#Russian #Hackers Could Influence #German Election

Angela Merkel says Russia could try to influence Germany’s general elections in 2017 by launching cyber attacks or disinformation campaigns. This statement was made after the US accused Moscow of similar meddling in the US vote, which resulted in the victory of pro-Russian candidate.

Merkel claimed that Germany already had to deal with information out of Russia or with online attacks that are of Russian origin or with disinformation news. She described dealing with that as “a daily task”, so this problem could play a role during the future election campaign. Merkel’s comments were made in response to a question about whether her country could experience the type of online attacks that have affected the US race, largely targeting Hillary Clinton’s Democratic party.

The United States in October formally accused the Russian government of trying to influence the country’s election by hacking US political institutions. Of course, Russia has repeatedly dismissed these charges. Germany’s secret service earlier in 2016 accused the Russian Federation of a series of international cyber-spying and sabotage attacks. In one of them, for example, the German lower house of parliament was targeted in 2015.

Germany is going to go to the polls in September. Angela Merkel has yet to announce her candidacy but is expected by many experts to run for a 4th term.

#Tesco Bank Was Hacked, £2.5m Stolen from 9,000 Customers

The banking arm of the supermarket chain has announced that it had experienced “unprecedented” attack on its online accounts a few days ago, which resulted in the loss of £2.5 million. Tesco Bank also revised down the number of accounts, from which money was stolen, to 9,000 and assured that banking services had been restored for all customers.

The bank issued the latest update on the situation just a few hours after the Financial Conduct Authority told MPs that the incident was unprecedented in the United Kingdom and regarded as serious. In the meantime, Tesco Bank apologized to its customers for any inconvenience it caused, saying that its first priority was protecting and looking after the customers. The bank has already refunded all customer accounts affected by the hack and lifted the suspension of transactions so that people could use their accounts as before. The bank representatives also reassured people that none of their personal data had been compromised.

The bank works closely with the authorities and regulators in their criminal investigation, including the National Crime Agency that scrutinizes what happened at the supermarket chain’s banking arm accounting for more than 7m customers. The National Cyber Security Centre also investigated the issue and launched a criminal inquiry, while providing direct assistance to the company at their request. The agency explained that cyber-related incidents sometimes could take a lot of time to understand, given the technical complexities involved. During this period it is important that no information is revealed to general public that could interfere with the criminal investigation. So far, the agency is unaware of any wider threat to the British banking sector connected with this breach.

The Financial Conduct Authority said it was too early to know the exact cause of the breach, but it appeared to be related to debit cards. Apparently, computer hackers were looking for weaknesses and “points of entry” into banks.

There are several theories about the cause of the problem. One of them is that it was caused by an internal security breach, another – that it was the work of a foreign power. Perhaps, the breach was state-sponsored.

The bank explained that the decision to suspend some banking activities meant to protect customers from online criminal activity and described the raid as “a systematic, sophisticated attack”. The role of National Cyber Security Centre was to support the investigation, work with Tesco concerned to manage the incident, investigate the root causes, and use the obtained information to provide future guidance and policy on online security.

Meanwhile, the Information Commissioner’s Office is also looking into the situation. For example, it fined telecom company TalkTalk £400,000 a months ago for failing to stop the breach of personal data of its 157,000 customers. The members of the Treasury select committee called the attack on Tesco’s retail accounts “deeply troubling” and highlighting the crucial importance of technical security to the financial system.

Leslie Jones Website Hacking Investigated by Homeland Security

Image result for Leslie Jones

The inquiry launched less than a day after JustLeslie.com was attacked by hackers who reportedly published images of her driver’s license and passport, as well as explicit photos perhaps originating from her iCloud account. Besides, Leslie Jones’

website was defaced with a video of the gorilla Harambe, which was a clear racist attack against the actor, who has faced harassment and online bullying in 2016.

Leslie Jones is not the first victim whose hack is investigated by federal officials – the DHS agents led an investigation in 2015 that resulted in the arrest of a Bahamian man, who had allegedly hacked into celebrities’ email accounts looking for unreleased movie and TV scripts and private sex tapes. The man reportedly said that he had dossiers on at least 130 accounts of stars and executives in the entertainment industry.

Besides, the FBI also investigated the attack on Jennifer Lawrence, whose explicit photos were exposed two years ago, allegedly originating from her iCloud account. Back in 2015, Sony Pictures co-chair was forced to leave her position after the embarrassing emails with racially insensitive remarks about Barack Obama were revealed in result of the hack. At the time, North Korea was suspected of the attack.

Meanwhile, many celebrities have tweeted their support for Leslie Jones, with commentators noting that black women in powerful positions often face harassment and racist attacks. Twitter even had to permanently ban a British columnist who had aggressively targeted the comic.