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Tag: hacking

FBI Fails to Warn Scores of U.S. Officials Who Were Targeted by Russian Hack

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

As Russian hackers tried to hack into the personal Gmail accounts of dozens of U.S. officials, the FBI failed to provide a warning despite having at least a year’s worth of evidence that they were being targeted by the Kremlin.

Of nearly 80 Americans targeted by a Russian government-connected cyber-espionage group, Fancy Bear, only two officials were notified of the attack, the Associated Press has found

“It’s utterly confounding,” said Philip Reiner, a former senior director at the National Security Council, who was notified by the AP that he was targeted in 2015. “You’ve got to tell your people. You’ve got to protect your people.”

The FBI declined to discuss cyber campaign, but provided a statement: “The FBI routinely notifies individuals and organizations of potential threat information.”

Among those targeted were the former head of cybersecurity for the U.S. Air Force, a former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, and an ex-director at the National Security Council.

The FBI knew about the hacking attempts for more than a year. A senior official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the number of attacks overwhelmed the bureau.

Russia Targeted at Least 21 States in Hacking Scheme During 2016 Election

Cyber crime expert, via FBI.

Cyber crime expert, via FBI.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Homeland Security alerted 21 states that Russian tried to hack their election systems in 2016.

Some of the states were critical battlegrounds in the presidential election, including Pennsylvania, Florida, Ohio, Wisconsin, Iowa and Arizona, according to the Washington Post

Homeland Security didn’t release details or say whether the hacking attempts were successful.

“We need Congress and the president to help states with their security systems for elections and ensure funding for more secure equipment where needed, and we need it to happen now,” Connecticut Secretary of State Denise Merrill (D) said. “Rather than investigating this attack on our democracy from a hostile foreign power, the Trump administration has formed a commission to prove that he won the popular vote, an idea that has been entirely discredited by numerous studies.

At least one state’s election system was breached, according to Bloomberg

In early July 2016, a contractor who works two or three days a week at the state board of elections detected unauthorized data leaving the network, according to Ken Menzel, general counsel for the Illinois board of elections. The hackers had gained access to the state’s voter database, which contained information such as names, dates of birth, genders, driver’s licenses and partial Social Security numbers on 15 million people, half of whom were active voters. As many as 90,000 records were ultimately compromised.

Ukrainian Hacker Cooperating with FBI in Investigation of Russia, Trump Campaign

hacker-artBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A hacker in Ukraine known as “Profexer” is cooperating with the FBI as it investigates Russian meddling in the U.S. presidential election, the New York Times revealed Wednesday evening. 

Profexer, who wrote and sold malware on the dark web, is accused of writing a program used to break into the Democratic National Committee  servers and obtain thousands of emails that were leaked ahead of the election.

The hacker, whose real identity has not been released, turned himself into the FBI earlier this year and became a witness in the case. He has not been arrested, and there is no proof that he worked for Russian intelligence, according to Ukranian police.

But U.S. intelligence officials, based on a sample of the malware, believe Russians used the program to hack into the DNC.

The FBI, federal lawmakers and special counsel Robert Mueller are investigating whether Donald Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia to leak damaging information about Hillary Clinton and the Democrats.

Neighbor Hacked into College Students’ Wireless Account to Download Child Pornography

Data securityBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Six years ago, FBI agents knocked on the door of three honor students at the University of California in Davis because the roommates’ AT&T wireless router was used to access child pornography.

“When it became pounding, I stumbled out to open the front door – to the complete and utter shock of having FBI agents on my front porch shoving a warrant in my face and suddenly appearing armed in my home,” Caitlin Fitzgerald wrote in a letter to the FBI two weeks ago, the Sacramento Bee reports. “Even thinking about it now, years later, my stomach starts to tighten.”

Turns out, the roommates’ 22-year-old neighbor was downloading child pornography by using “his great computer savvy” to hack into their password-protected wireless account, according to federal court records.

Today, the neighbor Alexander Nathan Norris is scheduled to be sentenced in federal court in Sacramento, where prosecutors are calling for a 17.5-year sentence on charges of possession and distribution of material involving the sexual exploitation of minors.

“This case is not a run-of-the mill child pornography case because the defendant hacked into and used his neighbors’ password-protected wireless internet to download and distribute child pornography, thereby roping innocent bystanders into his criminal activity,” Assistant U.S. Attorneys Matthew Morris and Shelley Weger wrote in their sentencing memorandum to the judge.

“His actions caused the FBI to search his neighbors’ personal computers, cell phones, bedrooms and living space.”

DOJ Expected to Announce Charges Against Yahoo Hackers with Russian Ties

hacking By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Four people with suspected ties to the Russian government are expected to be charged soon for alleged hacking attacks against Yahoo!, sources told ABC News. 

The Justice Department is expected to announce today charges against three people in Russia and one in Canada.

Federal authorities expected to arrest the Canadian, but detaining the Russian suspects may be more difficult because officials don’t have access to them yet.

Yahoo was breached in 2013 and 2014, affecting 1.5 billion user accounts.

The Justice Department is holding a press conference this morning.

FBI, Other Agencies Investigating Possible Russian Aid to Trump

Donald Trump

Donald Trump

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI and five other law enforcement and intelligence agencies have been investigating whether Russia secretly provided money to help President-elect Donald Trump win the November election.

Two sources familiar with the matter told McClatchy that investigators are trying to determine how money may have been moved from Russia to help Trump. 

Included in the investigation is whether some email hackers in the U.S. were covertly paid by the Kremlin.

Among those investigating are the FBI, CIA, NSA, Justice Department, the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network and the director of national intelligence.

The agencies are investigating a few Americans “who were affiliated with Trump’s campaign or his business empire an of multiple individuals from Russia and other former Soviet nations who had similar connections,” sources told McClatchy.

Trump Plans Long-Awaited Meeting with FBI, CIA on DNC Cyber Attacks

Donald Trump

Donald Trump

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President-elect Donald Trump plans a long-awaited meeting with the leaders of the CIA, FBI and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence on Friday.

Sean Spicer, a spokesman for Trump, said Wednesday that the meeting is focused on intelligence agencies’ final report on suspicions of Russia hacking the Democratic National Committee.

Trump is expected to met with CIA Director John Brennan, FBI Director James Comey and DNI’s James Clapper.

The briefing could be contentious because Trump continues to deny there’s sufficient evidence to show that Russia was behind the cyber attack.

In fact, Trump pointed recently to the WikiLeaks f0under, who insisted none of the leaked information came from Russia.

Weekend Series on Crime History: 5 Most Dangerous Hackers of All Time