hackers

#Hacker dumps the Data of thousands of #DHS & #FBI Employees

#Hacker dumps the Data of thousands of #DHS & #FBI Employees

US authorities have downplayed a Department of Justice (DoJ) data breach, saying no sensitive data was exposed.

On the weekend of 6-7 February 2016, a hacker or hacker group using the Twitter handle @DotGovs claimed to have downloaded the details of thousands of FBI and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) employees from a DoJ database.

How often are Hackers Caught?

Over the past few years, there have been several high-profile cyber crimes against large companies, including Target and Home Depot, that have resulted in little, if no, consequences for the criminals.

So, how often do hackers get caught?

Mark Lanterman, C.T.O. of Computer Forensic Services, says he estimates it’s less than one percent.

“You’re looking for a needle in a haystack of needles, if it even exists,” Lanterman said. “The really good hackers understand the evidence they’re generating and they work so they don’t generate that evidence.”

According to the PwC U.S. State of Cybercrime Survey, the FBI told 3,000 businesses last year they’d been hacked.

“Most businesses have either been breached or they don’t know they’ve been breached,” Lanterman said.

He says the “good” hackers rarely leave behind any evidence that would identify them. And even if they do, Lanterman says it usually doesn’t identify an individual or a group.

Often, law enforcement will have to rely on interviews in addition to computer evidence, which can be a huge challenge overseas.

According to cybercrime expert and Security analyst Brian Krebs, many of the hackers are part of organized crime groups that operate in Russia, Ukraine and Romania.

“It’s going to be very difficult for an officer to get in a squad car to go to Moscow and pick him up, so not many of them are brought to justice,” Lanterman said.

Earlier this year, the Justice Department announced it arrested 90 people in the Blackshades malware case. The investigation took two years, cooperation from 19 countries and hundreds of searches across Europe, U.S. and Canada.

Lanterman says these criminals understand this is high-reward when it comes to money and low-risk in terms of capture, so those are odds they’re willing to play.

The U.S. gets serious about handling Foreign Hackers

On April 1, 2015, President Obama’s put the smack down on foreign cyber hackers with the executive order “Blocking the Property of Certain Persons Engaging in Significant Malicious Cyber-Enabled Activities.” Springfield Computer Repair experts Rethink Associates explain that this order allows the U.S. government to freeze the assets of any individual or organization that’s complicit in cyber attacks that threaten the country’s economic stability, national security and foreign policy. In addition, financial and travel sanctions will will be leveled against those who disrupt or hijack computer networks, steal trade secrets from American companies or steal personal information of American citizens for profit.

Why we Need the Executive Order

When he spoke with Medium earlier this month, Obama said that international cooperation, diplomacy and law enforcement simply haven’t been effective enough at deterring and punishing those who are responsible for the cyber attacks that the U.S. has experienced. The President stated, “… targeted sanctions, used judiciously, will give us a new and powerful way to go after the worst of the worst.”

Obama also discussed the need for the U.S. to to increase their efforts against foreign “bad actors” because “of weak or poorly enforced foreign laws, or because some governments are either unwilling or unable to crack down on those responsible.” The White House hopes that ultimately, the sanctions will help reduce the financial gains and increase the cost of malicious cyber activities.

What the Executive Order Means for You

The White House assures that the executive order will “in no way target the victims of cyber attacks, like people whose computers are unwittingly hijacked by botnets or hackers.” This means that if computer repair reveals that a foreign entity has used your computer for its malicious deeds and you were unaware of it, the government won’t hold you responsible. The administration hopes that this executive order will help Americans thrive in the increasingly dangerous digital world, promote the sharing of intelligence regarding cyber threats and mitigate these threats.

Whether you have questions about the new targeted sanctions or computer repair, Springfield & surrounding area residents should never hesitate to contact Rethink Associates. Call or stop by one of our shops to learn more about how we can help you protect your computer.

Sony Pictures Hack Highlights Importance of Cybersecurity

We live in an incredibly fast paced, digital world. These days, stories of companies being hacked are, unfortunately, commonplace. We have been hearing stories of major hacks against large corporations, retail chains and even banks, and most recently, Sony. News of the Sony hack might seem as just another breech. However, as the smoke clears, we find ever more evidence that the hack perpetrated on Sony Pictures on 11/24 was anything but usual. These types of attacks highlight the vital importance of maintaining top-notch cybersecurity and Rethink Associates is here with the details.

What Happened?

At approximately 11am, on Monday, November 24th, emails began circulating around to Sony Pictures employees, instructing them not to use their computers, corporate email accounts, or cell phone wifi access. As this news traveled it became evident hackers had seized an estimated 11,000 gigabytes of data, potentially including financial information, personal passwords, passport and visa info of cast and crew in addition to information about Sony’s IT systems. As Sony searched to identify the hackers, a flood of information had already hit the web, including the movies Mr. TurnerStill AliceFury, & Annie,  which have not yet been released in theatres. As the investigation into the leaked files continued, the details only became worse, turning up salary negotiations, medical information, & employee criminal background checks, in addition to the script for an unreleased pilot written by Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan.

Sadly, this is  just the tip of the iceberg. At this point, the Sony Pictures hack is easily the worst corporate hack in all of recorded history.

How Can I Protect My Business?

Well, you can begin by not ticking off North Korea. Sony has speculated publicly that the hack might in fact be retaliation for the upcoming release of The Interview, a comedy starring James Franco and Seth Rogan who  play characters who attempt to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Of course, the odds that your business has threatened or offended the DPRK is obviously quite low, however, that doesn’t mean these kinds of attacks can't happen to you. If your cybersecurity isn’t currently being professionally monitored and updated, your business may have serious vulnerabilities you might not even know about.

Protect Your Business With Cybersecurity From Working Nets

At Rethink Associates, we know that handling the cybersecurity for your business while actually keeping that business running can seem impossible, especially in the daunting face of cyber-attacks against much larger businesses. Outsourcing your IT can give you peace of mind and allow you to take care of the things that are important for your company. Rethink Associates is a Republic based IT Service and Security company that services small businesses throughout SW Missouri. We’re always on top of emerging cybersecurity trends and threats so you don’t have to be.

To talk to someone about managed IT for your business, give us a call at (417) 334-6609. We’d be happy to assist you with your professional business networking needs.