The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) are known for being involved in all kinds of work, from exposing corrupt judges to fighting malware. They have also been known to take part in some hacking, from using ethically questionable equipment to zero-day exploits. Imagine the irony then when hackers threatened to release information about twenty thousand FBI employees, only to then carry out that threat and expose the FBI employees details online.
The hackers, who posted from the twitter account @DotGovs, claimed that by hacking the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) database, they were able to obtain the information. This information was released only a day after posting similar information on 10,000 Department of Homeland Security employees.
Listing their names, phone numbers and emails addresses the information, if revealed to be true, could be dangerous to both the government and the employees listed in the data breaches. Peter Carr, speaking on behalf of the Department, told CNN the following.
“The department is looking into the unauthorized access of a system operated by one of its components containing employee contact information. “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. The department takes this very seriously and is continuing to deploy protection and defensive measures to safeguard information. Any activity that is determined to be criminal in nature will be referred to law enforcement for investigation.”
Stating that there was no “sensitive personally identifiable information” is one thing but if it reveals names, numbers and emails, that’s personal enough for me. The hackers tweeted saying “When will the US government realize we won’t stop until they cut relations with Israel”. This following on from their initial boast of “FBI and DHS info is dropped and that’s all we came to do, so now its time to go, bye folks! #FreePalestine.”.
If this information is found to be genuine it represents a clear breach of the DOJ’s systems and the employees of several major governmental organisations.