The department said Tuesday that removing the privacy protections from the Insider Threat Program, which aims to fight threats to the agency from its employees, is necessary to conduct criminal, civil and administrative enforcement. The Privacy Act provisions alert the subject of an investigation of its existence, the Department Homeland Security said, undermining law enforcement efforts and compromising an investigation's confidentiality.
The rule also allows the agency to expand the scope of employee information collected to include things that may not be necessary or relevant.
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Originally, the program focused on the unauthorized disclosure of classified information by only employees with active security clearances. In June, the Department of Homeland Security announced that it would broaden the Insider Threat Program to investigate all individuals who have ever been involved with department facilities, information, equipment, networks or systems.
It will cover all records the agency perceives as being a threat to information security, personnel security or systems security. The Department of Homeland Security has been plagued by a slew of allegations from whistleblowers inside the agency in recent months. Last month, an intelligence employee was silenced about Russian interference in the U. The complaint alleged that senior Homeland Security officials asked analysts to alter intelligence reports in support of the administration's political agenda.
Also in September, a whistleblower said Immigration osrs melee gear Customs Enforcement performed hysterectomies on immigrant women at the Irwin County Detention Center in Georgia. The complaint alleged "jarring medical neglect" including refusal to test detained immigrants for COVIDshredding medical requests and fabricating medical records.
A critic of the new rule said the Insider Threat Program has repeatedly been misused to target whistleblowers. The rule will allow the Department of Homeland Security to silence would-be whistleblowers from speaking up about alleged waste, fraud or abuse, Devine said. Members of the public who commented on the rule during the official comment period said the exemptions evade Privacy Act safeguards, allowing the collection of records that are irrelevant and unnecessary while preventing individuals from accessing them and failing to disclose how they obtained them.
Another commenter proposed that the Department of Homeland Security limit the scope of information collected, exclude individuals not under investigation and eliminate routine uses. In response to the comments, the department said it "strives to be transparent regarding all insider threat collections and uses," but that the rule will remain in place.
COVID research. Implementing the final rule means insider threat investigators won't need to inform Homeland Security employees that their information is being collected or ask for their consent. Doing so would impair ongoing investigations by potentially revealing witnesses or evidence, the department said.
Giving employees access to records would be "detrimental to homeland security," agency officials said. Devine said information exempted from the Privacy Act can be used to retaliate against whistleblowers. Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf testifies before the Senate homeland security and governmental affairs committee on September On Wednesday, the department finalized a rule removing privacy protections from its insider threat program.
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DHS Combats Potential Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Attack
Back to Article.Washington CNN White supremacists will remain the most "persistent and lethal threat" in the United States throughaccording to Department of Homeland Security draft documents. The most recent draft report predicts an "elevated threat environment at least through" early next year, concluding that some US-based violent extremists have capitalized on increased social and political tensions in Although foreign terrorist organizations will continue to call for attacks on the US, the report says, they "probably will remain constrained in their ability to direct such plots over the next year.
The threat assessment -- which also warns of continued disinformation efforts by Russia -- is especially notable as President Donald Trump has often employed race-baiting tactics in his quest for reelection and frequently downplayed the threat from white supremacists during his term in office.
The Trump administration has portrayed Antifa and anarchists as a top threat to the US, with the President tweeting this summer that the US will designate Antifa as a terrorist organization. The recently released draft reports, which were made public by Lawfare Editor in Chief Benjamin Wittes and first reported by Politicoassess a host of threats, including cyber, foreign influence and irregular migration.
Read More. All three drafts state that white supremacist extremists are the deadliest threat. However, the placement and language about white supremacy in three versions of the DHS draft documents differ slightly. The earliest available version of the "State of the Homeland Threat Assessment " drafts reads: "We judge that ideologically-motivated lone offenders and small groups will pose the greatest terrorist threat to the Homeland throughwith white supremacist extremists presenting the most lethal threat.
The lead section on terror threats to the homeland is changed in the latter two drafts to replace "white supremacist extremists" with "Domestic Violent Extremists presenting the most persistent and lethal threat.
The reports, however, all contain this language: "Among DVEs [Domestic Violent Extremists], we judge that white supremacist extremists WSEs will remain the most persistent and lethal threat in the Homeland through Wittes published the documents because he wanted there to be a "benchmark about what the career folks at DHS actually assessed the threats to be against" the final product that is released by the department.
He told CNN that "the most striking thing is in this political atmosphere; they have said what they said" -- that white supremacist violence is the threat they are most concerned about.
That said it is somewhat different in the first draft than the subsequent two and I do think the nature of the change is notable as a reflection of the political pressure they are under," he said. The final threat assessment has not been publicly released. The draft report also finds that Russian state-affiliated actors will continue targeting US industry and all levels of government with "intrusive cyber espionage.
One of the report's "key take-aways" is that "Russia probably will be the primary covert foreign influence actor and purveyor of disinformation and misinformation in the Homeland. Moscow's primary aim is to undermine the US electoral process and weaken the United States. Some Kremlin-linked disinformation also might motivate acts of violence in the US, the draft report says.
Trump has regularly downplayed the threat of white supremacist violence during his presidency, most notably when he said there were some "fine people" among the extremists who sparked violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, in He's also called Blacks Lives Matter a "symbol of hate" and has regularly pushed narratives on Twitter that emphasize violence against White Americans as he seeks to curry support in the suburbs. Officials in his administration, however, have warned against white supremacist extremism.
Last year, CNN reported that White House officials rebuffed efforts by their DHS colleagues for more than a year to make combating domestic terror threats, such as those from white supremacists, a greater priority as specifically spelled out in the National Counterterrorism Strategy.
Then-acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan said last year White supremacist extremism is one of the most "potent ideologies" driving acts violence in the US, when he released the department's counterterrorism strategyoutlining the ongoing threats from foreign terrorism and focusing on domestic terror threats, particularly white supremacism.
The threat assessment was prompted by a DHS counterterrorism strategy that called for annual reports to inform government officials and the public.Menu Oregon. Agency Main Content. Virtual and Hybrid-Licensing Renewals. Indoor Visitation Guidance. Resident Voting Rights Accommodation. Medicaid Payment During Evacuation. Free Gloves and Masks for Small Businesses. Fire response and clean-up. Wildfire Safety Alert. Mandatory Reporting Requirements. Non Initial Testing Reimbursement. Free Online Infection Control Training.
Compassionate Care Visitation Allowances. Limited Outdoor Visitation. Hospice as Essential. June 30th IBL Deadline. Licensee Bi-monthly Conference Call. Individually Based Limitations Documentation Requirements. Battelle Critical Care Decontamination System. Mother's Day Weekend Visitation.This alert provides information on exploitation by cybercriminal and advanced persistent threat APT groups of the current coronavirus disease COVID global pandemic. It includes a non-exhaustive list of indicators of compromise IOCs for detection as well as mitigation advice.
At the same time, the surge in teleworking has increased the use of potentially vulnerable services, such as virtual private networks VPNsamplifying the threat to individuals and organizations. APT groups and cybercriminals are targeting individuals, small and medium enterprises, and large organizations with COVIDrelated scams and phishing emails. This alert provides an overview of COVIDrelated malicious cyber activity and offers practical advice that individuals and organizations can follow to reduce the risk of being impacted.
The IOCs provided within the accompanying. Note: this is a fast-moving situation and this alert does not seek to catalogue all COVIDrelated malicious cyber activity.
Individuals and organizations should remain alert to increased activity relating to COVID and take proactive steps to protect themselves. These cyber threat actors will often masquerade as trusted entities. Their activity includes using coronavirus-themed phishing messages or malicious applications, often masquerading as trusted entities that may have been previously compromised.
Cybercriminals are using the pandemic for commercial gain, deploying a variety of ransomware and other malware. Threats observed include:. Malicious cyber actors rely on basic social engineering methods to entice a user to carry out a specific action. These actors are taking advantage of human traits such as curiosity and concern around the coronavirus pandemic in order to persuade potential victims to:.
In several examples, actors send phishing emails that contain links to a fake email login page. Note: a non-exhaustive list of IOCs related to this activity is provided within the accompanying.
These emails contain a call to action, encouraging the victim to visit a website that malicious cyber actors use for stealing valuable data, such as usernames and passwords, credit card information, and other personal information. Most phishing attempts come by email but NCSC has observed some attempts to carry out phishing by other means, including text messages SMS. Historically, SMS phishing has often used financial incentives — including government payments and rebates such as a tax rebate — as part of the lure.
For example, a series of SMS messages uses a UK government-themed lure to harvest email, address, name, and banking information. As this example demonstrates, malicious messages can arrive by methods other than email. Malicious cyber actors are likely to continue using financial themes in their phishing campaigns.
Specifically, it is likely that they will use new government aid packages responding to COVID as themes in phishing campaigns. These emails include previously mentioned COVID social engineering techniques, sometimes complemented with urgent language to enhance the lure.
If the user clicks on the hyperlink, a spoofed login webpage appears that includes a password entry form. These spoofed login pages may relate to a wide array of online services including—but not limited to—email services provided by Google or Microsoft, or services accessed via government websites.
These spoofed pages are designed to look legitimate or accurately impersonate well-known websites. Often the only way to notice malicious intent is through examining the website URL. In some circumstances, malicious cyber actors specifically customize these spoofed login webpages for the intended victim.
In most cases, actors craft an email that persuades the victim to open an attachment or download a malicious file from a linked website. The email appears to be sent from Dr. This email campaign began on Thursday, March 19, Another similar campaign offers thermometers and face masks to fight the epidemic.
The email purports to attach images of these medical products but instead contains a loader for Agent Tesla.This alert provides information on Russian government actions targeting U. Government entities as well as organizations in the energy, nuclear, commercial facilities, water, aviation, and critical manufacturing sectors. It also contains indicators of compromise IOCs and technical details on the tactics, techniques, and procedures TTPs used by Russian government cyber actors on compromised victim networks.
DHS and FBI produced this alert to educate network defenders to enhance their ability to identify and reduce exposure to malicious activity. After obtaining access, the Russian government cyber actors conducted network reconnaissance, moved laterally, and collected information pertaining to Industrial Control Systems ICS.
Contact DHS or law enforcement immediately to report an intrusion and to request incident response resources or technical assistance. Analysis by DHS and FBI, resulted in the identification of distinct indicators and behaviors related to this activity. Of note, the report Dragonfly: Western energy sector targeted by sophisticated attack group, released by Symantec on September 6,provides additional information about this ongoing campaign.
This campaign comprises two distinct categories of victims: staging and intended targets. Phases of the model include reconnaissance, weaponization, delivery, exploitation, installation, command and control, and actions on the objective. The threat actors appear to have deliberately chosen the organizations they targeted, rather than pursuing them as targets of opportunity.
Staging targets held preexisting relationships with many of the intended targets. DHS analysis identified the threat actors accessing publicly available information hosted by organization-monitored networks during the reconnaissance phase. Based on forensic analysis, DHS assesses the threat actors sought information on network and organizational design and control system capabilities within organizations.
These tactics are commonly used to collect the information needed for targeted spear-phishing attempts. In some cases, information posted to company websites, especially information that may appear to be innocuous, may contain operationally sensitive information. As an example, the threat actors downloaded a small photo from a publicly accessible human resources page.
The image, when expanded, was a high-resolution photo that displayed control systems equipment models and status information in the background. Additionally, the threat actors attempted to remotely access infrastructure such as corporate web-based email and virtual private network VPN connections. Throughout the spear-phishing campaign, the threat actors used email attachments to leverage legitimate Microsoft Office functions for retrieving a document from a remote server using the Server Message Block SMB protocol.
Note: transfer of credentials can occur even if the file is not retrieved. After obtaining a credential hash, the threat actors can use password-cracking techniques to obtain the plaintext password. With valid credentials, the threat actors are able to masquerade as authorized users in environments that use single-factor authentication. Threat actors compromised the infrastructure of trusted organizations to reach intended targets.
Although these watering holes may host legitimate content developed by reputable organizations, the threat actors altered websites to contain and reference malicious content.
The threat actors used legitimate credentials to access and directly modify the website content. This request accomplishes a similar technique observed in the spear-phishing documents for credential harvesting.
The file was modified to contain the contents below:. When compromising staging target networks, the threat actors used spear-phishing emails that differed from previously reported TTPs. Note the inclusion of two single back ticks at the beginning of the attachment name. The PDF was not malicious and did not contain any active code. The document contained a shortened URL that, when clicked, led users to a website that prompted the user for email address and password.
Note: no code within the PDF initiated a download. In previous reporting, DHS and FBI noted that all of these spear-phishing emails referred to control systems or process control systems. The threat actors continued using these themes specifically against intended target organizations. Email messages included references to common industrial control equipment and protocols.
The threat actors used distinct and unusual TTPs in the phishing campaign directed at staging targets. The imageliner[.
When exploiting the intended targets, the threat actors used malicious. This connection is made to a command and control C2 server—either a server owned by the threat actors or that of a victim.Washington, D.
This first-of-its-kind report synthesizes threat information across DHS including intelligence and operational components. However, I think they will also realize that we face a significant threat in the Homeland from nation-states like China, Russia, and Iran. In September DHS published our Strategic Framework for Countering Terrorism and Targeted Violence which identified that the Department would produce an annual report on threats facing the homeland to inform government and private sector partners, as well as the general public.
Skip to Main Content. Release Date:. As COVIDrelated restrictions on mobility ease, we expect to see increased migration flow to pre-pandemic levels; and, Natural disasters continue to pose a threat to the life and safety of Americans while also impacting local and national economies.
The full report can be read here. Homeland Security Enterprise.
Intelligence and Analysis. Preventing Terrorism. Secretary of Homeland Security. Acting Secretary Chad Wolf. Assessment. Counter-Terrorism Response. Targeted Violence. Terrorism.
DHS exempts insider threat program from privacy protections
Terrorism Prevention. Last Published Date: October 6, CNN White supremacist extremists will remain the deadliest domestic terror threat to the United States, according to the Department of Homeland Security's first annual homeland threat assessmentwhich details a range of threats from election interference to unprecedented storms.
A white nationalist plowed his sports car into a throng of counterprotesters, ultimately killing one who was struck by the vehicle. The assessment, which comes less than a month before Election Day, was the subject of a recent whistleblower complaint alleging political influence at the department. White supremacy was at the forefront of the first presidential debate last week, when President Donald Trump declined to condemn White supremacists.
Read More. Concerns about White supremacy have resonated with voters ahead of the presidential election. When it comes to foreign influence in the US, the department concluded that Russia is the "likely primary covert influence actor and purveyor" of disinformation and misinformation.
The report found that Russia is using online operations to try to sway US voters in the election. Moscow's main objective is to undermine the US electoral process and to divide and destabilize America. Russia's efforts included denigrating former Vice President Joe Biden and what it sees as an anti-Russia "establishment.
Whistleblower accuses Trump appointees of downplaying Russian interference and White supremacist threat. China and Iran are also seen as threats to US elections, with China aiming to denigrate the administration and trying to promote US policies aligned with its interests. Iran will continue to promote its foreign policy and attempt to increase societal tensions in the US, according to the report.Welcome Video - SNL
Last month, DHS whistleblower Brian Murphy, who previously ran the department's intelligence division, alleged in the complaint that top political appointees instructed career DHS officials to modify intelligence assessments to suit Trump's agenda by downplaying Russia's efforts to interfere in the US and the threat posed by White supremacists. Murphy was reassigned amid concerns that his office gathered and disseminated intelligence on US reporters.
Wolf has denied that the department tried to soften the threat. Murphy alleged he had been instructed to modify the section of the assessment on White supremacy in a "manner that made the threat appear less severe, as well as include information on the prominence of violent "left-wing" groups.
The final threat assessment concludes: White supremacist extremists "will remain the most persistent and lethal threat in the Homeland. More Videos Avlon: Proud Boys see Trump's comments as an endorsement The report also touches on the exploitation of nationwide protests by what it calls anti-government and anarchist groups. As the department developed the threat assessment, officials began to see a "new, alarming trend of exploitation of lawful protests causing violence, death, and destruction.
A significant uptick in violence against law enforcement and government symbols in has been in part linked to an influence of anarchist ideology, according to the assessment.