Tag Archives: Maryland

Democrats prod Republicans to run fair probe of Russian hacking

Russian-sponsored efforts to hack into systems to sway the U.S. election included relentless “phishing” attacks and hundreds of shady emails, but the key that unlocked the proverbial gates to tens of thousands of emails from top Hillary Clinton staffers was simply an innocuous typo written by a campaign aide, The New York Times reported Tuesday.

In a wide-ranging analysis of how the hacking scandal — which may have helped turn the race for Donald Trump and which is now the subject of intelligence agency investigations — unfolded, The Times traced one of the Russians’ most successful penetrations of Clinton’s orbit to an email written from Charles Delavan, an aide to the Democratic nominee.

In March 2016, Delavan flagged what clearly appeared to be a phishing-scam for other Clinton aides, including John Podesta, directing them to change their passwords, but his warning included a typo that may have altered the course of history.

“This is a legitimate email. John needs to change his password immediately, and ensure that two-factor authentication is turned on his account,” he wrote in an email, obtained by The Times, to other aides for Podesta and Clinton after identifying a clear phishing attempt.

Reince Priebus claims Trump receives intelligence briefing daily

PHOTO TAKEN FEB. 27, 2015

In a written statement, No. 2 House Democrat Steny Hoyer (pictured) of Maryland and the top Democrats on six House committees said they wanted a congressional probe of Moscow’s interference.

(J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

Delavan, however, had meant to type “illegitimate,” he told The Times.

But it was too late.

The Russians subsequently gained access to tens of thousands of Podesta’s emails, leaked them to WikiLeaks, and watched chaos ensue as American voters gobbled up stories about the email’s juicy revelations.

The latest revelations of the hacking saga came a week after the CIA itself reportedly concluded that Russia definitely hacked various systems in the U.S. in an attempt to meddle in the election in Trump’s favor.

Jerusalem’s mayor Nir Barkat hopes Trump will move U.S. Embassy

As a result, Congressional Democrats have pushed their Republican counterparts to conduct their own investigations into the intelligence community’s assertions.

In a written statement Tuesday, No. 2 House Democrat Steny Hoyer of Maryland and the top Democrats on six House committees said they wanted a congressional probe of Moscow’s interference “that is truly bipartisan, that is comprehensive, that will not be restricted by jurisdictional lines.”

Not Released (NR)

Trump (pictured) on Sunday called the CIA’s contention “ridiculous” and blamed the disclosures of the agency’s assessment on Democrats who he said were embarrassed over losing last month’s election.

(Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said Monday that they, too, backed investigations by each chamber’s intelligence committee into the CIA’s finding that Russia interfered with the election.

McConnell, however, declined to say whether he agreed with the CIA assertion that Russian hacking and public release of Democrats’ emails during the presidential campaign were designed to aid Trump.

Triple H said Donald Trump couldn’t tell if a WWE skit was fake

But in a noteworthy departure from Trump’s rejection of that conclusion, McConnell said the Senate Intelligence Committee would study the issue.

The remarks by McConnell and Ryan contrasted with Trump’s oft-repeated praise of Putin (c.) and the president-elect’s scoffing at the CIA’s findings.

The remarks by McConnell and Ryan contrasted with Trump’s oft-repeated praise of Putin (c.) and the president-elect’s scoffing at the CIA’s findings.

(NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA/AFP/Getty Images)

Trump on Sunday called the CIA’s contention “ridiculous” and blamed the disclosures of the agency’s assessment on Democrats who he said were embarrassed over losing last month’s election.

With News Wire Services 

Tags:
russia
hackers
donald trump
donald trump transition
mitch mcconnell
paul ryan
vladimir putin

Send a Letter to the Editor

Join the Conversation:
facebook
Tweet

County employees armed against cyber threats

Six hundred Calvert County employees are now armed with the tools to fight cyber threats in the workplace. The county mandated employees to participate in an online interactive briefing to protect their identity, help them identify red flags in phishing emails and to make them generally more aware of cyber security measures.

“The most vulnerable link is the user themselves,” said Kathryn Poff, network administrator supervisor for Calvert County’s Department of Technology Services (TS). “This training is due diligence. … We do this training to inoculate our users.”

Employees participated in the training from their desktop using the “KnowB4” software, which has integrated lessons on detecting and mitigating spam and malware (malicious software). The program also includes simulated phishing attacks and quizzes to test the employees’ knowledge.

Poff, a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) and a (Global Information Assurance Certification Information Security Professional (GISP), started the program in 2013 and is very eager to take advantage of the opportunity to educate employees on how to detect when they are being socially engineered.

Social engineering is the manipulation of people to give up confidential information. Often the attack appears to come in an email from a friend, but it is actually from someone who has gain access to a friend’s contact list. In some cases, the email has a clickable link that is infected with a virus or has a downloadable file that has malicious software that can infect your computer or network. A phishing attack is an email scam in which the email sender attempts to get personal or financial information from the email recipient through a web link in the email.

“The training is pretty timely. It reflects real life scenarios and includes video [that] incorporates Kevin Mitnick,” explained Poff referring to the well known hacker criminal turned computer security consultant.

While the web-based training equips the employees with knowledge to safeguard their day-to-day job, there is applicability in their personal life.

“We recommend people take it at home so they can share with their families. The training is for everybody, not totally focused on workplace,” said Joe Klausner, Technology Services Director

In addition, to the annual training session TS periodically sends out phishing emails to employees to test their security awareness and to evaluate the effectiveness of the training. Emails are sent out prior to and after the training. Klausner said the click rate went way down for emails, with malicious links and files, that were sent out after the employees completed the training.

Calvert County has casted its training net wide to make sure as many people as possible are aware of cyber threats. State’s Attorney Laura Martin understands the importance of getting the word out on cyber safety as her department speaks on the topic whenever asked.

Martin has teamed up with the County’s Department on Aging to alert seniors on internet scams. Her deputy, Katherine Marsh, collaborates with the Maryland State Police Department on presentations on internet safety and cybersecurity. Geared towards parents with young children, the outreach includes tips for things to look out for on the internet to include social media. There is a similar outreach effort for high school students.

As for the efforts for county employees, Klausner says end-user training is the biggest bang for the bucks and supplements what TS already has in place.

“We have a layered defense. If we don’t catch it through email filtering, then we will catch it on the local client on the desktop,” shared Klausner referring to how TS handles its most common threat, phishing emails.

Klausner will speaking at the Maryland Association of Counties (MACo) conference in Ocean City to share Calvert’s cyber defense strategies. This year’s conference theme is Cyber Solutions: Counties in the Digital Age. Klausner’s presentation will be on cybersecurity on a shoe string budget. His motto is, if you don’t have a lot of money you can still be effective.

He encourages other federal, state and local organizations to take advantage of free training services provided by Department of Homeland Security.

County employees will be required to take the roughly 45 minute training annually. Poff said the training will change every year. New employees will be required to take it immediately. Those who don’t satisfy the training requirement will lose their network access.

Source:

http://www.somdnews.com/recorder/news/local/county-employees-armed-against-cyber-threats/article_4fcaf436-975a-5ef0-a1de-4eb2493ebe7b.html