A hacker has turned on the alarms of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Justice Department, since it was reported by Motherboard that the anonymous person was planning to publish names, email addresses, phone numbers and job titles of almost 20,000 FBI employees and 9,000 DHS employees.
It was also announced that the hacker has been able to download several gigabytes of data from computers at the Department of Justice (DOJ). The information has not been made public yet, however, reporters at Motherboard have already verified some data provided by the hacker and they confirmed that the phone numbers matched with the people that appeared in the database.
According to Motherboard, the site obtained access to the data on Sunday. When reporters made efforts to check if the data was real, they even got to the operations center of the FBI. It appears that an alleged FBI intelligence analyst did also pick up her phone and other DHS personnel did the same.
Reporters explained that the database includes information from people of several departments. Contractors, biologists, special agents, task force officers, technicians, intelligence analysts, language specialists are all involved in the leaks, said Motherboard.
Later on Monday, a team of hackers who describe themselves as a “#ProPalestine” group, published a link on Twitter under the name of @DotGovs, which apparently contained the data of 20,000 FBI employees. However, minutes after the link was posted, the link failed to work.
The hackers who said that some files contained military emails and credit card numbers supposedly downloaded specifically 200GB of data. A spokesman from the Justice Department, Peter Carr, said to CNN that the department is looking into the unauthorized access of a system operated by one of its components containing employee contact information.
“This unauthorized access is still under investigation; however, there is no indication at this time that there is any breach of sensitive personally identifiable information. The department takes this very seriously and is continuing to deploy protection and defensive measures to safeguard information. Any activity that is determined to be criminal in nature will be referred to law enforcement for investigation.” He said.
A similar hacking attack occurred last year, when data of almost 21.5 million victims, including Social Security Numbers, was obtained from a data breach at the Office of Personnel Management of the U.S. Also, 5.6 million people had their fingerprints stolen. As a response, monitoring services will be provided for three years to affected individuals in order to protect them for possible future attacks.