(Cyberwar.news) A anonymous hacker has announced plans to dump the details of 20,000 FBI employees and 9,000 DHS workers including names, job titles, email addresses and phone numbers, Motherboard reported earlier this week.
In addition the hacker is claiming to have accessed hundreds of gigabytes of data from a computer system belonging to the Department of Justice, though thus far that information has not been published, the technology Web site noted.
The site reported further:
On Sunday, Motherboard obtained the supposedly soon-to-be-leaked data and called a large selection of random numbers in both the DHS and FBI databases. Many of the calls went through to their respective voicemail boxes, and the names for their supposed owners matched with those in the database. At one point, Motherboard reached the operations center of the FBI, according to the person on the other end.
In one instance an FBI intelligence analyst answered her phone and identified herself as the name listed in the database; a male DHS employee did so as well but did not feel comfortable revealing or confirming his job title.
A few phones listed for specific agents and employees, though, went through to generic operator desks in various departments, said Motherboard.
After a number of calls by the tech Web site, the reporter, Joseph Cox, was patched through to DHS’ National Operations Center, to the State and Local desk, where he was told that officials there had not yet heard about the alleged data breach.
“The job titles included in the data cover all sorts of different departments: contractors, biologists, special agents, task force officers, technicians, intelligence analysts, language specialists, and much more,” Motherboard reported.
The hacker said the information was obtained first by compromising the email of a Justice Department employee, but he would not elaborate on how that occurred. Earlier in the week the hacker used the DoJ account to contact Cox.
On Feb. 8, following the publication of the story, Motherboard reported that a Twitter account that is pro-Palestinian published what appeared to be details of the 9,000 DHS employees. In addition, the same account also tweeted a screenshot that supposedly came from Department of Justice computers the hacker claimed to have penetrated.
“We are looking into the reports of purported disclosure of DHS employee contact information,” a department spokesperson, S.Y. Lee, emailed to the tech site. “We take these reports very seriously, however there is no indication at this time that there is any breach of sensitive or personally identifiable information.”
Ironically, an investigation by the FBI and DHS into the alleged Chinese hack of the federal Office of Personnel Management IT systems last year was “likely” aided by an emphasis on “convenience” and “accessibility” rather than on cybersecurity.
Investigators also concluded that continued lack of strong information technology (IT) policies are putting OPM “at high risk for future intrusions.”
At one point, Motherboard noted, the hacker in question that allegedly accessed tens of thousands of files of FBI and DHS employees simply called a DoJ office, told them he was “new,” and that he was having trouble getting past the department’s IT portal. Someone on the line just gave him the necessary code.
“They asked if I had a token code, I said no, they said that’s fine—just use our one,” the hacker told Motherboard.
Cyberwar.news is part of the USA Features Media network of sites. For advertising opportunities, click here.