Crack the FBI, you gotta do it. Hackers succeeded in doing so on Saturday, partly. They were able to penetrate an external FBI e-mail system and from there sent false cyber-attack warnings to potentially more than 100,000 U.S. companies.
The FBI normally uses the hacked portal to communicate with local and federal officials. The system is separate from the FBI’s larger corporate e-mail service. “No one was able to access or compromise any data or personally identifiable information on the FBI’s network,” the U.S. Federal Police said in a statement. “When we learned of the incident, we quickly fixed the vulnerable software leak, warned partners to ignore the fake emails, and confirmed the integrity of our networks.”
According to cybersecurity experts, the fact that the spam emails sent do not contain malicious attachments could indicate that the hackers stumbled upon the vulnerability of the servers rather by chance and had no specific plan to exploit it.
According to an expert in the Washington Post, the hackers were unable to access internal databases of state secrets or classified information.
The emails referred to the ‘Dark Overlord’, an international hacker gang that would demand a large ransom to release their locked data and which leaked the fifth season of ‘Orange is the New black’. But the expert does not believe that a criminal hacker collective was behind the attack. He does say it “could have been a lot worse” and that the FBI could “probably dodge a bullet.”