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Cyber Warfare

Chinese hackers deep-mining U.S. data, Congress told

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For more than five years, U.S. intelligence agencies followed several groups of Chinese hackers who were systematically draining information from defense contractors, energy firms and electronics-makers, their targets shifting to fit Beijing’s latest economic priorities. But last summer, officials lost the trail as some of the hackers changed focus again, burrowing deep into U.S. government computer systems that contain vast troves of personnel data, according to U.S. officials briefed on a federal investigation into the attack and private security experts. Undetected for nearly a year, the Chinese intruders executed a sophisticated attack that gave them “administrator privileges” into the computer ...

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China’s big hack attack

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Federal Officials Knew of Cybersecurity Issues Ahead of Massive Data Hack

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Years of fundamental cybersecurity lapses left the government’s personnel agency wide open to a pair of hacks that have exposed the private information about nearly every federal employee, along with detailed personal histories of millions with security clearances, officials acknowledged to Congress. Democrats and Republicans on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee were united Tuesday in heaping scorn upon the leaders of the Office of Personnel Management, the agency whose data was breached last year in two massive cyberattacks only recently revealed. “You failed utterly and totally,” said the committee’s chairman, Rep. Jason Chaffetz, a Utah Republican. ...

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Did we just have a cyber Pearl Harbor?

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Last week, while people were going on about the white woman who posed as black to get an NAACP job, Hillary Clinton’s (latest) campaign relaunch and President Obama’s trade-bill debacle in the House, a much bigger story slipped by with much less hoopla: the successful seizure of a vast trove of federal personnel records, reportedly by the Chinese. And then it got worse. “Hackers linked to China have gained access to the sensitive background information submitted by intelligence and military personnel for security clearances, U.S. officials said Friday, describing a cyberbreach of federal records dramatically worse than first acknowledged.” And ...

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Snowden’s revelations have not helped whistleblowers

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  By David Sirota – International Business Times Two years ago this month, a 29-year-old government contractor named Edward Snowden became the Daniel Ellsberg of his generation, delivering to journalists a tranche of secret documents shedding light on the government’s national security apparatus. But whereas Ellsberg released the Pentagon Papers detailing one specific military conflict in Southeast Asia, Snowden released details of the U.S. government’s sprawling surveillance machine that operates around the globe. On the second anniversary of Snowden’s historic act of civil disobedience, it is worth reviewing what has changed – and what has not. On the change side of ...

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Hacked government records have shown up – on the Dark Web

An illustration picture shows a projection of binary code on a man holding a laptop computer, in an office in Warsaw June 24, 2013. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel (POLAND - Tags: BUSINESS TELECOMS TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY) - RTX10ZB5

“Whoever now holds OPM’s records possesses something like the Holy Grail from a [counter-intelligence] perspective.” – Former Counterintelligence Officer John Schindler Remember the 4.1 million records of government employees, past and present, the Chinese allegedly hacked and stole last week? Well, they’ve shown up on the Internet. Sort of. According to reports, the records are now emerging on the so-called “darkweb,” says a tech firm that monitors the private online network that is so often used by criminals, terrorists and creeps around the world. Credentials to log into the Office of Personnel Management are being offered just days after the ...

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National security official: ISIL has limited cyberwar capability

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John Carlin, assistant attorney general for national security, speaks to the USA TODAY editorial board.(Photo: Jack Gruber, USA TODAY) By Kevin Johnson – USA Today As successful as the Islamic State has been at using social media to draw recruits to its cause, the terror group has not demonstrated the cyberwar capacity to conduct massive data heists or knock out critical energy and financial systems, a top national security official said Wednesday. “I don’t think they have the capability right now, or we would see the attack,” Assistant Attorney General John Carlin said in a meeting with the USA TODAY ...

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