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September 2021


How to Become a Bounty Hunter

Tag: computers

Homeland Security Computers Vulnerable to Cyber Attacks, Audit Reveals

computer spies2By Steve Neavling

The Department of Homeland Security is responsible for protecting government computers, but it turns out, the agency’s own information systems are vulnerable to a cyber attack, according to an audit, Newsweek reports. 

The audit found lapses in the internal systems used by ICE and the Secret Service and said Homeland Security needs to better train analysts and investigators in cyber training.

“We identified vulnerabilities on internal websites at ICE and USSS that may allow unauthorized individuals to gain access to sensitive data,” according to the report by the Office of the Inspector General for DHS.

The computers contain information on case tracking, information sharing and investigation statistics.

How FBI May Be Able to Recover Clinton’s ‘Wiped’ E-Mails

Hillary_Clinton_official_Secretary_of_State_portrait_cropBy Steve Neavling

Although Hillary Clinton said more than 31,000 e-mails were deleted from her private server because she considered them personal, the FBI should be able to resurrect them, Mother Jones reports. 

Clinton’s lawyer, David Kendall, maintained that Clinton’s e-mails were “wiped” from the server, but the Denver-based company that operated the e-mail system said there’s no record of the e-mails being wiped.

“So this could mean the FBI will be able to recover emails that the Clinton crew deleted—and that the bureau will be able to review all the emails and documents on the server to determine if materials, possibly including classified information, were handled properly,” Mother Jones wrote.

A computer forensic expert, Jon Berry, said the FBI can copy the server’s contents and analyze them to determine if the content is recoverable.

Deleting files is not enough to permanently remove them, Berry said. They would need to be overwritten.

If they weren’t deleted, computer forensic specialists may be able to recover the e-mails, Berry said.

Is Your Website at Risk of ISIS attack? FBI Warns About Vulnerabilities

By Steve Neavling

The FBI is warning that hackers claiming to be ISIS sympathizers are attacking websites with security vulnerabilities in WordPress plugins.

PC World reports that some of the plugins were providing an easy back door for some hackers to gain access and inject scripts or install malware.

The hackers targeted news organizations, religious institutions, government websites and businesses, PC World wrote. 

“Although the defacements demonstrate low-level hacking sophistication, they are disruptive and often costly in terms of lost business revenue and expenditures on technical services to repair infected computer systems,” the advisory said.

The hacking is particularly concerning because the perpetrators are voicing support for ISIS “to gain more notoriety than the underlying attack would have otherwise garnered,” the FBI said.


U.S. Authorities: North Korea Was ‘Centrally Involved’ in Sony Hacking Attack

By Steve Neavling 

U.S. authorities believe the North Korean government was “centrally involved” in the recent hacking attacks on Sony Pictures because of anger over a comedy that was about to be released, the Boston Globe reports.

The determination by U.S. officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, coincided with Sony’s decision to cancel its release of “The Interview,” a controversial film about plotting to assassinate a fictional Kim Jong Un, the leader of North Korea.

The White House hasn’t yet determined whether to publicly accuse the country for its alleged roof.

Some officials are worrying about escalating tensions between the two counties.

Sony officials received a threat that “the world will be full of fear” if the film was released.

“Remember the 11th of September 2001. We recommend you to keep yourself distant from the places at that time,” the threat added.


Long-Serving Border Patrol Chief to Retire After 25 Years, Reflects on Advances

Steve Neavling

Chief Enrique “Henry” Mendiola Jr., whose 25 year of service makes him one of the longest-serving agents of the Border Patrol RGV Sector, is retiring, reports.

Mendiola was only 20 years old when he joined the Border Patrol in 1988.

“When I came in we were still doing ink fingerprints, we had no databases, not even computers,” Mendiola said.

A lot has changed since then. The number of agents has increased 500%, and apprehensions have declined, he told

“We have made a lot of progress.  Apprehensions are well under the million range where they were back then,” Mendiola said.


Former FBI Cybersecurity Official Steven Chabinsky Thinks FBI is Doing Great Job, But Government Could Do Better

The FBI’s former top attorney for cybersecurity, Steven Chabinsky, who stepped down this month, thinks the FBI is doing a great job battling the problem, but told the Washington Post that the “federal government” has taken a “failed approach” by focusing on reducing vulnerabilities rather than actively deterring attackers., in summing up the Washington Post article, mistakenly wrote that Chabinsky criticized the FBI’s efforts, when in fact he was referring to the country’s overall defensive approach to cybersecurity, which he believes does not focus enough on identifying and deterring the adversary.

The article also mistakenly said that the “bureau focuses too heavily on setting security standards,” when in fact the Washington Post story reported that the security standards have been a goal of Congress and the Obama administration, not the FBI.

In an email to, Chabinsky said of the bureau’s cybersecurity efforts: “They’re doing a great job.”  He added, “The next step is to determine how the private sector can play a more active role in defending themselves against hackers, with the assistance of law enforcement.  If cybersecurity remains a game of constant defense, it will not end well for the good guys.”

Here’s the Post story:

By Ellen Nakashima
Washington Post

The federal government has taken a “failed approach” to cybersecurity, with efforts that focus on reducing vulnerabilities rather than actively deterring attackers, according to one of the FBI’s top former cyber officials.

Steven Chabinsky, a 17-year bureau veteran who stepped down this month as the FBI’s top cyber lawyer, argued that the movement to set security standards for companies — which has been a goal for the Obama administration and the focus of congressional debate — is useful only “in the margins.”

More important is to enable companies whose computer networks are targeted by criminals and foreign intelligence services to detect who’s penetrating their systems and to take more aggressive action to defend themselves, Chabinsky said in his first interview since leaving office.

To read full story click here.



FBI: More Than 300,000 Could Lose Web Access in July


In the wake of a multi-million-dollar online scam, more than 300,000 computer users worldwide could find themselves without Web access this summer.

Luckily for them, it will only take a few clicks to clean things up.

The FBI announced that it’s created a website where users can check whether they’re infected with malware and remove it if they are. Check your computer here — The site was at times difficult to access on Monday, presumably due to heavy traffic.

To read more click here.




Secret Service’s Computers Only Fully Operational 60 Percent of Time

computer-photoBy Allan Lengel

Here’s one secret the Secret Service would rather keep secret.

ABC’s Jason Ryan reports that “a classified review of the United States Secret Service’s computer technology found that the agency’s computers were fully operational only 60 percent of the time because of outdated systems and a reliance on a computer mainframe that dates to the 1980s, according to Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn.”

“We have here a premiere law enforcement organization in our country which is responsible for the security of the president and the vice president and other officials of our government, and they have to have better IT than they have,” Lieberman, who is chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee told ABC News.

To read more click here.