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April 1, 2016

US, Canada Issue Rare Joint Alert on Ransomware

In a rare instance that underlines the rising threat and menace caused by ransomware, the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has collaborated with the Canadian Cyber Incident Response Centre (CCIRC) to release an alert on ransomware.

The United States and Canada have released a joint cyber alert to warn citizens against cyber extortionists who engage in criminal activity through ransomware. The menace is a strain of malware that typically encrypts a target’s computer data, rendering it inaccessible. The only way to retrieve or reclaim the data is by paying a ransom, typically in an electronic currency like Bitcoin.

The alert read:

[The DHS and [...]

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February 8, 2016

DHS Staff Directory Dumped; Hackers Claim FBI is Next

A hacker has posted a directory containing nearly 10,000 names of staff at the Department of Homeland Security. Following the DHS post, the hacker via his Twitter account claimed that details of 20,000 employees from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), is next.

The revelation came from an article on Motherboard first, wherein a hacker claimed to have downloaded hundreds of gigabytes of data from a Department of Justice (DoJ) computer. The publication verified several contact details on the data dump by reaching out to them directly.

It was only after several calls when Motherboard reached the National Operations Centre, a wing of the DHS, that the department [...]

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December 6, 2015

U.S. Senators Seek Answers From Feds On Ransomware Attacks Against Government Agencies

The Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, U.S. Senate committee, has sent letters to the Justice Department and the Department Homeland Security (DHS) asking about the ransomware threat to the public and if any government agencies have paid ransoms to remove ransomware, according to nextgov.com.

There have been incidents of local law enforcement agencies paying ransoms to hackers to remove ransomware.

Sen. Ron Johnson, a Wisconsin Republican, and Sen. Tom Carper, a Delaware Democrat, sent a letter to both federal agencies seeking information on what government agencies at all levels are doing about ranswomware threats.

Senators Want Specific [...]
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December 3, 2015

DHS Offers Free Cyber-Attack Drills For Private Companies

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has been offering a free service to test companies’ abilities to withstand cyber attacks, according to KrebsOnSecurity. The little-known program involves penetration testing of companies’ infrastructure and has drawn both support and criticism from private security experts.

Under the program, private firms, primarily energy companies and banks, commission the DHS to conduct penetration tests with the goal of strengthening firms’ network and computer defenses against real attackers. The testing is provided by the National Cybersecurity Assessment and Technical Services (NCATS).

The program came to light after a risk manager [...]

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