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Tag: hacking

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

FBI Warned Illinois Republican Party That Its Email System May Have Been Hacked

hacker-istock-photoBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI warned the Illinois Republican Party in June that hackers may have targeted GOP political email accounts.

But party officials said the FBI never mentioned potential links to the investigation of Russia trying to hack America’s political system, the Chicago Triune reports, citing the state GOP’s executive director. 

Nick Klitzing said the party found of its 18 emails on DCLeaks.com, which appears to be connected to a unit controlled by Russia’s military intelligence agency, GRU.

But the emails in question largely belong to inactive or rarely used accounts andante back to 2015.

Republicans are trying to distance themselves from the hacking controversy after the CIA said there’s substantial evidence that Russia was involved in targeting the emails of the Democratic National Committee.

CIA, FBI Disagree on Veracity of Claims That Russia Hacked Emails to Help Trump Win

CIA headquarters

CIA headquarters

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The CIA and FBI have contrasting opinions about the veracity of claims that Russia was involved in the hacking of emails of the Democratic National Committee.

CIA officials told reporters that the intelligence agency is fairly certain that Russia’s motives were to help Donald Trump win the election. But the FBI is less certain and said there hasn’t been conclusive evidence about the motive, CNN reports.

“At this point, there appears to have been a combination of motivations,” one US law enforcement official said. “They wanted to sow discord and undermine our systems. It’s clear not even the Russians thought he would win.”

Democrats and Republicans are using the evidence – or lack of evidence – to make partisan points.

“The certainty with which it is being portrayed that the intelligence community fingered Russia and revealed multiple attacks — those are being overblown and put forward with a certainty that doesn’t exist,” said one Republican congressional aide familiar with discussion among top leadership and committee members. “Absolute work of fiction by whoever is leaking this information to the press.”

Sen. Chuck Schumer said Sunday that the lack of consensus between the two agencies is reason enough to investigate.

“The fact the CIA and FBI disagree shows the need for a bipartisan investigation to get to the bottom of this. The investigation should be tough, strong, bipartisan and have access to all materials, classified and not,” Schumer said.