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23,000 civilians’, cops’ info breached in FBI database hack; Russians suspected

Computer code. (PXhere/Released)
April 22, 2019

FBI databases were hacked earlier this month, compromising the contact information of 23,000 people, including victims and law enforcement personnel.

The FBI National Academy Associates confirmed that three FBI chapter databases were breached, allowing hackers to retrieve the names, addresses, email addresses, and job descriptions of the victims and then published the information online, NBC News reported.

At least 1,000 email addresses belong to members of the FBI, as well as law enforcement at the federal, state, and local levels. Hackers said they also gathered personal information of “people being watched by the FBI,” which include journalists.

The hackers’ identity has not been confirmed, but one clue indicates they could be Russian or Russian sympathizers.  They included a post that said, “We demand freedom for Peter Levashov.”

Peter Levashov of St. Petersburg, Russia was behind one of the largest spambots in the world, Kelihos, which was responsible for a massive global attack in 2010. Levashov pleaded guilty to intentional damage to a personal computer, conspiracy, wire fraud and aggravated identity theft for infecting hundreds of thousands of computers. His sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 6 in U.S. District Court in Connecticut.

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The investigation into the breach has concluded that the national FBI database wasn’t compromised, but the hackers did say they had “been working quietly since 2014, and did not particularly attract attention, but the time has come to change the world.”

To be sure that the hackers gain the attention they are seeking, they made the hacked information public, claiming they have even more they intend to sell along with ransomware encryption packages that they will offer to fellow hackers.

Brett Callow, a spokesman for Emsisoft, a security company provided a malware decryption tool for this breach, said “in terms of seriousness, it could be very serious. Information for FBI staff is now in the public domain.”

Fabian Wosar, Emsisoft’s head of security said, “this malware code is unique but there were no clues to indicate it was the work of a previously known actor.”

Back in February, more than two billion people were part of a massive data breach that was called one of the biggest data breaches in history.

Verifications.io, a data validation company, unknowingly leaked the records of 2,069,145,043 people, which included verified emails, phone numbers, addresses, dates of birth, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram account details, credit scoring and even mortgage data such as amount owed and interest rates.

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