FBI Email System Hacked

During the weekend, hackers managed to compromise the FBI’s email system and send spam emails with a warning about a fake cyberattack.

Threat Actor in Systems

The cybercriminals that hacked the FBI’s system managed to send the message to over 100,000 addresses. They took them from the American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN) database.

The scam emails, titled “Urgent: Threat actor in systems” warn of a chain attack. They point to the famous hacker gang The Dark Overlord, which allegedly steals data and demands a ransom, as suspects. 

The “threat actor” is apparently cybersecurity expert Vinny Troia, who investigated the group a year ago.

The FBI is aware of the problem. In a press release, it stated: “No actor was able to access or compromise any data or PII on the FBI’s network. Once we learned of the incident, we quickly remediated the software vulnerability, warned partners to disregard the fake emails, and confirmed the integrity of our networks.”

A Coordinated Attack?

Cybersecurity experts, however, believe that this wasn’t a coordinated cyberattack. The email had no malicious attachments. So, the hackers most likely stumbled upon a vulnerability in the system and decided to make use of it.

Meanwhile, Vinny Troia thinks that he became a victim of a smear attack. This comes as a result of him exposing the identity of a young hacker. 

ABOUT AUTHOR

Devoted my whole life to words - reading, writing and trying to be original on social media. Got certified in digital marketing - still not cool enough to be an influencer. Finished a master’s degree focused in Literature, Publishing, Mass Media. Hobbies include traveling, reading and hoping that yoga will be the thing to finally teach me some patience. Would like to take over the world at some point, but that’s an optional dream. Maybe modern tech can help me do that?

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1 Comment

  1. It absolutely amazes me that agencies handling sensitive data haven’t found THE key to security: Keep it Off the Public Network! Problem is everyone believes they will die without access to data considered centuries away only 30 years ago. If you want data secure, you can’t have it available from any cellphone, laptop or other Internet appliance anywhere in the world. At best, your limited connection will be over dedicated fiber or maybe encrypted non-standard satellite phone protocols. No one “looking” on any regular Internet will see a thing – it might mean dial-up encrypted faxes in The Middle of Nowhere. Figure the way it was in 1990.
    For those of us raised on Bell 103 150-Baud DataPumps, that was paradise – folks raised on 5-Gbyte fiber will have to just learn to put security ahead of speed. And not only leased lines but different protocol. There’s nothing sacred about how we move data – we all agree to use the same techniques on standard unimportant stuff. There’s nothing wrong with coming up with different protocols for black-budget and law enforcement agencies. Say 24-bit words with a built-in crafted cypher bringing them to 32. Constant data movement where “noise” exceeds data by 150%, and the noise portion comes and goes irregularly, but carries, deeply embedded, the time/designated “one-time pad” and other info for allowing those with the right firmware to access, transmit and receive files – did I say 32-bit words? What if each word’s length varied from 8-80 bits? What if your pseudo-1-time pad were a collection of 512 free download books, based on a rapidly changing id of book/page/line/offset/ encryption changed hourly if not sooner?
    But the key is to use dedicated optical lines, running continuous checks against breaks and length shifts that not only can tell you Alice is listening to Bob, but exactly, to the inch, where she’s doing it from.
    All this is more difficult, if not impossible, on satellite phones, but we’re speaking of the FBI, which is, theoretically limited to domestic operations, has field offices everywhere, and could very well go off the Internet to a system of its own
    Back in the days when William Gibson started writing, his operatives saw regular nasty “Cyberspace” and, off in the unreachable distance, a galaxy spiral of a totally separate military system, forever beyond reach.
    Ok, nothing is, but having to develop parallels of totally different protocols, fast-shifting encryption, etc. on isolated lines limits one to an inside job, providing the key good for one hour. If that’s not safe enough, put it in a self-destructing box on a military jet.
    Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, keep as little on-line at any moment at one time.
    “I” need something out of the current LCN file. I make a request. At the central office, the correct file is merged with 15 dummies, heavily encrypted, and sent over a half-hour. Not fast enough? Screw with encrypted sound. Hold a relatively slow conversation.
    Both data on innocent people and subjects of serious investigations remain secret.

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