12:00 PM, Dec 19, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
The full FBI statement on the Sony hacking:
Today, the FBI would like to provide an update on the status of our investigation into the cyber attack targeting Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE). In late November, SPE confirmed that it was the victim of a cyber attack that destroyed systems and stole large quantities of personal and commercial data. A group calling itself the “Guardians of Peace” claimed responsibility for the attack and subsequently issued threats against SPE, its employees, and theaters that distribute its movies.
The FBI has determined that the intrusion into SPE’s network consisted of the deployment of destructive malware and the theft of proprietary information as well as employees’ personally identifiable information and confidential communications. The attacks also rendered thousands of SPE’s computers inoperable, forced SPE to take its entire computer network offline, and significantly disrupted the company’s business operations.
After discovering the intrusion into its network, SPE requested the FBI’s assistance. Since then, the FBI has been working closely with the company throughout the investigation. Sony has been a great partner in the investigation, and continues to work closely with the FBI. Sony reported this incident within hours, which is what the FBI hopes all companies will do when facing a cyber attack. Sony’s quick reporting facilitated the investigators’ ability to do their jobs, and ultimately to identify the source of these attacks.
As a result of our investigation, and in close collaboration with other U.S. government departments and agencies, the FBI now has enough information to conclude that the North Korean government is responsible for these actions. While the need to protect sensitive sources and methods precludes us from sharing all of this information, our conclusion is based, in part, on the following:
- Technical analysis of the data deletion malware used in this attack revealed links to other malware that the FBI knows North Korean actors previously developed. For example, there were similarities in specific lines of code, encryption algorithms, data deletion methods, and compromised networks.
- The FBI also observed significant overlap between the infrastructure used in this attack and other malicious cyber activity the U.S. government has previously linked directly to North Korea. For example, the FBI discovered that several Internet protocol (IP) addresses associated with known North Korean infrastructure communicated with IP addresses that were hardcoded into the data deletion malware used in this attack.
- Separately, the tools used in the SPE attack have similarities to a cyber attack in March of last year against South Korean banks and media outlets, which was carried out by North Korea.
We are deeply concerned about the destructive nature of this attack on a private sector entity and the ordinary citizens who worked there. Further, North Korea’s attack on SPE reaffirms that cyber threats pose one of the gravest national security dangers to the United States. Though the FBI has seen a wide variety and increasing number of cyber intrusions, the destructive nature of this attack, coupled with its coercive nature, sets it apart. North Korea’s actions were intended to inflict significant harm on a U.S. business and suppress the right of American citizens to express themselves. Such acts of intimidation fall outside the bounds of acceptable state behavior. The FBI takes seriously any attempt—whether through cyber-enabled means, threats of violence, or otherwise—to undermine the economic and social prosperity of our citizens.
The FBI stands ready to assist any U.S. company that is the victim of a destructive cyber attack or breach of confidential business information. Further, the FBI will continue to work closely with multiple departments and agencies as well as with domestic, foreign, and private sector partners who have played a critical role in our ability to trace this and other cyber threats to their source. Working together, the FBI will identify, pursue, and impose costs and consequences on individuals, groups, or nation states who use cyber means to threaten the United States or U.S. interests.
'They're kicking in the front door, knocking over the vase, while they're walking out with your television set.'7:32 AM, Oct 6, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
FBI director James Comey talked about Chinese hacking -- and how basically every American company has been targeted -- last night on 60 Minutes. Comey said that it's not the Chinese are so good, it's that they're "prolific." He likened their hacking style to a "drunk burglar."
60 Minutes host Scott Pelley asked, "What countries are attacking the United States as we sit here in cyberspace?"
8:03 PM, Oct 5, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
The director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, James Comey, said tonight that Americans fighting for the Islamic State in Syria are "entitled to come back" because they hold American citizenship:
Comey estimated that a dozen Americans are fighting for the Islamic State in Syria. And he believes he knows
"How many Americans are fighting in Syria on the side of the terrorists?" asked 60 Minutes host Scott Pelley.
Why Hillary Clinton’s State Department downplayed Boko Haram. May 26, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 35 • By THOMAS JOSCELYN
When Hillary Clinton tweeted her support for the more than 200 Nigerian girls held by the extremist group Boko Haram, she probably did not expect that her tenure as secretary of state would soon be critically examined by the press through the lens of that very same mass kidnapping. But examined it has been.
7:06 AM, Apr 15, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
Four years after Obamacare became law, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is notifying Medicare providers and suppliers of new fingerprint-based background checks. Eventually, all individuals who hold a five percent or greater stake in a Medicare supplier or provider that is categorized as "high risk" will be subject to the requirement.
11:31 AM, Feb 21, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
Four United States Senators have a written a letter to FBI director James Comey about the indictment of author and filmmaker Dinesh D'Souza. Senators Charles Grassley, ranking member of the Judiciary Committee, Jeff Sessions, Ted Cruz, and Mike Lee are the four senators, all Republicans, to have signed the letter.
The letter quotes Harvard Law School professor Alan Dershowitz as saying, "I can't help but think that [D'Souza's] politics have something to do with it. ... It smacks of selective prosecution."
12:22 PM, Feb 12, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
The FBI released a press release with this headline just days before Valentine's Day: "Looking for Love? Beware of Online Dating Scams." Criminals use dating sites, too, says the FBI.
1:35 PM, Feb 5, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
A lawmaker at a Benghazi hearing stumped U.S. intelligence officials yesterday with this question:
10:24 AM, Nov 8, 2013 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
The FBI is offering a $20,000 reward for information leading to the return of 2 rifles that were, as O’Ryan Johnson of the Boston Herald reports, “stolen from an FBI SWAT emergency response vehicle.”
1:44 PM, Sep 25, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
The FBI released this chilling footage of the Navy Yard shooter:
"Video footage from closed-circuit video cameras shows Aaron Alexis, now deceased, at the Washington Navy Yard on September 16, 2013," reads the FBI's description of the 30-second clip.
"The footage includes the following:
"- Alexis drives his rental car, a blue Toyota Prius, through the Washington Navy Yard main gate.
12:11 PM, Sep 16, 2013 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
If the public is to understand the full awfulness of the sequester, it seems that it must first suffer. So, as Eric Katz reports at Government Executive, the FBI will be furloughing agents and cutting costs in a way that, according to its departing director will:
So much for the surveillance state.May 6, 2013, Vol. 18, No. 32 • By STEPHEN F. HAYES
As the country awoke to the news of a massive manhunt for the Boston Marathon bombers in the early morning hours of Friday, April 19, reporters began pressing sources at the FBI and the Justice Department for information on the two attackers, Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. The response, at least to some reporters: We don’t know anything about them.