Tag Archives: Department of Homeland Security

City of Atlanta Hit By Ransomware Attack

The City of Atlanta computer network was hit by a ransomware attack last week. The attack left a portion of the city’s data encrypted. According to city officials the full extent of the attack is still under investigation.  Attackers were successful in shutting down some of the city’s online services, including “various internal and customer-facing applications” used to pay bills or access court-related information. The city’s mayor, Keisha Lance Bottoms, urged city employees and anyone who had conducted transactions with the city to carefully monitor their bank accounts in case their personal information is misused.

Ransomware is a software that takes control of a computer or computer network and shuts it down by encrypting the data until the ransom is paid. The attacker will usually threaten to destroy the data if the money is not paid. In Atlanta’s case the attacker has demanded approximately $51,000 in bitcoin. City officials have not said if they will pay the ransom. Experts believe paying the ransom will only encourage future attacks.

According to a local NBC news affiliate the ransomware used in the attack is part of a family of ransomware known as SamSam that has been deployed against governments and healthcare systems since 2015.

Though Atlanta’s population is just under 500,000 it is the ninth largest metropolitan area in the country and has the nation’s busiest airport. Atlanta’s new Chief Operating Officer, Richard Cox, who came on the job just a week ago,  said that several departments have been affected. But Cox pointed out that agencies responsible for public safety, water and airport services have not been affected. Mayor Bottoms stated that the city is working with the FBI, DHS, Microsoft and Cisco to find out what data may have been compromised.

The city issued a statement on Tuesday instructing employees that they could begin to turn their computers and printers back on. The move is part of an assessment of the overall impact of the attack. However, CNN reports that systems that allow residents to pay their water bills or parking tickets online remains shutdown. Police have been forced to do some paperwork by hand while some court proceedings have been cancelled.

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms

Members of Mayor Bottom’s team informed Atlanta City Council members last week that there was  “a high likelihood that the incursion came through the City Council side of the building, through some software used by the Atlanta City Council called the Legislative Management System.”

According to NPR reporter Emily Cureton city officials were warned months ago of weak security in its computer systems. “The audit found a significant level of preventable risk to the city. The auditor writes there were long-standing issues, which city employees got used to and also didn’t have the time or resources to fix. The audit concludes Atlanta had no formal processes to manage risk to its information systems.

Rendition Infosec, a Georgia-based cybersecurity firm, tweeted on Tuesday that it had uncovered data showing a handful of city computers came under attack last year.

Jake Williams, owner of Rendition Infosec said, “We dug into our data and perhaps unsurprisingly, at least 5 of their machines were compromised in April 2017.”

Now the problem facing Atlanta officials is that time is running out to pay the ransom. According to NPR there may be nowhere to send the money. A local television station obtained a copy of the ransome note and tweeted the message out. The result was the payment portal set up by the attackers, with the countdown clock, was disabled. The portal contained a link to a bitcoin wallet.

According to the city’s information webpage there is no resolution in site at this time. According to Mayor Bottoms, “Everything is up for discussion.”

 

 

 

 

National Cyber Security Awareness Month

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM). In recognition the African-American Cyber Report will be participating with the Department of Homeland Security to promote awareness of cyber security issues and personal safety online.

Each week the AACR will publish articles that promote cyber security at home, at work and for your children. The AACR is dedicated to bringing the message of cyber security to African-Americans who use the Internet in their daily life. We are focused on protecting you, your home and your children from cyber fraud, hacking, viruses, malware, personal data theft and other cyber threats. 

African-Americans are full participants in the technology revolution from smartphones, to mobile banking to e-commerce to social media. As such we must become more aware of what is happening in cyberspace. We need to understand the dangers and the opportunities that the Internet presents. 

As part of NCSAM the Dept. of Homeland Security is offering all Americans the Stop.Think.Connect. Toolkit. The Toolkit is a series of information pamphlets designed to educate various audiences on cyber security awareness and online safety. The targeted audiences include;

  • Students K-8, 9-12, and Undergraduate
  • Parents and Educators
  • Young Professionals
  • Older Americans
  • Government
  • Industry
  • Small Business
  • Law Enforcement

The educational material covers 22 topic areas that include social media awareness, mobile banking, and educating children about going online. 

We invite you to join us as we focus on the safety and security of all people but especially our brothers and sisters who use the greatest communication technology ever invented, the Internet.

Celebrity Cyber Report – Kobe Bryant, Leslie Jones, Questlove

Kobe Bryant and Jeff Stibel

Kobe Bryant and Jeff Stibel

Kobe Bryant, the Black Mamba himself, has jumped from the basketball court to the venture capital game. According to the Wall Street Journal Bryant has teamed up with investor Jeff Stibel to launch a $100 million fund for tech companies. Bryant and Stibel share a history having invested together informally. This history includes deals with 15 companies since 2013. Bryant and Stibel have decided to make the relationship official naming the Los Angeles based VC fund ‘Bryant Stibel’.

The WSJ reported that the $100 million fund is focused on tech, media and data companies and it is expected to last “the next few years.”  Bryant and Stibel are funding  ventures themselves, and “aren’t seeking outside investors yet,” according to the report.

Bryant became skilled using social media to connect with fans directly and told the WSJ that he believes he has a flair for identifying promising entrepreneurs.

“It’s the inner belief that a person has that will to endure no matter what the obstacle may be. It’s that persistence, the entrepreneur doing what he or she truly believes in and truly loves to do,” he said.

Bryant is following in the footsteps of other black athletes who have taken up the tech investment game. Others include Shaquille O’Neal, and current players Carmelo Anthony and Steph Curry.

New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony lauched Melo7 Tech Partners while Curry is involved with content management startup Slyce, among other projects.

See also: Celebrity Cyber Report – Drake & Carmelo Anthony

Leslie Jones

Leslie Jones

Racist hackers are continuing their attacks on actress/comedienne Leslie Jones prompting an investigation by the Department of Homeland Security.

Jones, who is currently starring in the remake of the 80’s blockbuster ‘Ghostbusters’ has been subject to continued attacks online since July The attacks were sparked by Breitbart tech blogger Milo Yiannopoulos who incited his Twitter followers to harass Jones on Twitter. The activity resulted in Yiannopoulos getting banned from the social network.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which is part of the DHS, is investigating the harrasment. It is unknown why ICE  is taking on the case when last year’s “Fappening” hack was investigated by the FBI.

ICE Spokeswoman Rachel Yong You told Reuters the investigation is ongoing. “In order to protect the integrity of the case, no further details are available at this time.”

Hackers attacked Jones’ website and inserted a picture of the gorilla Harambe on the site and what appeared to be explicit photos of the actress, along with pictures of her driver’s license and a passport. There were also images of Jones with stars like Rihanna, Kanye West and Kim Kardashian West.

Jones has stayed off social media since the attack, but many of her famous allies including Monica Lewinsky, Katy Perry and, most notably, Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, have shown support for her on Twitter.

See also: Leslie Jones Target of Racist Trolls

QuestloveQuestlove, band leader for theThe Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon is launching a new show on Pandora online radio.

The show titled ‘Questlove Supreme’ will stream weekly for three hours and be produced by the late night band leader.  The show will feature select songs, candid interviews and music history lessons that mimic his class at NYU.

Questlove was also named by Pandora as the company’s first Artist Ambassador and Strategic Advisor.

The first episode of “Questlove Supreme” is scheduled to air on September 7 at 1 p.m. ET and will feature in-depth conversations with actress Maya Rudolph and Grammy Award singer Kimbra.

Obama Issues Cyber Response Directive

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President Obama consults with special assistant Lisa Monaco (White House Photo)

President Obama has sealed his legacy as not only America’s first African-American president but also America’s first cyber president. No president before has overseen the development of internet initiatives and cyber warfare capabilities as President Obama.

To add to that legacy President Obama has issued a new Presidential Policy Directive; the United States Cyber Incident Coordination Directive. Like many other of his policies this too has come under scrutiny. Experts in the field disagree on whether the policy is workable in the event of a large scale cyber attack. On the other hand others believe that the policy is right on target.

Announced on July 26th the presidential directive assigns specific roles to the FBI, DHS and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI). The agencies are directed to establish three lines of action that include threat response, asset response and intelligence support activities.

The policy places the FBI in charge of coordinating the immediate response to a terror related cyber event. DHS will lead the asset response action by providing technical assistance, locating the cyber attacker, protecting assets and recovering from the attack. Intelligence and analysis responsibilities will fall to the ODNI who will perform an analysis of the threat and identify opportunities to mitigate and disrupt it.

Some cyber experts believe that the new policy is “overly complicated” and has “too many moving parts.”  These experts believe the policy requires new and different parts of the federal government to work together efficiently in a cyber crises without having been tested.

Phil Reitinger is CEO of Global Cyber Alliance and a former DHS deputy undersecretary for the  for cyber security.  Reitinger does not believe the complexity of the directive will hinder its effectiveness.   “I don’t think it’s a huge lift for implementation. I suspect this is the way the government already works,” says Reitinger. “I think it’s more a likely description of the way things now generally work and ought to work as opposed to a notional thing to work toward.”

Lisa Monaco assistant to the president for homeland security and terrorism spoke at a cyber security conference on the day the directive was issued. “Our new policy acknowledges that when businesses and federal agencies are the victim of or experience a significant cyber incident, one of the most important considerations is likely to be restoring operations and getting back online. Our policy makes clear that we will coordinate with the victim to minimize any interference between their incident response and our own.”

Even though the president’s directive is design to integrate both private and federal response to a cyber attack many in the private sector feel that it leaves them out.

Internet Security Alliance chief executive Larry Clinton is happy about federal efforts to clarify its responsibilities in the event of a major cyber event. “However, defining these roles and responsibilities on a government-only basis, as this appears to have done, is bad policy making and counter to the administration’s own oft stated views on the need for government to work with the private sector,” he says. “As far as I can tell, there has been little or no private sector involvement in the development of this new system. Clinton went on to say, “Every Cyber Storm (a combined cyber exercises with industry and government) action report has stressed the need to increase coordination between the public and private sectors. This program seems to move in the opposite direction.” 

See also:

Obama; First Cyber President

President Obama Launches Cyber Offensive, Part 2, Part 3

Obama Launches ConnectedHome Initiative

 

Breach Brief – FBI, DHS

Seal_of_the_United_States_Department_of_Justice.svgThe personal information of nearly 30,000 federal employees, including FBI employees may have been compromised. 

According to Motherboard.com an anonymous hacker used a compromised Department of Justice email account to gain access to the department’s intranet. Using this access the hacker allegedly downloaded the personal information of more than 20,000 FBI employees and roughly 9,000 Department of Homeland Security employees. The hacker is threatening to release the information.

The compromised information includes names, job titles, e-mail addresses, and phone numbers. The attack targeted not only DHS employees, but also individuals listed as agency contractors. Other DHS staffers, such as analysts, special agents, and technicians, were also targeted.

The hacker obtained specific information to access the system by using social engineering methods while pretending to be a new employee needing assistance. The hacker claimed to be a Palestinian sympathizer who wants the U.S. to sever ties with Isreal.

A spokesman for the  Justice Department said the information doesn’t appear to include any sensitive personal details. The agency is investigating potential unauthorized access of one of its systems. A Homeland security spokesman said it’s also looking into the alleged disclosure of employee contact information. There is no statement from the FBI.

 

Hackers Hit OPM Again!

OPM LogoUncle Sam’s Office of Personnel Management has suffered a major data breach.  The personnel records of as many as 4 million current and former federal employees may have been compromised.

According to a press release from the OPM the agency identified a cyber security incident involving personally identifiable information (PII) of federal employees. OPM says it is working with the Department of Homeland Security’s Computer Emergency Readiness Team or CERT and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to determine the full impact to Federal personnel. The OPM manages security clearances and employee records for every federal agency.

The federal government is the nation’s largest employer with over  4.3 million people on the payroll. According to the OPM in 2012 the federal government employed a total of 332,850 African-Americans.

This is the second data breach for the OPM. The agency admitted to a previous breach in March of 2014.  The OPM claims it has implemented improved security since that breach and this new breach came before those new standards put in place. The previous breach has been blamed on Chinese hackers and according to the Washington Post, this attack is also believed to have originated in China.

In response China said today that allegations that it is involved in breaking into U.S. government computers are irresponsible.

During a regular news briefing Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said that Beijing hopes the U.S. would be “less suspicious and stop making any unverified allegations, but show more trust and participate more in cooperation.”

Because this is OPM’s second breach within a year many experts and elected officials have legitimate questions about security practices within the agency. U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) said, “Today’s reported breach is part of a troubling pattern by this agency in failing to secure the personal data of federal employees, the second major breach in a year. Cyberattacks present a critical threat to our national security and our economy. We cannot afford to keep dragging our feet in addressing the escalating threats posed by hackers out to steal individuals’ personal information.”

This intrusion was discovered by an internal network monitoring systems. It is still unclear whether the attackers exploited any residual effects from the earlier attack. There is the potential that hackers have installed a back door in OPM’s computer systems allowing them to enter at will and take what they wish. A major concern because of this data breach is that America’s intelligence operatives may be exposed. A topic few in the government are speaking about.

OPM’s chief information officer told The Washington Post.“OPM has undertaken an aggressive effort to update our cyber security posture, adding numerous tools and capabilities to our networks. As a result of adding these tools, we were able to detect this intrusion into our networks.”

Because of the incident, OPM is sending notifications to approximately 4 million past and current federal employees whose PII may have been compromised.  OPM stated that the investigation is on-going and additional PII data loss could be discovered. OPM will conduct additional notifications as necessary. OPM is offering a package of identity protection services including credit report access, credit monitoring and identify theft insurance and recovery services to potentially affected individuals through CSID, a company that specializes in these services.

 

 

 

Halloween’s Most Horrible Hacks

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Courtesy of hyena reality

Halloween happens in just a few days. And on that frightful night some pretty horrifying little creatures will be knocking at your door. Terror and fright on Halloween is all fun and games. But real terror has become part of our lives in the digital age. We have come to fear identity theft, data breaches and other digital age terrors. Everyday someone has a bank account emptied. There are monsters in cyber space. Online digital demons commit evil acts and do horrible things using technology and the Internet. We all need to be aware of the evil that lurks in cyber space. But evil has no limit as hackers are always trying to out do one another. There is a threat in cyber space that could kill thousands and even cripple civilization. Here are some really terrifying Halloween hacks.

1) Aircraft hacking is real. What happened to Malaysian Airlines Flight 370? It disappeared without a trace. Was it hacked? No one knows. It simply disappeared.  IOActive’s Ruben Santamarta said it was possible to hack satellite communications equipment on passenger jets. This is done by hacking into the Wi-Fi and in-flight entertainment systems such as those found on Southwest Airlines. This attack was proven possible but only in a laboratory. Santamarta said a potential attacker could hack the plane’s avionics disrupting or altering satellite communications. The result would be a modification or disruption of the aircraft’s navigation and safety systems. Aviation experts disagree, calling such an attack impossible. But is it? PlaneSploit is an Android app that has demonstrated the ability to take over an aircraft. Created by security researcher and commercial pilot Hugo Teso, the app allows users to control a plane from the ground using an Android phone, a radio transmitter and flight management software. The app is not exactly highly technical but you need some hacking knowledge. PlaneSploit was demonstrated during the Hack In The Box conference in Amsterdam. Teso demonstrated how he could change the flight path of a plane to a crowd. You can use this system to modify approximately everything related to the navigation of the plane,” said Teso, adding, “that includes a lot of nasty things.”

2) Murder by hack! If someone has an implanted medical device an evil person could tamper with it and potentially kill them. Medical devices have the capability of being hacked. In 2012, the late New Zealand hacker Barnaby Jack discovered a way to hack an implanted insulin pump causing it to inject 45 days’ worth of insulin in one shot. He also figured out how to shut down a heart pacemaker. Needless to say either of these hacks would cause almost instant death.

An investigation by the US Department of Homeland Security is focusing on “two dozen cases of suspected cyber security flaws in medical devices and hospital equipment.” These flaws could cause serious injury or death in the recipient. Unnamed sources familiar with the investigation by the Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team (ICS-CERT) report the devices under investigation include infusion pumps from Hospira Inc. and implantable heart devices from Medtronic Inc and St Jude Medical Inc.

Modern implanted medical devices were never designed to be “hacker proof”. This makes them easy targets for the evil hackers we know are out there. 

3) Disrupt civilization. How would you survive without electricity, water or telephones? What would life be like if you could not buy groceries or gas? What if the traffic lights suddenly stopped working? What if a nuclear power plant became unstable due to a hacker taking over the controls? All these are very, very real possibilities and would most likely create panic even anarchy. Civilization would come to a halt.

University of Michigan security researchers using  a standard laptop hacked nearly 100 wireless networked traffic lights and were able to change the state of the lights on command. A hacker could paralyze a city with this technology.

Research released by Automatak in 2013 revealed 25 vulnerabilities in power plants across North America. The flaws found at electrical substations, water utilities, and power stations left them open to attack. If a hacker so desired they could exploit these vulnerabilities to crash or hijack the servers at these facilities resulting in the loss of utilities for millions of people.  Hackers have also attacked the banking and financial network causing outages at ATMs and retail point of sale systems locations.

4) Are the babies safe?  The connected home is here. Everything in your home can be connected to the Internet and controlled through your mobile device or web browser. And this means that a hacker can hack into your home turn off alarms and open doors for burglars or worse. They could tamper with the thermostat, lighting, sprinklers or other home controls systems. A hacker could penetrate, even take over devices. In April of this year an Ohio couple were awakened by the voice of an unknown man shouting “wake up baby!” through their wireless baby monitor. A hacker had penetrated their home network and was harassing a sleeping child. Cameras throughout the home allowed the hacker to see the child in her bed.  Hackers have taken control of laptops with webcams and microphones and spied on families. Hackers have taken pictures of women nude, including Miss Teen USA, and blackmailed them. Its called sextortion. Smart televisions with cameras and Internet connections have also been hacked and used to spy on people. Devices in the modern connected home present significant security risks. Keep that in mind as we enter the frightening age of the Internet of Things.

5) Empty the prisons. Did you ever see that movie where a small town was overrun and terrorized by escaped convicts? Is this possible? The answer is yes! Modern prisons are now computer controlled. At a recent DEFCON conference in 2011 researcher John Strauchs demonstrated that it is indeed possible to open every cell door in a prison at once. He hacked into an industrial programmable logic controller. The same hack used to attack an Iranian nuclear facility. What would happen if a hacker could do this to prisons or local jails all over the country on the same day?

6) Your car is a death trap! The newest cars are Internet connected with WiFi and Bluetooth technology. New cars no longer use keys. They can be unlocked and operated  using a wireless key fob. You can get GPS directions and Internet radio and movies. But a hacker could decide to disable your brakes while you’re doing 70 mph on the interstate! Maybe a criminal just wants your car and decides to hack the door locks and just drive away…with you in it! Imagine the horror of discovering your steering is locked while driving with your family in the car. These things can happen with the new technology in cars today. Read all about it here in the AACR report “Hack My Ride”

What we are talking about is not an imaginary scenario. Technological terror is real and the next hack could seriously impact the entire nation. Cyber terrorism is the new frontier for terrorists and they are seeking a target. The intend to do damage far worst than the 9/11 attacks. Imagine if every person in the United States woke up to find that our electronic financial infrastructure was crippled and the banks were shut down? It could happen. Ask  the FBI who have an entire division that is dedicated to stopping a cyber terror attack. But most experts agree, it will happen.

Happy Halloween!

 

ALERT! “Backoff” Malware Hits 600 Stores ALERT!

The Department of Homeland Security is investigating “Backoff”  the latest malware to strike the point of sale systems of over 600 retailers. 

Point of sale systems or POS are the small card readers used nearly universally in stores all over the country. Backoff malware has been used by hackers to steal consumer payment data that includes credit and debit card information. The information was stolen from merchants that use remote administration desktop applications according to the  DHS. The announcement of the data breach was made Thursday.

Trustwave a cybersecurity company that assisted the DHS in compiling the report says at least six hundred businesses across the country have had the malware installed on their systems since Oct. 2013.

Karl Sigler, threat intelligence manager at Trustwave, stated that most of the 600 physical stores that have the malware are small businesses. But, he added, some large retailers may also have the malware. One DHS official who asked to remain anonymous stated that large stores were specifically vulnerable when buying smaller businesses that may not have strong security protections and policies in place. 

Hackers have been targeting businesses that use remote administration applications. According to the DHS experts these are the same remote administration software tools used by technical support to carry out work on computers from an off-site location. Once hackers identify businesses with inadequate I.T. security or poor password protection they simply break into the network then, using the remote administration tool, install the malware.

“Once the malware sees a credit card system in memory, or typed in, it grabs that credit card information, then encrypts it and ships it out to another system under criminals’ control,” Sigler explained.

Sigler also added that  “Many more victims are likely to be discovered in the coming months. A lot of smaller businesses were affected but there were very large chains that were affected as well. But they’re names anyone in the states would recognize,” Sigler said. “This is just the tip of the iceberg, but only time will tell how far this reaches.”

All businesses that have been identified as targets of the breach have been made aware of the attack, Trustwave said.

The Secret Service is also investigating the breach and searching for the  hackers behind the Backoff malware attacks.  The Justice Department  did not respond to questions and the Secret Service said it could not comment on how many businesses were affected.

Breaking It Down

Basically these government investigators are playing us for suckers. They are happy to notify the stores that were attacked by these hackers but not you, the customer and card holder. Do I need to say it again? I will, black people don’t play with our money.  Six hundred stores have had the malware since October of last year. So that includes the entire holiday shopping season. That includes the major data breach of Target. That’s a lot of people, black people, who have used their cards at any of these 600 mysterious stores.  But no one wants to let you know if your card is among the data lost. We have a right to know what stores are affected. We have a right as a consumer to know what stores have poor security or compromised systems. So we can stop shopping there. That’s our right as consumers. The government has left us high and dry.

This situation is basically the corporations telling you they don’t care and government saying we can’t help you. No matter what happens there is no one out there looking out for the consumer. When is someone going to tell you that your card data was lost? The stores simply pay off the fraud, you get your money back, and they pretend it didn’t happen. Its cheaper to pay you than fix the problem. How long is that going to last? How long before something really ugly happens and the U.S. economy suffers a destabilizing blow. Perhaps the hacking of a stock market computer that sends the economy reeling is what they are looking for. You’d better hope not.

 

 

U.S. Government Personnel System Hacked

OPM SealU.S. Department of Homeland Security officials confirmed Thursday that the Office of Personnel Management computer systems may have been hacked. The Office of Personnel Management essentially functions as the federal government’s human-resources agency.

DHS officials told The Washington Post that the department’s National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center were alerted to a “potential intrusion” of the network. The agency and has been working with OPM and other agencies to assess and mitigate risks. The official said the agencies have not yet found “any loss of personally identifiable information.”

The story was first reported by the  New York Times last Wednesday. The report indicated that Chinese hackers penetrated OPM’s database containing files on all federal employees. The Times reported that the break in actually occurred in March of this year and specifically targeted employees who had applied for Top Secret security clearances. The number of targeted file easily topped the tens of thousands.

Officials reported that the hackers gained access to some of OPM’s  databases before the federal authorities detected and blocked the threat to the network.  It is still not clear how successful the hackers were in  penetrating the agency’s systems. The network contained data in which applicants for security clearances list their foreign contacts, previous jobs and personal information like past drug use.

A senior Department of Homeland Security official acknowledged that the attack had occurred but stated “at this time,” neither the personnel agency nor Homeland Security had “identified any loss of personally identifiable information.” According to an official an emergency response team was assigned “to assess and mitigate any risks identified.”

Another senior American official acknowledged that the attack was traced to China however it was not immediately clear that the hackers were part of the Chinese government.

Breaking it Down

African-Americans make up 17.7%of the federal workforce. Which means that we are well represented in the files of the Office of Personnel Management. And to hear that not even the government’s personnel records are secure from hackers means we have to look harder at our security measures.

Let me explain something to you. I applied for a Top Secret Security clearance years ago. Some of the information I had to reveal was pretty sensitive. Not only that but I had to provide the names, addresses and dates of birth for many people in my life. I had to answer questions about money, sex and drugs. Its a pretty intrusive process. If those hackers were Chinese then they were shooting for the big prize by attacking that data base. If they were not then we as a country are in deep, deep trouble because now we are at the mercy of common criminals who may be able to access government systems at will.

Our government has reported that they detected the intrusion and stopped it but they don’t know what information or if any information identifiable to a person was taken.

As a nation we need to demand greater security for our information and that starts at the top; with the U.S. government. No system is completely un-hackable. But we need to demand that our networks, private and public be the most secure systems possible. We need to change the culture and fight hacking like we fought drugs. Too many people think hacking is a game and that all systems are free game. We need to make sure that hackers spend time in prison. Make hacking a crime with even more serious repercussions.

But lets look at another topic we need to address. Hasn’t our government, with its vast resources and intelligence capabilities  hacked into the computers of other nations? Have we not taken information about their people, their defenses and their secrets. So…whats fair is fair?