Records From Government Data Breach Surface on ‘Darknet’, Says Expert

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The darknet, the seedy underbelly of the Internet that search engines don’t plumb and only people with certain software can access, is a digital bazaar where everything from new identities, to a life-saving kidney, to credit card numbers and even the murder for hire, are for sale.

 reports: Government records stolen in a sweeping data breach that was reported last week are popping up for sale on the so-called “darknet,” according to a tech firm that monitors the private online network used by criminals and creeps throughout the world.

Credentials to log into the Office of Personnel Management are being offered just days after the announcement the agency’s records, including extremely personal information of 4.1 million federal government employees dating back to the 1980s, had been compromised, said Chris Roberts, founder and CTO of the Colorado-based
OneWorldLabs (OWL), a search engine that checks the darknet daily for data that could compromise security for its corporate and government clients, including government IDs and passwords.panic-hitchcock

” … the credentials and identities have been discovered online and are being traded actively.”

– Chris Roberts, OWL

“The recent OPM breach was identified, noted and the credentials and identities have been discovered online and are being traded actively,” said Roberts, who has been a consultant to a number of government agencies, but is currently at odds with the FBI over his reports, first published in Fox News, detailing the vulnerabilities of commercial airlines to cyber hacking. The FBI accused Roberts of hacking a commercial airplane, while Roberts claims he was simply trying to warn the government and industry of vulnerabilities.

“When these accounts are posted on the darker side of the net, they are usually ‘live’ and are part of a larger breach,” Roberts added. “They are typically parsed out and sold and distributed to interested parties, something OWL tracks.”

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“They can target Americans in their database for recruitment or influence. After all, they know their vices, every last one — the gambling habit, the inability to pay bills on time, the spats with former spouses, the taste for something sexual on the side perhaps with someone of a different gender than your normal partner — since all that is recorded in security clearance paperwork.”

The darknet, the seedy underbelly of the Internet that search engines don’t plumb and only people with certain software can access, is a digital bazaar where everything from new identities, to a life-saving kidney, to credit card panic-mannumbers and even the murder for hire, are for sale.

In addition to data from the OPM breach, Roberts said a new OWL search has uncovered another 9,500 government log-in credentials stolen this week from a variety of county, state and federal agencies across the nation, for everything from the Obamacare site, Healthcare.gov, the Internal Revenue Service, the U.S. Census Bureau, and U.S. Court System to the Child Support agency and Unemployment Agency in Ohio.

Roberts sent a report to the FBI Tuesday, as soon as OWL discovered the data, because the information being sold could lead to more extensive government data breaches.

The frequent hacking of government databases – and the ease with which hackers can obtain log on credentials on the darknet — is having a tremendous impact on Americans across the nation and could impact our national security, experts said.

Former Counterintelligence Officer John Schindler said the damage from the Office of Personnel Management’s data breach alone cannot be undone, in part because the agency conducts background investigations for security clearance holders across many federal agencies…..(read more)

Fox News



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