A hacker stole and published the contact details of thousands of American intelligence agents from the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI, publicizing the link to the online data-dump with a tweet signed “#FreePalestine, ” Vice reported on Monday.
The names, email addresses, and job descriptions of 9, 000 Homeland Security agents were initially posted in the dump on Sunday, right after the Super Bowl kickoff. Less than 24 hours later, the hacker released the contact information of over 20, 000 FBI employees, including roughly 1, 000 intelligence analysts.
The site where the hacker published the data opens with the message “Long Live Palestine, Long Live Gaza, ” and another “#FreePalestine” hashtag. Hours after releasing the first data set, the hacker tweeted, “When will the US government realize we won’t stop until they cut relations with Israel.” The hacker’s Twitter account, which has since been suspended, claimed that the user was based in “Palestine.”
Vice, which attempted to contact several individuals on the list, said that most of the names corresponded to the numbers given, with only a few directing to FBI operator desks. It added that many of the email addresses given were non-public.
“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, ” said Department of Justice spokesman Peter Carr.
The hacker reached out to Vice through a compromised Department of Justice email account last week, informing the outlet that he stole the data after tricking a DOJ representative into giving him a code to access a department portal.
“This is not one hack, ” said Michael Adams, a cybersecurity expert with over two decades of experience with the U.S. Special Operations Command. “This is an ongoing hack against the United States government, whether it’s from one or more actors is unknown.”
A group calling itself “Crackas With Attitude” hacked into the email account of CIA Director John Brennan in October, stealing sensitive information—including the names and social security numbers of U.S. intelligence officials. The group, which also targeted U.S. spy chief James Clapper and a White House science and technology official, said it was motivated by support for Palestinians. They also targeted a U.S. law enforcement portal last year, released the names of thousands of agents in November. It is unclear if the group is behind the latest breach.
[Photo: Colin / Wikimedia]