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It's not a surprise that federal agencies have fully embraced mobile technology like smartphones and tablets, but there is great concern that 40 percent of government employees put sensitive data at risk by ignoring agency policies.
A recent study from mobile security firm Lookout discovered employees rooting, jailbreaking and sideloading applications, while still having direct access to work documents, work email, and other possibly sensitive data. The study also found 49 percent of federal employees don't have any form of anti-malware or anti-virus security solution installed, and employees use unsecured devices while handling sensitive data.
Not that the policies used by government agencies should be followed in the private sector, but gives decision makers guidelines on behaviors that don't work - and how to avoid them.
With news already coming out that the Ashley Madison hack has seen over 700 Australian Government employee email addresses named, sitting alongside members of the White House and US congress and even dirtying the name of Sao Paulo due to the sheer number of accounts within, there is now even more to add to the plate.
This latest update comes in the form of yet another information dump, being twice the size of the last one. Released onto the dark web, this information leak is largely targeted at Noel Biderman, the CEO of Ashley Madison's parent company, Avid Life. Alongside including many of his business emails, this leak is coupled with a statement which reads "Hey Noel, you can admit it's real now."
Measuring around 20GB, this leak is said to be focused mainly on internal operations and information - quite possibly to ensure people take this leak seriously and removing the possibility of Ashley Madison calling it off as a hoax.
The Aussies are in trouble, with the latest Ashley Madison hacking scandal unveiling over 700 Australian Government email address' linked to the affairs website, but it looks like they aren't the only ones. Looking further into the data, The Big Story published an article outlining that members of the White House and US Congress were also involved in the mix.
Including those holding high positions in multiple Government offices (including law enforcement), the hacked and published list includes some powerful titles which The Big Story explained as; "at least two assistant U.S. attorneys; an information technology administrator in the Executive Office of the President; a division chief, an investigator and a trial attorney in the Justice Department; a government hacker at the Homeland Security Department and another DHS employee who indicated he worked on a U.S. counter terrorism response team."
Although you may view it as morally unjust, there will be no legal action taken against these Government employees, sources say. This inaction is due to there being no elected officials involved, nor have these people committed a felony. Further to this information, the names have not been publically posted or confirmed by the US Government.
Millions of people have been exposed following the recent data dump of stolen Ashley Madison accounts, though there is something a bit frightening to consider: the possibility of people committing suicide, or being injured or killed.
The Impact Team released data of 37 million users of the popular infidelity website, and details include names, email addresses, and sexual preferences.
"We have to be very cautious and I think sensitive to this," cybersecurity specialist Brian Krebs told the Guardian. "There's a very real chance that people are going to overreact. I wouldn't be surprised if we saw people taking their lives because of this."
Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden's chance at creating some type of plea agreement with the US Justice Department is not likely - and a possible agreement window is rapidly closing. Snowden's attorneys and the government haven't spoken about a deal in almost one year, according to sources speaking to Bloomberg.
The US government isn't in dire need of gaining information from Snowden, because they have a much clearer picture of the data he took. However, the American said he would like to one day return to the United States, but that hasn't seemed like a plausible scenario for quite some time now.
"Many people in government believe that the journalists who received Snowden's material are not capable of protecting it from a competent and committed state level adversary service," said Ben Wittes, a Brookings Institution national security law specialist, told Bloomberg. "Even if Snowden did not give the material to others, they argue it would have bene ripe for the picking."
Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush believes the United States government needs broader surveillance capabilities, and tech companies shouldn't be fighting the resistance.
"There's a place to find common ground between personal civil liberties and NSA doing its job," Bush recently said, as published by the AP. "I think the balance has actually gone the wrong way."
Bush also noted that recent Patriot Act changes forcing an end to bulk collection of American phone records wasn't the right idea - and was done with "no evidence" Americans' civil liberties were violated.
Mobile transactions increased during Q2 2015, with ThreatMetrix analyzing more than 3 billion transactions, and 75 million attacks were stopped in real-time.
Criminals trying to take advantage of mobile transactions have a number of different methods to compromise users, including spoofing attacks able to impersonate users. Cybercrime is growing across all industries and online channels, so it's important for businesses and companies offering mobile solutions to work to make improve their security.
"As commerce goes global and mobile, cybercrime follows suit, as is evidenced by the high volume of attacks targeting cross-border and mobile transactions," said Vanita Pandey, senior director of strategy and product marketing at ThreatMetrix. "Cross-border transactions open the door to new revenue opportunities for businesses but are easy targets for cybercrime attacks, so they must make every effort to ensure they're stopping fraudulent transactions without rejecting authentic customers."
In further shocking news, the Ashley Madison hacking scandal has not only seen Australian Government employees damned by the leak, but there has further been an investigation into statistics based around the findings.
This investigation came in the form of locations, naming how many Ashley Madison accounts were linked to major cities around the globe. Topping the list of 25 cities by a large margin was Sao Paulo, sitting at over 370,000 accounts in total, backed up by New York at 268,171 in second place. These results were certainly not locked to a single continent either, with London and Melbourne (Australia) both ranking quite highly.
As reported by News.com.au, these numbers also don't take total population into account. So not only are you looking at places like Perth (Australia) having 88,697 total Ashley Madison members, but this city has 1/10th of the inhabitants when compared to the #1 ranked Sao Paulo.
In recent news, dating and affairs website Ashley Madison was hacked and user information posted on the dark web. Among this information were over 700 Australian Government email address' ranging from members of parliament to high-held positions in the police force. With more uncovered members said to be found soon, the Queensland Government wants to know exactly how its workers ended up on this list.
With these 'Queenslanders' holding positions such as detective, government official and regional Councillor, the Queensland Government's IT section are reportedly conducting a full investigation in order to find out exactly how these email addresses came to be included in these lists.
There is a possibility that some emails were signed up by other people in a bid to inconvenience a worker they don't like, however, that's not likely to be the case for all members on the list.
With the Ashley Madison affair website being hacked recently, seeing user information leaked on the dark web, news has just come to light that some Australian Government officials and employee's have been using their email address' for more than just business meetings and proposals.
This pastebin list contains over 700 leaked Australian Government employee email address', ranging from members of the New South Wales Police force to the Australian Defense Force and even the Victorian Education Department. Reportedly "copied from a post on a forum on the darknet," these email addresses are just some among millions now readily available to the public.
Wondering if you or your friends have been exposed? You can enter your (or another persons email) into this website to see what comes up.