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Security breaches at federal agencies fuel speculation on break-in tactics
From: InfoSec News <alerts () infosecnews org>
Date: Wed, 20 Nov 2013 06:26:15 +0000 (UTC)


By Antone Gonsalves
CSO Online
November 18, 2013

The sketchy details in an FBI warning that hacktivists breached computer systems of multiple government agencies and stole sensitive information have fueled speculation on how the compromises occurred.

In a memo obtained by Reuters, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said the breaches linked to the hacktivist collective Anonymous were part of a campaign that started nearly a year ago. The attacks have affected the U.S. Army, Department of Energy (DOE), Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and possibly many more agencies.

Stolen data included the personal information of 104,000 employees, contractors, family members and others associated with the DOE, Reuters reported on Friday. The theft included information on almost 2,000 bank accounts.

Because best practices would dictate never storing such information on web servers, the breaches likely occurred at internal servers first, probably through a spear-phishing campaign that lured government employees to malicious websites, said Anup Ghosh, founder and chief executive of Invincea, which provides technology for defending against cyberattacks.


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