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FBI warns about Anonymous attacks on government systems

Admits there have been breaches
Mon Nov 18 2013, 12:41

THE UNITED STATES Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has told Reuters that US government systems have been breached by Anonymous hacktivists.

Anonymous is on US law enforcement radars, and its activities have attracted the attention of Homeland Security and the National Security Agency (NSA), two organisations that have fretted about Anonymous hactivists since 2011.

According to Reuters the hacktivist group is still a concern, and thanks to a flaw in Adobe software its members were able to penetrate US government systems repeatedly.

Reuters has seen an internal memo from the FBI that admits there were breaches at various "US government computers in multiple agencies" and "stolen sensitive information".

The hacking campaign began a year ago, and apparently flawed Adobe software left doors open to the hacktivists. According to the FBI memo US government systems had visitors as recently as last month.

"The majority of the intrusions have not yet been made publicly known," said the FBI. "It is unknown exactly how many systems have been compromised, but it is a widespread problem that should be addressed."

We have asked Adobe if it would like to comment on reports that vulnerabilities in its software have been used to successfully attack US government systems. We are waiting for it to respond.

Stolen data is said to relate to over 100,000 government employees, and it is possible that the recently arrested Lauri Love could have been involved.

Love was described as a "sophisticated and prolific computer hacker", and the UK National Crime Agency (NCA) was glad to be involved in his arrest.

"This arrest is the culmination of close joint working by the NCA, Police Scotland and our international partners," said Andy Archibald, head of the NCA Cyber Crime Unit.

"Cyber-criminals should be aware that no matter where in the world you commit cyber crime, even from remote places, you can and will be identified and held accountable for your actions. The NCA has well developed law enforcement alliances globally and we will pursue and deal robustly with cyber-criminals." µ


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