Anonymous Hackers Steal Sensitive Government Information

The Slatest
Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Nov. 16 2013 12:48 PM

Anonymous Hackers Steal Sensitive Government Information in Months-Long Campaign

186973955
Demonstrators, including supporters of the group Anonymous, march in a protest against corrupt governments and corporations in front of the White House in Washington, DC, November 5, 2013, as part of a Million Mask March of similar rallies around the world on Guy Fawkes Day

Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

Activist hackers with ties to the group Anonymous accessed government computers at several agencies for nearly a year in a campaign that officials at the FBI believe is still continuing, according to a memo seen by Reuters. The hackers managed to breach the systems at the Army, Department of Energy, Department of Health and Human Services, and perhaps other government agencies, through a flaw in Adobe’s ColdFusion software. The Department of Energy believes hackers have stolen personal information on at least 104,000 employees, contractors, family members and others, along with information on 2,000 bank accounts.

The memo described the attacks as “widespread problem that should be addressed” and officials have tied the hacking to the case of British resident Lauri Love, who was indicted last month for hacking government computers. Yet the full scope is far from clear. "It is unknown exactly how many systems have been compromised, but it is a widespread problem that should be addressed," the FBI wrote in the memo distributed to government agencies Thursday.

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Smash and Grab

Will competitive Senate contests in Kansas and South Dakota lead to more late-breaking races in future elections?

I Am 25. I Don’t Work at Facebook. My Doctors Want Me to Freeze My Eggs.

The XX Factor
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM I Am 25. I Don’t Work at Facebook. My Doctors Want Me to Freeze My Eggs.

Republicans Want the Government to Listen to the American Public on Ebola. That’s a Horrible Idea.

The Most Ingenious Teaching Device Ever Invented

Tom Hanks Has a Short Story in the New Yorker. It’s Not Good.

Brow Beat

Marvel’s Civil War Is a Far-Right Paranoid Fantasy

It’s also a mess. Can the movies do better?

Watching Netflix in Bed. Hanging Bananas. Is There Anything These Hooks Can’t Solve?

The Procedural Rule That Could Prevent Gay Marriage From Reaching SCOTUS Again

  News & Politics
Politics
Oct. 20 2014 8:14 PM You Should Be Optimistic About Ebola Don’t panic. Here are all the signs that the U.S. is containing the disease.
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 20 2014 7:23 PM Chipotle’s Magical Burrito Empire Keeps Growing, Might Be Slowing
  Life
Outward
Oct. 20 2014 3:16 PM The Catholic Church Is Changing, and Celibate Gays Are Leading the Way
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM I Am 25. I Don't Work at Facebook. My Doctors Want Me to Freeze My Eggs.
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 20 2014 7:15 AM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 9 A spoiler-filled discussion of "Flatline."
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 20 2014 9:13 PM The Smart, Talented, and Utterly Hilarious Leslie Jones Is SNL’s Newest Cast Member
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 20 2014 4:59 PM Canadian Town Cancels Outdoor Halloween Because Polar Bears
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Oct. 20 2014 11:46 AM Is Anybody Watching My Do-Gooding? The difference between being a hero and being an altruist.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.