Tag Archives: hackers

U.S. Government Investigating Alleged Data Leak of Justice Department, DHS Employees

Internet hackers, who appeared to be activists in support of Palestine, claimed to have publicly released the personal data of 20,000 Justice Department employees including some within the FBI on Monday after gaining entry to the Justice Department’s database.

The hackers reportedly claimed via Twitter that the leak was in support of Palestine, and was a direct message to the U.S. government to pressure them into ceasing ties with Israel and to also bring awareness to the occupation of Gaza and attacks by Israel.

Before releasing the data of the 20,000 DOJ employees, the group began the leak on Sunday evening by releasing a list containing over 9,000 Department of Homeland Security employees’ names, emails, current country location, employment titles and phone numbers, with a warning stating that there was more to come.

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An individual who contacted Motherboard and identified himself as one of the hackers claimed that he was able to access the employee information after he “compromised” a DOJ employee’s email address. After an unsuccessful attempt to access the DOJ web portal with that email address, he reportedly pretended to be an employee who needed assistance. He said he called the web department to obtain an access code needed to obtain the files. “They asked if I had a token code, I said no, they said that’s fine—just use our one,” the hacker told Motherboard.

After the web department gave him the information he needed, he gained admittance into the portal. According to the Telegraph, the hacker claimed that the group also currently has credit card numbers as well as military emails in their possession from the hack. The Telegraph noted that the “list appears to be real.”

The Department of Justice issued this statement in response to the leak: “This unauthorized access is still under investigation; however, there is no indication at this time that there is any breach of sensitive personally identifiable information,” DOJ spokesperson Peter Carr said in a statement.

While the Justice Department’s statement claimed that there doesn’t appear to be a “breach of sensitive personally identifiable information,” Motherboard noted that the FBI is taking steps to prevent the data from spreading.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, CryptoBin, the site that was reportedly hosting the leaked data, has become more difficult to access. “A Department of Justice spokesman, who previously confirmed that the agency was investigating a possible breach of its systems, declined to comment when asked if the agency had anything to do with the takedown,” reported the Chronicle.

BREAKING: Sony Pictures CANCELS release of “The Interview” Following Terror Threats from Hackers

Following an online threat from a group calling itself Guardians of Peace (GOP) several cities have decided not to show the upcoming film “The Interview.”

UPDATE 5:15 EST: AP has tweeted that Sony Pictures cancelled the release of the film.

UPDATE: AMC and Regal theaters announced as of 3:00 PM Wednesday that their theaters will not be showing “The Interview.” AMC and Regal are the two largest theater chains in the nation.

The film follows two men played by Seth Rogen and James Franco as they are recruited to  assassinate Kim Jong-Un. The film has caused controversy in America and North Korea. The Executive Director of CFKAP (Center for Korean-American Peace) Kim Myong-chol told the Daily Telegraph, “A film about the assassination of a foreign leader mirrors what the US has done in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Ukraine. And let us not forget who killed Kennedy – Americans. In fact, President Obama should be careful in case the US military wants to kill him as well.”

The GOP have claimed responsibility for recently leaked emails that were hacked from Sony Entertainment. The online threat came with the release of another set of documents hacked from Sony. The full message reads:

We will clearly show it to you at the very time and places “The Interview” be shown, including the premiere, how bitter fate those who seek fun in terror should be doomed to.
Soon all the world will see what an awful movie Sony Pictures Entertainment has made.
The world will be full of fear.
Remember the 11th of September 2001.
We recommend you to keep yourself distant from the places at that time.
(If your house is nearby, you’d better leave.)
Whatever comes in the coming days is called by the greed of Sony Pictures Entertainment.
All the world will denounce the SONY.

The threat lead to Carmike Cinemas to remove the film from its 238 theaters spread across 41 states. Deadline reports that California’s ArcLight Cinemas is also considering not showing the film in its five theaters. Theaters in Cincinnati, Detroit  Austin, and Baltimore have also cancelled screenings of the film.

The premiere of the film at Landmark Cinemas in New York City was cancelled as well. This week the stars of the film announced they would not continue their promotional tour. The National Association of Theatre Owners released a statement notifying its member that “Individual cinema operators may decide to delay exhibition of the movie” if they choose.

Time reports that the hacks had been linked to North Korea. North Korea, however, denied having anything to do with the hack or the threats. The Department of Homeland Security commented on the situation, stating there was no “credible intelligence to indicate an active plot against movie theaters within the United States.”