Hackers on the Hill: Hundreds of Capitol Hill staffers’ email passwords are publicly revealed
- Hackers claim to have accessed the user names and passwords of Capitol Hill staffers
- Around 2,000 are thought to have been posted online
- Earlier this week the same group targeted the servers of FEMA
- The hacktivist group said their decision to release the details is in part due to Edward Snowden’s recent revelations
By Daily Mail Reporter PUBLISHED: 19 July 2013
In an apparent breach of U.S. House and Senate email servers, an activist expressing opposition to surveillance work of the National Security Agency has posted hundreds of email addresses and passwords of Congressional staffers, demanding change on internet privacy.
‘We mean it. This is a pivotal moment for America,’ the activist known as ‘OpLastResort’ posted to Twitter, which drew support from the group ‘Anonymous,’ a loosely knit group of hackers.
The message included hashtags #Congress #Senate #FISA #PRISM, referring to the National Security Agency surveillance program revealed by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.
The emails and passwords of Congressional staffers included current and former workers on Capitol Hill although it wasn’t immediately clear what files had been accessed by hackers.
The vast majority of them come from the House of Representatives, although there are some from the U.S. Attorney General’s office, the Senate and even New York’s comptroller.
According to The Hill, OpLastResort ‘warned Congress in a tweet that it’s closely watching how lawmakers respond to the revelations over a pair of controversial National Security Agency surveillance programs.’
Email addresses were found from both Senators in Georgia with nine from Senator Saxby Chambliss‘ office, three from Senator Johnny Isakson and twenty-two were from the office of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
The House Security Offices have tracked the leaks to the iConstituent newsletter product, which is used by press and communications staff members to reach out to constituents.
In an internal email, House leadership urged staffers to change their passwords immediately to preserve their privacy and bounce back from the hack as quickly as possible.
‘Early today, hackers disclosed over 300 Senate email addresses and passwords. We have confirmed that the posted credentials are not accurate, and many disclosed accounts are long expired,’ the Senate Sergeant at Arms said in an email to congressional offices.
The hackers attempted to show some grace as they as they mixed up the list of emails and passwords, and posted this note:
‘NOTE: FOR THE PURPOSES OF BEING FAR TOO GENEROUS WITH YOU GUYS, WE HAVE REMOVED SOME OF THE PASSWORDS AND SHUFFLED THE ORDER OF THE REMAINING ONES
THESE ARE ALL CURRENT, VALID CREDENTIALS BUT THEY ARE NOT IN THE ORIGINAL PAIRINGS. WE RESERVE THE RIGHT TO SPONTANEOUSLY DECIDE THIS RESTRAINT WAS UNJUSTIFIED.’
‘Beautiful action on the Capitol Hill passwords,’ said one hacker supporter.
Earlier this week, the same group claimed to have hacked into FEMA, the US Federal Emergency Management Agency, and to have posted staff details online.
On that occasion, Anonymous said it redacted social security numbers and login information because its ‘intent is not to harm, merely to issue a firm warning,’
Anonymous is a decentralized, loosely associated network of hacker-activists that have taken credit for carrying out attacks against the CIA, Britain’s Serious Organized Crime Agency and companies such as Japan’s Sony Corp.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2370032/Hackers-Hill–Hundreds-Capitol-Hill-Staffers-email-passwords-publicly-revealed.html#ixzz2ZTCzS3e1
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