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Hacker Who Launched Attacks On Rutgers University Ordered To Pay $8.6m Restitution

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the staff of the Ridgewood blog

TRENTON NJ,  A Union County, New Jersey, man was ordered today to pay $8.6 million in restitution and serve six months of home incarceration for launching a cyber-attack on the Rutgers University computer network, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Paras Jha, 22, of Fanwood, New Jersey, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Michael Shipp to violating the Computer Fraud & Abuse Act. Judge Shipp imposed the sentence today in Trenton federal court.

Continue reading Hacker Who Launched Attacks On Rutgers University Ordered To Pay $8.6m Restitution

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Hacker Publishes List Of Cell Phone Numbers, Private E-Mails For Most House Democrats

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After disappearing for a couple of weeks, the hacker “Guccifer 2.0” returned late this afternoon to provide a new headache for Democrats.

In a post to his WordPress blog, the vandal–who previously provided nearly 20,000 Democratic National Committee e-mails to Wikileaks–uploaded an Excel file that includes the cell phone numbers and private e-mail addresses of nearly every Democratic member of the House of Representatives.

The Excel file also includes similar contact information for hundreds of congressional staff members (chiefs of staff, press secretaries, legislative directors, schedulers) and campaign personnel.

In announcing the leak of the document, “Guccifer 2.0” reported that the spreadsheet was stolen during a hack of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “As you see I wasn’t wasting my time! It was even easier than in the case of the DNC breach,” the hacker wrote.

http://thesmokinggun.com/buster/democratic-national-committee/guccifer-dccc-hack-645891

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New leaker disclosing U.S. secrets, government concludes

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New leaker disclosing U.S. secrets, government concludes
By Evan Perez, CNN
updated 5:16 PM EDT, Tue August 5, 2014

(CNN) — The federal government has concluded there’s a new leaker exposing national security documents in the aftermath of surveillance disclosures by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, U.S. officials tell CNN.

Proof of the newest leak comes from national security documents that formed the basis of a news story published Tuesday by the Intercept, the news site launched by Glenn Greenwald, who also published Snowden’s leaks.

The Intercept article focuses on the growth in U.S. government databases of known or suspected terrorist names during the Obama administration.

The article cites documents prepared by the National Counterterrorism Center dated August 2013, which is after Snowden left the United States to avoid criminal charges.

Greenwald has suggested there was another leaker. In July, he said on Twitter “it seems clear at this point” that there was another.

Government officials have been investigating to find out that identity.

In a February interview with CNN’s Reliable Sources, Greenwald said: “I definitely think it’s fair to say that there are people who have been inspired by Edward Snowden’s courage and by the great good and virtue that it has achieved.”

He added, “I have no doubt there will be other sources inside the government who see extreme wrongdoing who are inspired by Edward Snowden.”

http://www.cnn.com/2014/08/05/politics/u-s-new-leaker/index.html

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HACKER BREACHED NOAA SATELLITE DATA FROM CONTRACTOR’S PC

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HACKER BREACHED NOAA SATELLITE DATA FROM CONTRACTOR’S PC
By Aliya SternsteinJuly 28, 2014

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration satellite data was stolen from a contractor’s personal computer last year, but the agency could not investigate the incident because the employee refused to turn over the PC, according to a new inspector general report.

This is but one of the “significant security deficiencies” that pose a threat to NOAA’s critical missions, the report states.

Other weaknesses include unauthorized smartphone use on key systems and thousands of software vulnerabilities.

The July 15 report made public on Friday concentrates on information-technology security problems at NOAA’s National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service. NOAA is part of the Commerce Department.

During the 2013 incident, “an attacker exfiltrated data from a NESDIS system to a suspicious external IP address via the remote connection established with a personal computer,” wrote Allen Crawley, Commerce’s assistant IG for systems acquisition and IT security, referring to a dodgy computer address.

NOAA determined the PC likely was infected with malware, but it was prevented from examining further because “the owner of the personal computer, even though a NESDIS contractor, did not give NOAA permission to perform forensic activities on the personal computer,” Crawley said.

The inspector general cited this case as an example of why it’s a bad idea — and a violation of Commerce policy — for any personnel to access NOAA information systems using personal computers. In response to a draft report, NOAA officials noted the system in question was not a “high-impact” system.

http://www.nextgov.com/cybersecurity/2014/07/hacker-breached-noaa-satellite-data-contractors-pc/89771/

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Who’s Watching You Online?

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Who’s Watching You Online?
Amy Payne
March 10, 2014 at 5:30 am

In recent years, the world has watched as Twitter and Facebook made political uprisings possible. In countries where dissidents previously had trouble making their voices heard and connecting with one another, these tools changed history.

On the flipside, however, everyone from terrorists to foreign intelligence agencies rushed into the open space online.

“Exploiting social networks for military and intelligence purposes is a global game,” explains Heritage’s E.W. Richardson Fellow, James Jay Carafano. “China, for example, has stepped up its efforts to recruit Americans studying abroad as future ‘sleeper’ agents. The top tools they use to evaluate potential recruits? Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and reunion.com.”

Yesterday, Carafano spoke at the South by Southwest Interactive (SXSWi) Festival in Austin, Texas. Carafano, author of Wiki at War: Conflict in a Socially Networked World, joined the technology and ideas conference to speak on the impact of social networking on today’s warfare.

It may come as a surprise to many of us that, for example, not all email spam is harmless. Carafano warns:

Foreign intelligence services also use social media to try to get inside our computers. That malware your officemate downloaded by clicking on the email offering “50 percent off pizza”? It might just as easily have come from a hacker working for the Chinese military as from a Russian cyber-criminal or some punk cyber-dude in California.

And what is the U.S. government doing to protect us?

http://blog.heritage.org/2014/03/10/whos-watching-you-online-cyber-security/?utm_source=heritagefoundation&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=morningbell