By Debbie Gregory.
A hacker group backing the Syrian government claimed responsibility for hacking the public website of the US Army, just hours after President Obama called for new cyber-security laws at the G-7 summit in Germany.
Officials say the website is for general public access, with general information about the Army, press releases and Army generated news stories.
Responsibility was claimed by the Syrian Electronic Army, a pro-Assad regime group that has been associated with a number of additional cyber-attacks in the past. The victims of their previous hacks have included organizations like the Chicago Tribune and The Associated Press.
US Army officials said the website was taken down temporarily, after its home page was compromised. “The Army took appropriate preventative measure to ensure there was no breach of Army data,” Army spokesman Brigadier General Malcolm Frost said in a statement.
The messages reportedly proclaimed “YOU’VE BEEN HACKED” and added “YOUR COMMANDERS ADMIT THEY ARE TRAINING THE PEOPLE THEY HAVE SENT YOU TO DIE FIGHTING.”
The White House said the threat of cyber-attacks is persistent, and while the federal government has raced to outpace would-be hackers, legislation aimed at shoring up cyber-security is desperately needed to do more.
The news of this most recent attack comes on the heels of the administration’s officials announcement that due to a recent cyber-attack, four million federal workers may have had their personal information compromised, which officials said could affect every agency of the U.S. government.
The compromised data was stored in a system shared by the Interior Department and the Office of Personnel Management, which screens and hires federal workers and approves security clearances for 90 percent of the federal government.
There are measures that can be taken that would improve information sharing between the private sector and federal investigators, including requiring companies to give 30 days’ notice when a security breach has occurred, increasing the punishment for cyber-crimes, and the creation of uniform standards of data breach notification laws.
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Army’s Public Website Hacked: Military Connection: by Debbie Gregory