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Tag: computer

Was Hacker Able to Seize Plane Mid-Flight? FBI Investigates

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is investigating whether a purported hacker was able to control a plane mid-flight, The Washington Post reports. 

Chris Roberts, who’s with a security intelligence firm called One World Labs, tweeted on April 15 that he was able to manipulate the in-flight and crew-alerting system of a United Airlines plane. The FBI detained Roberts for several hours after the flight, seizing his equipment and barring him from taking another United flight.

“Lesson from this evening, don’t mention planes,” he later tweeted. “The Feds ARE listening, nice crew in Syracuse, left there naked of electronics.”

Roberts told Wired in an interview that he was only kidding and did not actually take control of the flight. But the point, he said, was to show that it can be done and to alert U.S. officials to the problem.

The FBI said Roberts claimed he was able to take control of the flight.

“He stated that he thereby caused one of the airplane engines to climb resulting in a lateral or sideways movement of the plane during one of these flights,” FBI Special Agent Mark Hurley wrote in his warrant application, as Wired reported. “He also stated that he used Vortex software after comprising/exploiting or ‘hacking’ the airplane’s networks. He used the software to monitor traffic from the cockpit system.”

FBI Offers $3M Reward for Information on Most Wanted Cyber Criminal

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is offering some serious cash for information leading to the arrest of the bureau’s most wanted cyber criminal.

Evgeniy Mikhailovich Bogachev, 31, is accused of hacking 1 million computers in the U.S. and internationally.

Newsweek reports that the FBI is offering $3 million for information on capturing Bogachev, who is accused of collecting personal and bank information by installing a malware onto victims’ computers.

A Pennsylvania court indicted Bogachev on charges of conspiracy, computer fraud, wire fraud, bank fraud and money laundering in May 2014. Authorities said his last known location was the Russian town of Anapa on the north coast of the Black Sea.

FBI’s Most Wanted Cybercriminal Protected Used Name of His Cat As Password

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A lot of questions have been raised about how the FBI managed to gain access to an encrypted computer by one of the FBI’s most wanted cybercriminals.

Turns out, Jeremy Hammond, who was savvy enough to hack the website of think tank Statfor, used a very simple password: “Chewy 123.”

“Chewy” was the name of Statfor’s cat.

That wasn’t hard to crack.

Hammong was arrested at his Chicago home in 2012.

FBI Seeking Help Identifying Hundreds of Children Victimized in ‘Sextortion’ Case

istock illustration

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is looking for help identifying suspects in its largest “sextortion” case ever prosecuted.

WJXX-TV reports that a Northeast Florida man was asking for sexually explicit photos and videos of girls as young as 13 years old.

“He pretended to be a young boy the same age,” said McCarley. “He befriended them, joined their Myspace, Facebook trying to get to know them.”

Agents were shocked when they found what was on Lucas Chansler’s computer: 350 victims and 80,000 pictures and videos on his computer.

Only about 100 victims have been identified.

Chansler was sentenced to 105 years in prison.

FBI Agents Impersonated Repairmen to Gain Access to Computers in Las Vegas Hotel

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

FBI agents acted against the recommendation of an assistant U.S. attorney and impersonated repair technicians at a Las Vegas hotel to investigate online sports betting, the Associated Press reports.

The agents shut off the Internet at a Las Vegas hotel to make it appears as though the computer and hardware needed to be repaired.

Now defense attorneys representing some of the suspects are asking a federal judge to throw out the case because agents didn’t receive consent to examine the equipment being used by the suspects.

The hotel tipped off the FBI of a possible illegal gambling operation.

By gaining access to the computers, agents were able to get valuable evidence of an illegal online gambling operation.

 

Inspector General Report: FBI’s Half-Billion-Dollar Computer System Is Rife with Problems

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI spent a half-billion-dollars on a Sentinel computerized file system, but the system is rife with problems, Newsweek reports.

Officials insisted the Sentinel would be completed by the end of 2009 for $425 million. But a report by the Justice Department Inspector General found mismanagement, cost overruns and technical problems that have raised the price by another $100 million, Newsweek wrote.

Sentinel replaced the bureau’s antiquated Automatic Case Support System, known as ACS.

Despite the problems, the Inspector General report found that a majority of FBI employees surveyed agreed that “Sentinel has had an overall positive impact on the FBI’s operations, making the FBI better able to carry out its mission, and better able to share information.”

Still, the report found many problems.

The FBI, for example, said the system’s search function was working properly.

“Yet we found that only 42 percent of the respondents to our survey who used Sentinel’s search functionality often received the results they needed,” the IG reported

FBI on Hunt for British Computer Hackers Who Threatened Schools, Other Places in U.S.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The FBI is trying to track down a group of British computer hackers who allegedly called in terrorist threats across the U.S., Breitbart reports.

The hackers belong to a group called the “ISISGang.”

Three British youths threatened schools, universities and conference centers with threats of bombs and shootings, according to the FBI.

What’s unclear is whether the group is affiliated with ISIS or if the youths are just using the name as a scare-tactic.

One of the threats was directed at Sandy Hook Elementary School, where 20 children and six adults were killed in a mass shooting. The caller said his name was “Mohammed Jamile” and claimed he was en route to “kill your asses.”

FBI Capable of Spying on Computer Users by Remotely Activating Web Cams

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The little web cam at the top of your computer may seem innocuous, but advanced technology is allowing the FBI to activate the camera and monitor you, the New York Post reports.

Investigators can see real-time images by remotely turning on web cams.

But that’s not it.

New technology also is allowing the FBI to download files, e-mails and photos.