Here we go again - another day, another data breach. And this time, the hack could put thousands of federal agents and government employees at risk.
How did hackers manage to steal this sensitive data and what are they planning to do with it? Is this hack worse than initially thought?
Read on and learn all about the extent of this alarming data breach.
The FBI hack you need to know about
The FBI National Academy Associates, Inc. (FBINAA), a non-profit organization associated with the FBI, has confirmed that a group of hackers breached the web servers of at least three of its chapters and posted personal information of thousands of law enforcement and federal agents online.
The stolen information includes names, job descriptions, email addresses and even the street addresses of thousands of individuals lifted off multiple databases. In more than a thousand of the cases, the email addresses belong to the FBI.gov domain plus the domains of other government agencies.
In an official statement, the FBINAA said, "that three websites associated with the FBI National Academy Associates Inc., (FBINAA) have been hacked and that personal information has been obtained to be sold on the web."
The organization is now investigating the incident with federal authorities and the three affected chapters are checking the breach with their data security authorities. It also stated that its national database is unaffected by the breach.
The breach may be worse than previously thought
The hacking group reportedly used publicly available exploits to hack into the organization's chapter websites and download the data of each web server.
But the breach may be worse than initially thought. Speaking to Techcrunch, one of the hackers claimed that they've hacked more than 1,000 suites and they are "structuring" all the data to be sold.
The hacker also claimed that they have "over a million data [sic]" on employees of several U.S. federal agencies and public service organizations.
When asked if the files will put federal agents and law enforcement at risk, the hacker replied: "Probably, yes."
The hacking group is also claiming that it has hacked into Apple's manufacturing partner Foxconn's subdomains and has stolen thousands of employee records.
The ultimate goal of the hacking group? Profit and experience.
How do you protect your data from hacks?
Given that the personal data and addresses of federal agents are at risk, this hack can have serious consequences. According to the hackers, they used public exploits in some of their hacks, meaning the websites were not updated and were using vulnerable plugins.
With the ever-growing threat of data breaches, all of us need to take precautionary steps. Here are mitigation tips that will help:
Update your systems - Keep your software and operating systems updated with the latest fixes and patches.
Never open risky links in emails - Don't open attachments from unsolicited emails. Malware can infect your gadget through malicious links found in phishing emails.
Have strong security software - This will help prevent the installation of ransomware on your gadget.
Backup data regularly - This is the best way to recover your critical data if your computer is infected with malware.
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