MLB Cyber Crime: ST. Louis Cardinals Investigated for Hacking Into Houston Astros’ Database

Forget Deflate-gate, what about HACK-GATE …

Forget about “Deflate-gate” or “Moneyball” welcome to HACK-BALL. The St. Louis cardinals find themselves in the cross-hairs of an FBI and Justice Department investigation into the allegations that they hacked into the databases of MLB’s Houston Astros. This makes Deflategate, Spygate, etc pale in comparison. Why? Because the Feds are involved. This is going to be very interesting as to where this leads. So far no one in the Cardinal organization has been suspended or fired.

MLB needed a new scandal to deal with other than PED.

HACKED

Front-office personnel for the St. Louis Cardinals, one of the most successful teams in baseball over the past two decades, are under investigation by the F.B.I. and Justice Department prosecutors, accused of hacking into an internal network of the Houston Astros to steal closely guarded information about players.

Investigators have uncovered evidence that Cardinals employees broke into a network of the Astros that housed special databases the team had built, law enforcement officials said. Internal discussions about trades, proprietary statistics and scouting reports were compromised, said the officials, who were not authorized to discuss a continuing investigation.

The officials did not say which employees were the focus of the investigation or whether the team’s highest-ranking officials were aware of the hacking or authorized it. The investigation is being led by the F.B.I.’s Houston field office and has progressed to the point that subpoenas have been served on the Cardinals and Major League Baseball for electronic correspondence.

Law enforcement officials believe the hacking was executed by vengeful front-office employees for the Cardinals hoping to wreak havoc on the work of Jeff Luhnow, the Astros’ general manager, who had been a successful and polarizing executive with the Cardinals until 2011.

HACK ATTACK: U.S. Says Office of Personnel Management Hacked … the Records & Info of 4 Million Federal Emplyees, China Suspected

The Office of Personnel Management has been hacked and the records of 4 million past and current federal employees has had their records breached. US officials suspect China was behind the cyber attack. It is being called one of the largest thefts of government data in history. In the video below it is being reported that any federal employees who were victims of identity theft will be notified and will receive free credit monitoring. Free? Its not free, the America tax payers will be paying for that service because the federal government could not properly allocate monies to cyber security. It was just last month that we learned the IRS had been hacked.

U.S. officials suspect that hackers in China stole the personal records of as many as four million people in one of the most far-reaching breaches of government computers.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is probing the breach, detected in April at the Office of Personnel Management. The agency essentially functions as the federal government’s human resources department, managing background checks, pension payments and job training across dozens of federal agencies.

Investigators suspect that hackers based in China are responsible for the attack, though the probe is continuing, according to people familiar with the matter. On Thursday, several U.S. officials described the breach as among the largest known thefts of government data in history.

It isn’t clear exactly what was stolen in the hack attack, but officials said the information can be used to facilitate identity theft or fraud. The Department of Homeland Security said it “concluded at the beginning of May” that the records had been taken.

At a Chinese Foreign Ministry briefing on Friday, ministry spokesman Hong Lei said, “Cyberattacks are anonymous, cross-border and hard to trace. If you keep using the words “maybe” or “perhaps” without making a thorough study, this is irresponsible and unscientific.” He said China opposes all forms of cyberattacks. “We hope the U.S. side will shed its suspicions.”

I hate to say it, maybe Hillary Clinton had the right idea by using a private server housed at her home to store her State Department government emails on as the cyber protections performed by the US government do not seem to work.

IRS Hacked … Says Thieves Stole Tax Info From 100,000 Taxpayers

In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes. Scratch that … IRS HACKED.

Reason number one why I would never use the IRS electronic filing system. The IRS is admitting that they were hacked and the E-thieves stole the tax information of over 100,000 taxpayers. According to reports, the hackers used the website app service called “Get Transcript”to gain access. The IRS states that the hackers used this app to download forms full of personal information between February and May of 2015.

It’s only a matter of time before the IRS blames this on their budget that was cut.

ABC News:

Sophisticated criminals used an online service run by the IRS to access personal tax information from more than 100,000 taxpayers, part of an elaborate scheme to steal identities and claim fraudulent tax refunds, the IRS said Tuesday.

The thieves accessed a system called “Get Transcript,” where taxpayers can get tax returns and other filings from previous years. In order to access the information, the thieves cleared a security screen that required knowledge about the taxpayer, including Social Security number, date of birth, tax filing status and street address, the IRS said.

“We’re confident that these are not amateurs,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. “These actually are organized crime syndicates that not only we but everybody in the financial industry are dealing with.”

Koskinen wouldn’t say whether investigators believe the criminals are based overseas — or where they obtained enough personal information about the taxpayers to access their returns. The IRS has launched a criminal investigation. The agency’s inspector general is also investigating.

Russian Hackers Breached Barack Obama’s White House Email Account

Barack Obama, YOU GOT MAIL HACKED.

The New York Times is reporting that the that Russians have breached President Barack Obama’s White House email account. The claims are that they hackers accessed the White House and State Department’s unclassified computer system. Wouldn’t it be interesting to read some of those gems?

Maybe they were trying to find Hillary Clinton’s emails too.

Obama_Emails Hacked

Some of President Obama’s email correspondence was swept up by Russian hackers last year in a breach of the White House’s unclassified computer system that was far more intrusive and worrisome than has been publicly acknowledged, according to senior American officials briefed on the investigation.

The hackers, who also got deeply into the State Department’s unclassified system, do not appear to have penetrated closely guarded servers that control the message traffic from Mr. Obama’s BlackBerry, which he or an aide carries constantly.

But they obtained access to the email archives of people inside the White House, and perhaps some outside, with whom Mr. Obama regularly communicated. From those accounts, they reached emails that the president had sent and received, according to officials briefed on the investigation.

White House officials said that no classified networks had been compromised, and that the hackers had collected no classified information. Many senior officials have two computers in their offices, one operating on a highly secure classified network and another connected to the outside world for unclassified communications.

But officials have conceded that the unclassified system routinely contains much information that is considered highly sensitive: schedules, email exchanges with ambassadors and diplomats, discussions of pending personnel moves and legislation, and, inevitably, some debate about policy.

ISIS (Islamic State) Calls For the Death of 100 United States Military Personnel Who They Posted Names & Addresses Online

HOW’S THAT JV TERRORIST GROUP WORKING OUT FOR YOU BARACK OBAMA?

The Islamic State has called for the death of American military personnel as they have reportedly posted the names, addresses and photos of 100 American military service members online and called upon its “brothers residing in America” to kill them.  The self-identified “Islamic State Hacking Division” claimed to have obtained the information by hacking into military servers, databases and emails.  They are claiming the individuals named had participated in efforts to defeat it in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and elsewhere.

ISIS-hacking-division

Pic Hat Tip: Legal Insurrection

Islamic State has posted online what it says are the names, U.S. addresses and photos of 100 American military service members, and called upon its “brothers residing in America” to kill them.

The Pentagon said after the information was posted on the Internet that it was investigating the matter. “I can’t confirm the validity of the information, but we are looking into it,” a U.S. defense official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said on Saturday.

“We always encourage our personnel to exercise appropriate OPSEC (operations security) and force protection procedures,” the official added.

In the posting, a group referring to itself as the “Islamic State Hacking Division” wrote in English that it had hacked several military servers, databases and emails and made public the information on 100 members of the U.S. military so that “lone wolf” attackers can kill them.

NY Times – ISIS Urges Sympathizers to Kill U.S. Service Members It Identifies on Website.

Defense Department and F.B.I. officials said that they were aware of the website and were investigating the posting.

It does not appear that the information had been hacked from government servers. One Defense Department official, who was not authorized to speak publicly, said that most of the information could be found in public records, residential address search sites and social media.

The officials said the list appears to be drawn from personnel who have appeared in news articles about airstrikes on the militant group.

Some of the names also appear to be drawn from the Defense Department’s own official reports on the campaign against the Islamic State, also known as ISIS and ISIL.

“With the huge amount of data we have from various different servers and databases, we have decided to leak 100 addresses so that our brothers in America can deal with you,” the Islamic State’s so-called Hacking Division said in the web posting.

It added: “And now we have made it easy for you by giving you addresses, all you need to do is take the final step, so what are you waiting for?”

The disclosure by the Islamic State highlights some of the challenges facing the military in balancing how it performs two essential functions: protecting its personnel while providing the American public with information.

UPDATE I: ‘Behead them in their own homes’: ISIS publishes ‘kill list’ online of names, photos and addresses of 100 US military members.

The ISHD said it wants ‘lone wolf’ attackers to go after the military members and ‘kill them wherever you find them’.

The list did appear to match up with information which was available online, TheBlaze reported.

The posting read: ‘With the huge amount of data we have from various different servers and databases, we have decided to leak 100 addresses so that our brothers in America can deal with you.

‘And now we have made it easy for you by giving you addresses, all you need to do is take the final step, so what are you waiting for?

‘Kill them in their own lands, behead them in their own homes, stab them to death as they walk their streets thinking that they are safe.’

Hollywood Producer Scott Rudin Apologizes For Racially Insensitive Comments that Surfaced in Hacked E-mail Exchange With Sony Pictures Entertainment Chairman Amy Pascal

LIBERAL DOUBLE STANDARD? IF THESE TWO WERE REPUBLICANS “RACIALLY INSENSITIVE” WOULD HAVE BEEN CHANGED TO “RACIST” … 

Oops, Wanna get away? It would appear that the cyber-attack on Sony has left many “hacked-off” and embarrassed. Hollywood producer Scott Rudin has issued a public apology for the racially insensitive comments he made of hacked private e-mails between him and Sony Pictures Entertainment chairman Amy Pascal. Just an apology, you mean the PC police and MSM did not go after their jobs?  Amy Pascal apologizes for her emails as well.

Producer Scott Rudin has issued a public apology for the racially insensitive comments that surfaced last night in an exchange of hacked private e-mails between him and Sony Pictures Entertainment chairman Amy Pascal. Joking references they made to black-themed films that President Barack Obama might like were not meant for public consumption, but they are hard to defend in the harsh light of a public forum, without context. Rudin made the point in this morning’s New York Times about this hacking breach was a criminal act, when he was asked about other hacked e-mails between the producer and Pascal referencing the movie on Apple’s Steve Jobs. Here, Rudin said he simply wanted to apologize.

The hacked emails in question came before Pascal attended a breakfast in November 2013 in Hollywood with Barack Obama and other big Hollywood names hosted by DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg.

“What should I ask the president at this stupid Jeffrey breakfast?” Pascal wrote.

“Would he like to finance some movies.” Rudin responded.

“I doubt it. Should I ask him if he liked DJANGO?” Pascal wrote.

Rudin replied, “12 YEARS,” before Pascal and he suggested other films created by and starring African Americans, “Or the butler. Or think like a man? [sic]”

“Ride-along. I bet he likes Kevin Hart,” Rudin wrote.

UPDATE I: Al Sharpton released a statement comparing Amy Pascal to disgraced L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling.

Hours after Rev. Al Sharpton released a statement comparing her to disgraced L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling, Sony Pictures co-chair Amy Pascal revealed in a Q&A interview with Deadline’s Mike Fleming, Jr. that she has spoken to Sharpton on the phone, saying, “I know I screwed up.”

Sharpton’s condemnation of Pascal came after an email exchange between the Sony exec and movie producer Scott Rudin leaked as part of the larger cyber-attack on Sony Pictures from a possibly-North Korean-connected group. In the conversation, Pascal and Rudin joked about the types of movies President Barack Obama likes, with clear racial overtones.

GW Students Unaware of 9/11 Anniversary, Or Journalist’s Names Beheaded by ISIS … But Are Able to Name Celebrities Involved in Nude Photo Scandal

SAD, JUST PLAIN SAD … SO MUCH FOR A COLLEGE EDUCATION THESE DAYS.

The Young America’s Foundation released a VIDEO on Wednesday, a day before the 13th anniversary of 9-11, where George Washington students were asked whether they were aware of the significance of the date and whether they knew the names of the two American journalists who were recently beheaded by the terrorist group ISIS. Pathetically, for the most part, they had no idea. Oh but fear not for the future America, most all could name the celebrities involved in the recent nude pic hacking scandal.

Other than the two co-eds in the beginning of the VIDEO who seem to have a clue and up on current affairs and know their history, perhaps the best answer of anyone in this VIDEO was when asked by the YAF spokeswoman  Ashley Pratte asked about President Obama’s strategy for dealing with ISIS. One girl responded, ”Does he have one?”

The results of the study:

  • 29 of 30 (97%) students could could name a celebrity involved in the nude hacking scandal.
  • 4 of 30 (13%) could name either of the American journalists, James Foley or Steven Sotloff.
  • 6 in 30 (20%) knew this week was the anniversary of 9-11. What’s even more tragic is not only have these kids forgotten, they may never have known.

Maybe we have finally figured out how to get the youth vote … just have all the candidates in their political ads be in their birthday suits?

CIA Director John Brennan Admits and Apologized For CIA Improperly Accessed/Hacked Senate Computers … Calls For Brennan to Resign

WELCOME TO CIA-GATE

According to a declassified CIA inspector general’s report as reported by ABC News, CIA officers improperly accessed Senate computers, read the emails of Senate staff, and exhibited a “lack of candor” when interviewed by agency investigators. CIA Director John Brennan apologized to Senate Intelligence Committee leaders for the CIA’s conduct, which was quite a a turnabout for the CIA directors previous comments that the CIA did anything wrong. Yup, no separation of powers scandal here.

The document, released Thursday by the CIA, is a summary of an internal CIA investigation that prompted CIA Director John Brennan to abandon his defiant posture in the matter and apologize to Senate Intelligence Committee leaders.

The inspector general concluded “that some CIA employees acted in a manner inconsistent with the common understanding reached between” the Senate Intelligence Committee and the CIA in 2009 regarding access to a shared classified computer network, Boyd said. The shared network had been used by Senate aides to access classified files on CIA interrogations. The CIA penetration occurred after the aides got a hold of documents that the CIA claimed were internal, but which showed that some CIA officials shared misgivings about the treatment of al Qaida detainees.

VIDEO – CNN

WSJ:

Central Intelligence Agency officers snooped on computers used by a Senate committee investigating the CIA’s interrogation program, an internal agency report has concluded—a critical finding in a bitter standoff between two government branches.

CIA Director John Brennan apologized to key senators, who were briefed this week on the CIA inspector general’s report, the agency said on Thursday.

The finding bolsters allegations by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D., Calif.), the Senate intelligence committee chairwoman, who has denounced what she described as a CIA search of Senate computers that may have violated the Constitution’s separation of powers and Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable searches.

Sen. Mark Udall (D., Colo.), a member of the intelligence panel, on Thursday called for Mr. Brennan’s resignation after a briefing on the report. “CIA unconstitutionally spied on Congress,” he said. “These offenses, along with other errors in judgment by some at the CIA, demonstrate a tremendous failure of leadership, and there must be consequences.”

The CIA declined to comment on Mr. Udall’s call for Mr. Brennan’s resignation.

Five CIA employees, two attorneys and three information-technology staff members “improperly accessed or caused access” to the special network, according to a declassified summary reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. Those efforts included falsifying identities to get on the Senate network, reading emails and taking screenshots, said an official who read the inspector general’s report.

Senate intelligence committee chairwoman Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D., Calif.) accuses CIA of spying on Congress

REMEMBER WHEN BRENNAN SAID THE FOLLOWING REGARDING HACKING INTO SENATE COMPUTERS?

CIA chief denies agency spied on Senate computers … “nothing could be further than the truth, we wouldn’t do that. That’s beyond the scope of reason.”

UPDATE I: Two Democrat Senators, Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein and Mark Udall call for Brennan to Resign.

Two Democratic senators demanded that Central Intelligence Agency Director John Brennan resign on Thursday after revelations that the CIA snooped on Senate computers.

Administration officials briefed the Senate Intelligence Committee’s membership on Thursday afternoon about an inspector general report that revealed CIA officials improperly accessed computers used by Senate staffers to research a 6,700-page report on the agency’s Bush-era interrogation and detention practices.

“At this point it would probably be better for the agency, frankly, if he did step aside. I think that the level of trust between the committee and the director has hit a new low,” Heinrich told reporters. He said he had not spoken to Brennan recently.

Obama_Brennan_Defense Department photo

“I have full confidence in John Brennan,” Obama said in response to a reporter’s question at the end of an afternoon press conference.

UPDATE II: Obama remains confident in CIA head John Brennan despite Senate spying.

President Obama remains confident in CIA Director John Brennan’s leadership despite an independent investigation that concluded that the agency had overreached its authority by spying on Senate staffers.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest said the findings had not diminished Brennan’s standing in the administration.

When asked whether it damaged his authority or credibility in any way, Earnest said: “Absolutely not.”

Brennan first appointed an outside watchdog to conduct an investigation into the allegations, has “been candid” about the “inconsistencies” that the inspector found, apologized and took the step of appointing a panel to review the need for disciplinary action, he said.

Daily Commentary – Monday, May 12, 2014 – Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel Steps Down After 6 Years on the Job

  • Following the massive data breach and financial struggles

Daily Commentary – Monday, May 12, 2014 Download

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