In a turn of events guaranteed to make citizens feel good about the integrity of their institutions, the United States Department of Homeland Security was subject to another security breach this week. The hacker, professing to act on the behalf of a pro-Palestinian movement, posted details of 9,000 government employees – titles, email addresses, phone numbers etc – and claims to have similar details for 20,000 FBI staff which they will also leak.
Motherboard reported that over 200GB of data had been seized in the attack – although the hacker says 1 Terabyte – and that the information appears to be legit.
On Sunday, Motherboard obtained the supposedly soon-to-be-leaked data and called a large selection of random numbers in both the DHS and FBI databases. Many of the calls went through to their respective voicemail boxes, and the names for their supposed owners matched with those in the database. At one point, Motherboard reached the operations center of the FBI, according to the person on the other end.
Whatever happens next, since the issue of curtailing peoples internet freedoms in pursuit of security becomes ever more important in American politics, the DHS may find it slightly harder to convince people they’re the people who should be keeping Americans’ data safe.