Former FBI Agent: Homeland Security Data Breach Very Damaging

Thursday, 07 Aug 2014 03:38 PM

By Courtney Coren

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A contractor that handles background checks for the Department of Homeland Security has reported that its computer network was hacked by what appears to be a state-sponsored type of job, and former FBI cybercrime chief Scott Larson says the news is "very damaging."

"The whole background process is about finding out people's loyalties and where they can be compromised for a hostile intelligence service to take advantage of them," Larson told J.D. Hayworth and Francesca Page on "America's Forum" on Newsmax TV Thursday.

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"If all of a sudden in the whole process all those reports, the backgrounds, and an adjudication is available, that is an espionage threat of the highest degree," he said. "Also, you have the identity theft issue, as well." 

"You're going to have everybody's background information from date of birth to Social Security number and where people were born," Larson explained.

He said that it's not clear "if it's terrorism yet," but that "it's definitely" criminal, "criminal syndicates and espionage."

"We talk a lot about the advance persistent threat — the Chinese threat that is hacking into our corporations, into our government and defense computers, stealing our intellectual property and getting other information," Larson said.

"Cyberterrorism for the most part has been more what we call 'hacktivism,' where people are taking up causes like India versus Pakistan or maybe the Israelis against Hamas," he said.

"That is more what we see in terrorism, but we fear our energy grid and our electrical grid being taken over," he added.

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