The wave of cyberattacks in the United States also does not forgive the FBI: hackers broke into the email system outside the agency and sent thousands of spam emails with false warnings about a cyberattack.
Emails, delivered to about 100 thousand people, they started from the account “@ ic.fbi.gov” and had as subject “Urgent: threat actor in the systems”.
“No actor was able to access or compromise any data or PII (personally identifiable information) from the FBI network,” the Federal Bureau of Investigation said in a statement released this Sunday.
Yesterday, the organization Spamhause Project, which tracks ‘spam’ and ‘malware’ activities, warned on its Twitter account that hackers they had hacked into the FBI email system to send through this multiple ’emails’ with alerts.
Inside, the emails contained an alert from the Department of Homeland Security about a cyber attack and warned of an alleged cyber attack that he attributed to the cybercriminal group The Dark Overlord and the hacker Vinny, who is a leading cybersecurity investigator who persecutes cybercrime on the Dark Web.
At least some of the recipients’ email addresses were taken from the database of the American Registry of Internet Numbers (ARIN).
According to the FBI, although “the illegitimate email originated from a server operated” by that agency, it “was dedicated to sending notifications for the Business Portal for Law Enforcement (LEEP)” and was not part of its service of corporate email.
The agency added that, once it became aware of the incident, it “quickly remediated the vulnerability of the software” and warned its partners to ignore the fake emails.
Troia himself, through his Twitter account, already said last Saturday that he imagined who could be behind this cyberattack that charged directly against him, a cybercriminal known as Pompompurin, who would have already tried to damage his reputation in the past.
The alleged pirate, identified as Pompompurin, told the specialized blog KrebsonSecurity that the attack allowed to point out a vulnerability that he said he had seen “Multiple times,” but never “on a government website, let alone one run by the FBI.”
According to cybersecurity experts, the fact that the emails did not contain any malware could indicate that the hackers stumbled upon the weaknesses of the FBI portal and had no particular plan to exploit them.
The server, used for the federal agency’s communications with the public and not for the transmission of confidential information, was immediately shut down.
The intrusion raises questions about the adequacy of the FBI’s email communications system. In fact, while scammers can easily replicate fake emails by posing as official sources and agencies, it is quite unusual for a hacker to be able to break into a government server.
“The outcome of the attack could have been much worse. When you have control of a government account like the FBI, it can be used as a weapon and used for malicious purposes,” some observers explained.
For the federal agency, therefore, an alarm that should not be underestimated; Even if hackers didn’t have access to sensitive information this time, the next attempt might be successful. And the FBI cannot allow that to happen.