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August 4, 2015 / 19 Av, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘computer security’

Hackers Stole Personal Data of All US Federal Workers, Past & Present

Friday, June 12th, 2015

That cyber attack on the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, revealed to the American public just a few days ago, turns out to be a mammoth violation; worse than the White House is willing to admit.

The personal information of every single federal worker, retired, current, past and present has been stolen in one of the biggest heists by hackers the U.S. has ever faced — affecting far more than the initial report of “at least four million government employees,” according to a report in the Friday edition of the New York Post.

It is believed the attack was traced back to China, according to myriad American media reports. The Obama administration has to yet to formally accuse China of the cyber security attack, however.

China has been involved in numerous industrial cyber attacks on corporations in the United States. Hackers traced to Russia have also carried out a number of cyber attacks in the U.S.

In Israel, cyber warfare has long been considered a major threat — one the Jewish State geared up to deal with by creating an entire government division devoted solely to cyber defense and cyber warfare.

The U.S. OPM breach apparently occurred in December; but it was not until April that it was discovered, and the news did not reach the public until this month.

Among the personal details stolen by the cyber thieves were the social security numbers, dates of birth and addresses, according to J. David Cox, head of the American Federation of Government Employees.

Military records, employment histories, gender, race and insurance information was also taken from the records penetrated in the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

In a letter that Cox wrote to OPM director Katherine Archuleta, he charged the agency with not encrypting highly sensitive personal data of those who work for the government.

“We believe that Social Security numbers were not encrypted, a cybersecurity failure that is absolutely indefensible and outrageous,” Cox said.

Personnel data files contain up to 780 pieces of information about each federal employee, according to the NY Post.

OPM has signed a $20 million deal with a private cyber security firm to provide 18 months of identity fraud protection for those who are affected.

Cyber Attack Strikes More US Govt Offices , 4 Million Affected

Friday, June 5th, 2015

Do you or any of your family work for the federal government? If so, prepare to change all of your computer passwords and consider doing the same at your bank.

At least four million current and former civil service workers have had their privacy violated by hackers who breached computer systems at the U.S. Office of Personnel Management and the Department of the Interior.

According to a report in The Washington Post, the attack was carried out by Chinese hackers, as have previous U.S. industrial breaches.

OPM notified those whose “personally identifiable information” may have been compromised, offering 18 months of credit monitoring for those who were affected.

OPM Director Katherine Archuleta told journalists at a news conference the government is working on trying to improve its cyber security. “We take very seriously our responsibility to secure the information stored in our systems,” she said.

The breach was first detected in late April and confirmed in early May. It is unclear when the attack began.

It is the Department of Homeland Security that is tasked with cyber defense. DHS officials said they were working with the FBI to get to the bottom of who was behind the current attack.

“DHS is continuing to monitor federal networks for any suspicious activity and is working aggressively with the affected agencies to conduct investigative analyses to assess the extent of this alleged intrusion,” DHS spokesperson Sy Lee said.

Congressman Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said “The cyber threat from hackers, criminals, terrorists and state actors is one of the greatest challenges we face on a daily basis, and it’s clear that a substantial improvement in our cyber databases and defenses is perilously overdue.”

Palestinian Authority Hacker Posts on Zuckerberg’s Facebook Wall

Monday, August 19th, 2013

A Palestinian Authority hacker from Hevron posted a message on Facebook founder Marc Zuckerberg’s wall to show there is a bug in the social network’s security settings.

Khalil Shreateh posted information about the bug on Zuckerberg’s wall late last week following unsuccessful attempts to report the bug to Facebook security. The bug allowed Shreateh to post on the walls of other members despite security settings.

“Sorry for breaking your privacy … I had no other choice … after all the reports I sent to Facebook team,” Shreateh wrote on Zuckerberg’s wall.

Facebook security had denied that the flaw was a bug.

Shreateh, who is unemployed, had hoped to win a $500 reward paid out to hackers who discover bugs on Facebook. Instead, his Facebook account was frozen, since he violated Facebook’s terms of service by posting illegally on Zuckerberg’s page. His account has since been reinstated.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/141257/2013/08/19/

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