In the foreword to the 2015 National Military Strategy (NMS), Gen. Martin Dempsey, the outgoing chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, writes that the “global security environment is the most unpredictable I have seen in 40 years of service.”“Since the last National Military Strategy was published in 2011, global disorder has significantly increased while some of our comparative military advantage has begun to erode,” he adds.
“When read alongside its predecessor, the 2011 NMS, the new version testifies to the array of strategic surprises that have confronted the Obama administration in recent years,” wrote David Adesnik, policy director at the Foreign Policy Initiative (FPI). Continue reading
The federal personnel agency announced Thursday a massive hack.
More than 21 million Social Security numbers were compromised in a breach that affected a database of sensitive information on federal employees held by the Office of Personnel Management, the agency announced Thursday.That number is in addition to the 4.2 million social security numbers that were compromised in another data breach at OPM that was made public in June.
Of the 21.5 million records that were stolen, 19.7 million belonged to individuals who had undergone background investigation, OPM said. The remaining 1.8 million records belonged to other individuals, mostly applicants’ families.
The “patch and pray” system within the United States has killed cyber security. Nobody is willing to commit any funds to protecting the system until something has already happened. Unless this way of thinking is changed and experts begin to go on the offense with cyber defense, America’s IT infrastructure is as good as dead.
Another week, another wave of cyber alarm in America. On Wednesday both the New York Stock Exchange and United Airlines suspended activity for several hours due to mysterious computing problems, while the Wall Street Journal’s website briefly went down. All three insisted that the outages reflected technical hitches, not malicious attack. But many are anxious after past assaults on mighty American companies and agencies.
In February Anthem, an insurance company, revealed that cyber hackers had stolen information on 80m customers. The Washington-based Office of Personnel Management said cyber hackers had taken data on millions of federal employees. Companies ranging from retailers to banks have been attacked, too. Continue reading
Until a few years ago, however, Scattered Castles, the database containing security clearance applications for the US Intelligence Community, was not connected to the OPM database. But in 2010, new legislation aiming to eliminate the growing backlog in processing security-clearance applications required that Scattered Castles be merged with the OPM database. The proposed move, which aimed to create a unified system for processing security clearances made sense in terms of eliminating bureaucratic overlap and reducing duplication within the federal apparatus. Continue reading
As the Chinese and the Americans sat down for the seventh of their annual two-day meeting [June 22-24], set up in 2009 to maintain bilateral cooperation despite growing differences, a major transformation of the Chinese regime was a new and worrying factor.
With growing criticism of the Obama Administration’s China strategy from the Congress, Daniel Russel, assistant secretary of state for East Asia and the Pacific, has said the U.S. agenda would include:
- Differences over the South China Sea,
- Cyber security and
- Human rights.
Speaking at a forum in Washington, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper warned of the danger posed by a capable adversary like the Chinese government.
“You have to kind of salute the Chinese for what they did,” Clapper said.
At least 18 million people — and potentially tens of millions more around the world, including relatives, friends and associates of those who had background checks conducted by the U.S. government — may have had their personal information stolen when hackers broke into the systems of the Office of Personnel Management, authorities have said. Continue reading
America has been infiltrated at the highest levels across the board. Anyone really paying attention the last seven years sees nothing new with this story. Once-Congressman Allen West even declared there are over 80 active Communists within Congress alone. The amount of Communist/Socialist infiltrators is staggering. It’s not a conspiracy theory, it’s real.
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) files obtained by Judicial Watch reveal that the dad, maternal grandpa and father-in-law of President Obama’s trusted senior advisor, Valerie Jarrett, were hardcore Communists under investigation by the U.S. government.
Jarrett’s dad, pathologist and geneticist Dr. James Bowman, had extensive ties to Communist associations and individuals, his lengthy FBI file shows. In 1950 Bowman was in communication with a paid Soviet agent named Alfred Stern, who fled to Prague after getting charged with espionage. Bowman was also a member of a Communist-sympathizing group called the Association of Internes and Medical Students. After his discharge from the Army Medical Corps in 1955, Bowman moved to Iran to work, the FBI records show. Continue reading
The National Archives and Records Administration recently detected unauthorized activity on three desktops indicative of the same hack that extracted sensitive details on millions of current and former federal employees, government officials said Monday. The revelation suggests the breadth of one of the most damaging cyber assaults known is wider than officials have disclosed.
The National Archives’ own intrusion-prevention technology successfully spotted the so-called indicators of compromise during a scan this spring, said a source involved in the investigation, who was not authorized to speak publicly about the incident. The discovery was made soon after the Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team published signs of the wider attack — which targeted the Office of Personnel Management — to look for at agencies, according to NARA. Continue reading
In another article from yesterday, we did indeed find out SF-86s were compromised… every one of them.
In addition, point number one explaining the networks of 23 gas pipeline companies having crucial information stolen which could lead to serious sabotage and disruptions in America’s critical infrastructure is alarming. This is what military experts would also consider groundwork for military operations, as the article puts it, and why random pipeline explosions and refinery fires in critical areas of the infrastructure need to be looked at with deeper scrutiny and discernment.
These incidents are eerily coincidental to events leading up to Spetsnaz’s First World War.
In 2013 we were notified by Russian Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov that they were activated and ready for combat. Target marking, sabotage operations and elimination of enemy commanders were on the list of duties.
It’s not a game anymore. The sword is coming.
Part of the reason I am a bit blasé about the Office of Personnel Management hack, is if the Chinese government is indeed behind it, it’s not by any stretch the most dastardly thing they have done in cyberspace. It’s just the most recent one that we know about. It’s getting a lot of press because personally identifiable information (PII) was compromised.
This breach has crossed streams with a breach a year ago that did involve investigative files. David Sanger and Julie Hirschfeld Davis at the New York Times do a good job of untangling these two incidents in their recent article. It takes some close reading to understand that the headline, “Hackers May Have Obtained Names of Chinese With Ties to U.S. Government”, isn’t about this incident but the hack of an OPM contractor a year ago. Continue reading
As was mentioned just the other day, all U.S. intelligence agencies have been compromised in addition to all other government entities that were attacked.
The White House has admitted that systems containing deeply personal information, submitted by current, former and prospective federal government employees for security clearances, had been “exfiltrated.” If the breach of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) was conducted by hackers linked to China, as suspected, access to the Standard Form 86 submitted by an estimated 41 million federal employees provided them with what may be the world’s largest stolen data base of US intelligence and military personnel.
This is a “gold mine” of unencrypted data that leave US intelligence officers, for example, open to blackmail or coerced recruitment.
While officials speak of two hacks, debkafile’s cyber security and intelligence experts report that it was a single breach and is still ongoing. Known to experts as an “Advanced Persistent Threat,” it amounts to slow, continuous penetration by a computer virus, planted in an individual computer of a network which duplicates itself gradually and insidiously. Continue reading
So, basically you can now say that the CIA, NSA, FBI et al have been compromised and are now in a Chinese database for future operations.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Hackers stole personnel data and Social Security numbers for every federal employee, a government worker union said Thursday, charging that the cyberattack on U.S. employee data is far worse than the Obama administration has acknowledged.
Sen. Harry Reid, the Democratic leader, said on the Senate floor that the December hack into Office of Personnel Management data was carried out by “the Chinese.” Reid is one of eight lawmakers who is briefed on the most secret intelligence information. U.S. officials have declined to publicly blame China, which has denied involvement. Continue reading
China is building massive databases of Americans’ personal information by hacking government agencies and U.S. health-care companies, using a high-tech tactic to achieve an age-old goal of espionage: recruiting spies or gaining more information on an adversary, U.S. officials and analysts say.
Groups of hackers working for the Chinese government have compromised the networks of the Office of Personnel Management, which holds data on millions of current and former federal employees, as well as the health insurance giant Anthem, among other targets, the officials and researchers said.
“They’re definitely going after quite a bit of personnel information,” said Rich Barger, chief intelligence officer of ThreatConnect, a Northern Virginia cybersecurity firm. “We suspect they’re using it to understand more about who to target [for espionage], whether electronically or via human recruitment.” Continue reading
To put this in perspective, roughly 95% of federal employees have been hit.
Washington: Hackers broke into US government computers, possibly compromising the personal data of 4 million current and former federal employees, with investigators probing whether the culprits were based in China, US officials said.
In the latest in a string of intrusions into US agencies’ high-tech systems, the US Office of Personnel Management suffered what appeared to be one of the largest breaches of information ever on government workers. The office handles employee records and security clearances. Continue reading