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FBI Director: State cyber threats increasing

Cyber intrusions carried out by China, Russia, Iran and North Korea are increasing in both scale and severity, FBI Director James Comey said this week. The four states “are getting much more sophisticated, much more aggressive in state-sponsored intrusion activity,” Comey said Aug. 30. International criminals also are stepping cyber theft and the threat posed by ransomware is increasing, he added. Hackers of all types are targeting people with access to information systems. “The threat actors know that, and so they spend a tremendous amount of time trying to understand how they might get…

Election cyber security threatened

The FBI stated in a warning sent Aug. 18 that cyber attacks were carried out against two state board of electrions information system, raising concerns about foreign hackers manipulating election results. “The FBI received information of an additional IP address, 5.149.249.172, which was detected in the July 2016 compromise of a state’s board of election web site,” the FBI warning said. “Additionally, in August 2016 attempted intrusion activities into another state’s board of election system identified the IP address, 185.104.9.39 used in the aforementioned compromise.” The incident occurred in late June when an…

State, Pentagon at odds on Chinese cyber attacks

The State Department and Pentagon are odds over the threat posed by Chinese cyber attacks, a former White House official said Aug. 30. Michael Green, currently senior vice president for Asia and Japan at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a think tank, said during a panel discussion on President Obama’s visit to China. “The the view on cyber is quite divided between the State Department and the Pentagon,” Green said. “The Pentagon’s view I would surmise as being we are already in a state of cyber warfare with China and…

On eve of sentencing, Guccifer attorneys say Clinton-linked hacker wanted to expose hypocrisy

The Romanian computer hacker who breached the personal accounts of more than 100 victims including an advisor to Hillary Clinton has asked a federal judge to spare him a lengthy prison stint ahead of a sentencing hearing set for Thursday morning in Alexandria, Virginia. Marcel Lazăr Lehel, also known as Guccifer, faces seven years behind bars when he’s sentenced Thursday morning over a 14-month hacking spree that targeted a confidant of Mrs. Clinton, Sidney Blumenthal, as well as Colin Powell and members of the Bush family, among others. He was extradited to…

FBI: ‘Hostile actors’ likely hacked Clinton email secrets

An extensive FBI investigation found evidence that foreign government hackers accessed private emails sent by former secretary of state Hillary Clinton but no direct evidence spies hacked into the several unsecure servers she used. FBI Director James Comey revealed Tuesday the 11-month probe into Clinton’s private email servers uncovered negligent handling of very sensitive classified information that was placed on several unsecure servers between 2009 and 2013, when Clinton served as secretary of state. In an unusual public announcement, Comey outlined findings that included discovery of highly classified information sent and received…

State Department report says Chinese cyber attacks ‘ongoing’

Chinese cyber attacks against American firms are “ongoing” and the use of covert cyber tools and methods by Beijing hackers led to a statistical decline in cyber activities, according to an internal State Department security report. The report by the State Department-led Overseas Security Advisory Council, or OSAC, a public-private partnership, challenges the findings of a recent study by the private cyber security firm FireEye that says the decline in the number of Chinese-origin cyber attacks indicated China has cut back from large-scale cyber attacks. “While media reporting has emphasized this alleged…

Russia to release Clinton emails?

U.S. intelligence agencies are said to be closely watching Russian online blogs and other postings for any signs that Moscow hackers have covertly obtained the bulk of Hillary Clinton’s email messages stolen from her private email server and are preparing to make them public. A U.S. intelligence official told Inside the Ring that the indications of the email release are being closely watched, although the veracity of at least two postings on the matter could not be confirmed as authoritative. A State Department official has said Russia is one of at least…

Cyber attacks to surge at Olympics

Studying previous sporting events through its intelligence analysis platform, Tel Aviv-based Cytegic, a cybersecurity company, has identified a surge of cyber activity ahead of and during major global sporting events. This same activity is expected to surge in the weeks ahead of and during the Olympics in Brazil in August this year, the company warns. Hackers set up sites to sell counterfeit tickets and travel packages. They also increase their activity on the political sphere, attacking government sites to call attention to their causes. Most of the attacks were expected to be…