In an ongoing case that can legitimately be described as a case of reaping what you sow, U.S. government officials are still on the trail of unidentified hackers who broke into the State Department’s email system some three months ago. Not only are the culprits still at large, but they are still accessing the system regularly, and government experts are still trying to show them the door, with little success.
Whoever is responsible for this data breach, the government should probably offer them a job when this is all wrapped up.
Stinkin’ Hackers & Their “Knowing What They’re Doing” BS
Two officials who are familiar with the investigation said that the hackers have been difficult to evict because their techniques keep changing, letting them stay (at least) one step ahead of the government team on their tail.
Though there are no signs of this taking place as of yet, the intruders have the ability to generate false, but 100% official-looking, State Department emails, and could easily delete or retrieve information from real emails in the system, including classified information.
The anonymous officials stated that evidence suggests that the hack may have originated in Russia, or at least someone running their network through a Russian server or IP address (or some other thing that hackers can do, about which we technical non-geniuses have no any idea). According to former U.S. intelligence official, Russia has highly developed cyber-espionage (and/or cyber-crime) capabilities, nigh equal the skillz that pay the NSA’s billz.
Government officials stated that they also wanted to officially remind citizens that this kind of computer-hacking, data-thieving, privacy-invading horse hockey will not stand. A written statement read, in part, “The only ones who are going to do any [redacted] email surveillance or network hacking around here is the mother[redacted] En. Ess. Ay. Savvy?”
♪ Ra Ra Vlad Putin ♫ Lover of the Russian Queen ♪
Other, verified Russian hackers have been known to use the same technique that allowed the current intruders into the State Department’s network—a phishing jam that uses deceptive email attachment to implant malicious software into the system. Those same hackers are known to have links to the Russian government, and, by extension, Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The first instance of hacking—which, again, has now been going on regularly for over three months—came shortly after Kaspersky Lab, headquartered in Moscow, published a report that claimed an advanced cyber-espionage operation had infected countless thousands of computers around the world with similar malicious software.
However, the guvment has reached no firm conclusion as to the current hackers’ origins. Putin has released the following video in response to State Department inquiries.