Imminent Threats

July 15, 2015
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By Byron Acohido, ThirdCertainty

The personal data for 21.5 million people was stolen in the Office of Personnel Management hack, but for national security professionals and cybersecurity experts, the more troubling issue is the theft of 1.1 million fingerprints. Unlike a Social Security number, address or password, fingerprints cannot be changed—once they are hacked, they’re hacked for good. And government officials have less understanding about what adversaries...

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July 9, 2015
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By Byron Acohido, ThirdCertainty

The hacks at the Office of Personnel Management may have compromised the data of 32 million current, former and prospective federal employees. The figure, cited by Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) at a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing, was included in OPM’s budget proposal for the next fiscal year and is nearly double the previously reported estimate of about 18 million. It also could include potential military...

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July 1, 2015
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By Byron Acohido, ThirdCertainty

An analysis from Vocativ has discovered that some of the information taken in the Officer of Personnel Management breach might be for sale on criminal dark net websites such as Agora, Alpha Bay and Nucleus. Vendors were charging between 50 cents and $10 per data set, Vocativ reported, meaning that if the entire trove of data went on sale, it would be worth $140 million, though only a fraction of the stolen files appear to be available...

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May 13, 2015
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By Byron Acohido, ThirdCertainty

Really big deal: After the announcement of Verizon’s planned $4.4 billion acquisition of AOL, privacy advocates are nervous about Verizon’s efforts to gather more data about users for advertising. “Whether or not the combination of a major online advertiser with the largest mobile-services provider raises substantial antitrust concerns, it raises extremely substantial and urgent privacy concerns,” said Harold Feld of...

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May 11, 2015
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By Byron Acohido, ThirdCertainty

United we stand: Deputy Commerce Secretary Bruce Andrews is leading a cybersecurity trade mission to Romania and Poland to discuss defenses against cyber attacks from Russia and Eastern Europe. Companies such as Microsoft, Lockheed Martin and FireEye are among about 20 firms sending representatives. “Poland and Romania (are) in a challenging neighborhood when it comes to cyber threats,” Andrews said. Part of the focus...

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April 17, 2015
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By Byron Acohido, ThirdCertainty

Got a leak: Wikileaks has published a searchable database of every Sony Pictures email and document stolen by hackers last year. The United States blamed North Korea for the hack that destroyed computers, shut down the movie studio, and exposed executives’ emails. The files already existed online, but now they’re easy to find on Wikileaks.org. Source:...

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March 12, 2015
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By Byron Acohido, ThirdCertainty

Largest breach case ever. This one dwarfs Target and even the Anthem breach. Beginning in 2009, hackers cracked the top email providers stealing one billion addresses. They then sent spam from those same servers collecting millions in affiliate commissions over a period of two and a half years. The Justice Department...

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