Investigated Over Russian Hacking Probe

Sen. Harry Reid.

Sen. Harry Reid.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Sen. Harry Reid has called on an investigation of FBI Director James Comey on Saturday, alleging he refused to reveal information about Russia’s alleged interference in the 2016 presidential election.

The Senate Democratic leader alluded to reports that the CIA had concluded people with Russian connections disclosed hacked Democratic emails to WikiLeaks to help Donald Trump win the election, the Washington Post reports.

“The FBI had this material for a long time but … Comey, who’s of course a Republican, refused to divulge this information,” Reid told MSNBC. “… He has let the country down for partisan purposes.”

Reid even compared Comey to J. Edgar Hoover and said he should be investigated by the Senate and  “should be investigated by other agencies of the government including the security agencies because if there ever were a matter of security, it’s this.”

On Sunday, Trump said it was “ridiculous” to suggest Russia helped his campaign, saying the claims are “just another excuse” by Democrats.

Clinton Campaign Chairman Blames Russia for Email Hack, Suggests Trump Involved

Hillary Clinton, via Wikipedia.

Hillary Clinton, via Wikipedia.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign chairman, John Podesta, blamed Russia on attacking his personal email account and suggested Donald Trump’s campaign may have been involved.

Podesta’s private email account was hacked, and the FBI is investigating, the Clinton aide said, the Washington Post reports. 

“I’ve been involved in politics for nearly five decades, and this definitely is the first campaign that I’ve been involved with in which I’ve had to tangle with Russian intelligence agencies, who seem to be doing everything they can on behalf of our opponent,” Podesta told reporters.

Pedestal said the FBI told him on Sunday that his email hack is part of a wider investigation into potential Russian cyberattacks.

“Russian interference in this election and apparently on behalf of [Donald] Trump is, I think, of the utmost concern to all Americans, whether you’re a Democrat or independent or Republican,” Podesta said.

FBI Wants to Hack into Another Encrypted iPhone Belonging to a Dead Man

Apple logoBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI may be headed for another legal showdown with Apple.

Eight months after the FBI asked a court to order Apple to help hack into the encrypted iPhone of San Bernardino shooter Rizwan Farook, the bureau has obtained the iPhone of the man who stabbed 10 people in a Minnesota mall, Wired reports. 

Tahir Adan’s phone is locked with a passcode, and FBI agents are still trying to access the contents.

“Dahir Adan’s iPhone is locked,” FBI special agent Rich Thorton told reporters, “We are in the process of assessing our legal and technical options to gain access to this device and the data it may contain.”

Thornton didn’t reveal the model of iPhone or its operating system.

Apple declined to help the FBI break into Farook’s phone, prompting the bureau to hire an outside entity to access the phone.

Other Stories of Interest

FBI Investigating Potential Hack of Cell Phones Used by Democratic Party Staffers

hacking By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is investigating a possible hack of cell phones used by Democratic Party staffers.

The bureau asked the staffers for access to the phones to examine the potential hack, CNN reports. 

Investigators are trying to determine whether the potential hack was connected to the original breach of the Democratic National Committee emails, which many authorities believe to be the work of the Russian government.

“Our struggle with the Russian hackers that we announced in June is ongoing — as we knew it would be — and we are choosing not to provide general updates unless personal data or other sensitive information has been accessed or stolen,” interim DNC Chairwoman Donna Brazile told CNN.

California Sen. Dianne Feinstein and California Rep. Adam Schiff, who are the ranking members of the Senate and House Intelligence Committees, blamed the Russian government for the cyberattacks in a joint statement.

“Based on briefings we have received, we have concluded that the Russian intelligence agencies are making a serious and concerted effort to influence the US election,” they wrote.