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The Anonymous hacker collective targeted Canadian government websites in retribution for the recent passing of the anti-terror Bill C-51. The distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks took place on Wednesday and temporarily disrupted web sites belonging to the Canadian Senate, Justice Department and two different spy agencies.
The Canadian Security and Intelligence Service (CSIS) has been awarded new powers to investigate and disrupt suspected terror-related activities after Bill C-51 passed. The bill, which was heavily criticized by privacy and citizen watch groups, has angered many Canadian citizens - and Anonymous was more than willing to take aim. There is fear that the government will be able to monitor legitimate Internet activity, and then sweep it under the rug.
Here is what Anonymous said regarding the hack: "Greetings citizens of Canada, we are Anonymous. Today, this 17th of June 2015 we launched an attack against the Canadian Senate and government of Canada websites in protest against the recent passing of Bill C-51. A bill which is a clear violation of the universal declaration of human rights, as well as removing our legal protections that have stood, enshrined in the Magna Carta for 800 years."
Swann Security has announced the SwannCloud Plug & Play security camera and SwannCloud HD Pan & Tilt security camera.
Both cameras are able to record and capture 720p HD video and 1280 x 720 HD images, which can be saved to a smartphone or tablet. In addition, the Pan & Tilt camera can be remotely operated using the SwannCloud app for Google Android and Apple iOS users. Both cameras also make use of on-board infrared LEDs to provide higher quality nighttime video and image viewing.
The SwannCloud HD Plug & Play has a $129.99 MSRP, while the SwannCLoud HD Pan & Tilt is available for $179.99.
The North Korean regime didn't like news that the United States tried to launch a Stuxnet-like cyberattack against the country, and threatened it could "wage a cyber war against the US to hasten its ruin."
A report in a North Korean newspaper also said the country "can react to any forms of wars, operations and battles sought by the US imperialists," and added "the US is greatly mistaken if it thinks the DPRK will just overlook with folded arms the provocations in the cyber space."
North Korea has threatened a cyber-based apocalypse against the US in the past - and was reportedly behind the attack against Sony Pictures Entertainment.
A union representing federal employees claims that cybercriminals were able to successfully steal Social Security numbers and other personal data of every federal employee. Following news that the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) was hacked, suspected by "the Chinese," it's turned out to be a bigger issue than the Obama Administration publicly stated.
Hackers were able to compromise the Central Personnel Data File, which holds records for current federal employees, retired personnel, and as many as one million former federal employee records. The data files reportedly have up to 780 data points about a federal worker - an alarming amount of personal information that wasn't properly secured.
"We believe that Social Security numbers were not encrypted, a cybersecurity failure that is absolutely indefensible and outrageous," said J. David Cox, president of the American Federal of Government Employees, in an open letter to the OPM. The group has described the OPM breach as "an abysmal failure on the part of the agency to guard data that has been entrusted to it by the federal workforce."
Unsealed federal court documents revealed almost 600 storage accounts may have been compromised as part of the infamous 'Celebgate' hacking scandal. Stolen images from Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton, Hope Solo and other actresses and models were posted on 4chan, and then spread elsewhere on the Internet.
Apple iCloud accounts belonging to 572 unique accounts were accessed, some of the accounts visited six times.
In other news, the FBI has traced the hacker to the South Side of Chicago, in the Brighton Park neighborhood. FBI agents seized computers and other documents from the house, but no one has been arrested. Two email addresses allegedly belonging to 30-year-old Emilio Herrera are tied to the investigation, but he hasn't been named as a suspect.
President Barack Obama has received a letter from the Information Industry Association and Information Technology Industry Council not to mess with encryption. The US government wants backdoors created so law enforcement can access information when needed, but Silicon Valley companies warned that would also create opportunities for cybercriminals.
"We are opposed to any policy actions or measures that would undermine encryption as an available and effective tool," said the letter. The Information Industry Association represents companies such as Microsoft, Facebook, Google and Apple - with executives from each company previously speaking out against various government interference in security.
The FBI and other agencies support the Obama administration's efforts to help bypass encryption, but in a manner that wouldn't allow hackers and cybercriminals to exploit the encryption backdoor.
The Office of Personnel Management knew that its computer security system could be exploited by outside act, but the issue still wasn't spotted in time. The OPM is expected to roll out two-step authentication to better protect its networks.
It was still too late - tens of thousands of files were already stolen before the inspector general's report last November. After a breach was detected last summer, cybercriminals were able to launch a broader attack that likely began in December. So far, more than 4 million people have been exposed by the breach, and it's likely that number will rise.
Cybercriminals tend to be very patient while browsing compromised networks, especially organized cyber hackers. It's possible the OPM hack was carried out by those responsible for breaching Anthem, as personal information is lucrative.
Cybersecurity issues are getting worse, President Barack Obama admitted recently, as the United States remains a lucrative target of foreign cybercriminals. Obama wants Congress to pass new cybersecurity legislation to help address mounting digital threats.
"We have known for a long time that there are significant vulnerabilities, and that these vulnerabilities are going to accelerate as time goes by, both in systems within government and within the private sector," Pres. Obama said during a Group of Seven summit.
It's a stark realization that the US government has been aware of cybersecurity issues, but favored the need on bulk surveillance activities. If nothing else, it looks like some private sector security firms and defense contractors will make a fortune helping the government upgrade.
The US government has confirmed that records of current and former federal employees are at risk, following news that the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) suffered a series of cyberattacks. Despite reportedly beginning in late 2014, it took until April before the intrusions were detected.
Here is some expert cybersecurity input regarding the breach:
There is a changing cybercriminal landscape that the United States has been relatively slow to adapt to:
"Cyber espionage by state-sponsored actors is in fact cybercrime," said Jason Polancich, founder and chief architect at SurfWatch Labs. "China and Russia signed a no-hack agreement last month likely, in part, because one is the produce (China) and the other is the marketer (Russia) of today's cybercrime, now a world-sized cottage industry."
Authorities believe that a breach in US government data was thanks to a "foreign entity" and the Federal Bureau of Investigation has launched a full inquiry into who exactly stole the data on approximately four million workers.
This hacking spree took place through the US's Office for Personnel Management (OPM) and began in April 2015, with The Department of Homeland Security concluding that this attack had finished by the beginning of May - announcing the data as compromised.
Despite the implementation of EINSTEIN, private information on four million employees was stolen directly from the human resource systems, affecting OPM IT systems as a whole.