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Several Federal Agencies HACKED as Part of Global Cyber-Attack Exploiting Flaw in Popular File-Sharing Software

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According to reports, several federal government agencies in the U.S. were hacked as part of a global cyber attack which exploited flaws in a heavily used file transfer software.

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), the country’s top civilian-operated cybersecurity watchdog overseen by the Department of Homeland Security, first reported the cyberattack on Thursday, June 15, according to NBC News.

CISA also went on to confirm reports that they were involved in providing support to multiple federal agencies “that have experienced intrusions affecting their (file transfer) applications.”

“We are working urgently to understand impacts and ensure timely remediation,” said CISA in a statement.

The hackers involved exploited a quite easily found vulnerability in the file-sharing program MOVEIt Transfer, the popular tool used by government agencies to transfer files quickly, but not safely.

In an interview, CISA Director Jen Easterly claimed the agency was tracking the hackers “as a well-known ransomware group,” without going into specifics. This sounds kind of like the pipeline ransom situation which ran off with millions of taxpayers dollars and no one was brought to justice.

A cybercriminal org anization known as CLop has gone on to claim credit for the hack. The group, active since 2014, which is believed to be operating within Russia with the tacit approval of Russian intelligence services, may have conducted the cyberattack in response to a warning by CISA and the Federal Bureau of Investigation 

advising CLop against exploiting previously unknown vulnerabilities in MOVEIt.

The hacker group used flaws in the software to steal files from at least 47 organizations and demand ransom payments in exchange of not publishing the content online.

“They’ve started releasing some of the data that was stolen as part of their work to extort these companies,” said Anne Neuberger, deputy national security advisor for cyber and emerging technology for the National Security Council. She noted that the hackers attacked companies across the world, moving “large files” into their databases.

“We strongly encourage anyone who was a user of the software to, of course, patch (the vulnerability) and lock down their systems,” Neuberger added.

Johns Hopkins University has already admitted in a statement that they were “investigating a recent cybersecurity attack that affected our networks”.

The University System of Georgia, which is comprised of 26 public colleges, also has come out and claimed they were “evaluating the scope and severity of this potential data exposure.”

International energy company Shell has joined the party and claims victimhood even though there is no evidence supporting they were hit with a cyberattack.

Others notably claiming to be victims include; British media outlet BBC and British Airways.

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International Criminal Court Considers Arrest Warrants for Israeli and Hamas Leaders

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Israeli officials are increasingly concerned that the International Criminal Court (ICC) is preparing to issue arrest warrants for senior government officials in connection with the conflict involving Hamas, according to information from five Israeli and foreign officials.

The officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity due to the sensitive nature of the matter, believe that the ICC is also considering arrest warrants for leaders from Hamas, the Palestinian militant group.

The potential charges against Israeli officials could include allegations of obstructing humanitarian aid delivery to the Gaza Strip and employing an overly aggressive response to Hamas-led attacks on Israel. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is among those speculated to be named in a warrant, although the specific individuals from Hamas and the crimes involved remain unclear.

The Israeli officials did not disclose the basis of their concerns regarding potential ICC action, and the court declined to comment on the issue.

If the ICC proceeds with arrest warrants, it could be viewed internationally as a significant moral indictment, particularly against Israel, which has faced criticism for its actions in Gaza, including from U.S. President Joe Biden.

The potential impact of such warrants on Israel’s military policies is also a consideration. One official indicated that the possibility of ICC action has influenced recent Israeli decision-making.

The status of the ICC process remains unclear, with the issuance of warrants requiring approval from a panel of judges and not necessarily leading to immediate arrests or trials.

Karim Khan, the ICC’s chief prosecutor, has previously confirmed investigations into incidents during the conflict but declined to comment for this article, citing a policy against addressing media speculation.

Prime Minister Netanyahu, in response to speculation about arrest warrants, voiced opposition to any ICC intervention that he perceives as a threat to Israel’s right to self-defense.

The ICC, based in The Hague, is the world’s only permanent international court authorized to prosecute individuals for war crimes, genocide, and crimes against humanity. The court relies on member countries, not including Israel or the United States, to execute arrest warrants.

The conflict between Israel and Hamas, which escalated after a raid by Hamas in October, has resulted in significant casualties and damage on both sides. The ICC’s potential involvement raises complex legal and diplomatic questions amid ongoing tensions in the region.

Both Hamas and the Israeli military declined to comment on the ICC’s actions, and the Israeli defense minister’s office also refrained from making a statement.

The developments underscore the challenges of international legal accountability in complex geopolitical conflicts, emphasizing the ICC’s role in addressing alleged war crimes and promoting accountability for all parties involved.

SOURCE: NEW YORK TIMES

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Owen Wilson Rejected $12 Million Role in Film Depicting O.J. Simpson as Innocent

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Owen Wilson recently made headlines for turning down a lucrative $12 million offer to star in a controversial film titled The Juice, depicting O.J. Simpson as innocent of the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman. Directed by Joshua Newton, the film, described as a “satirical thriller,” explores various conspiracy theories surrounding Simpson’s infamous 1995 murder trial.

In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, Newton shared insights into the casting process, highlighting Wilson as the ideal choice for the role of Douglas McCann, an attorney who delved into the trial’s conspiracy narratives. Despite enthusiastic support from Wilson’s agent and an enticing financial offer, the actor declined the opportunity, expressing discomfort with the film’s premise. At the conclusion of a meeting in Santa Monica, Wilson candidly voiced his reservations, stating, “If you think I’m going to take the lead role in a movie about how O.J. didn’t do it, you’ve got to be kidding me.”

The film, originally titled Nicole & OJ, has since undergone production with Boris Kodjoe portraying O.J. Simpson and Charlotte Kirk as Nicole Brown Simpson. Newton aims to complete the movie by October 3, coinciding with the 29th anniversary of Simpson’s not-guilty verdict.

Wilson’s decision has sparked discussions about ethical considerations in film roles and the complexities of depicting real-life events in cinema. Despite differing opinions on the project’s premise, Wilson’s principled stance has been recognized as a testament to his commitment to personal values and artistic integrity in Hollywood.

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CIA Secret Report Reveals Warning to Russia of Terrorist Attack was Marked “Urgent” but Failed to Identify Target

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US warning regarding a potential terrorist attack at a concert venue in Russia was labeled as “urgent.” However, the warning, according to Hersh’s source, did not specify Crocus City Hall as the target, despite some media reports suggesting otherwise.

The CIA allegedly provided the warning to Russian intelligence before the concert at the Crocus City Hall marking it “urgent,” meaning that the data in it “was credible and near term,” Hersh quoted the official as saying.

“The highly secret report on the attack in Moscow was prepared by the Counterterrorism Center at CIA headquarters and delivered to the terrorism division of the Russian Federal Security Service located in the old KGB building in Moscow. Separate briefings were presented in person by the FBI officer at the embassy. This is an established relationship,” the official said.

The warning, however, did not mention Crocus City Hall near Moscow and only said that an attack was being planned at some “public gathering,” according to the official.

The information provided by the official is contrary to a Washington Post report published on Tuesday claiming that Crocus City Hall was specifically identified in the warning as the target of a terrorist attack.

On March 22, several armed men broke into Crocus City Hall, a major concert venue just outside Moscow, and started shooting at people. They also started a fire in one of the auditoriums, which was full of people ahead of a concert. The attack left 695 casualties, including 144 dead, according to the latest data from the Russian Emergencies Ministry.

The four main suspects in the case — all of them citizens of Tajikistan — tried to flee the scene in a car but were detained and charged with terrorism. Russian authorities believe the perpetrators planned to flee to Ukraine, where a safe haven had been arranged for them. An investigation is underway.

Later in March, The New York Times reported, citing European and US security officials, that the US intelligence agencies did not provide the Russian side with all the information they had about the threat of a terrorist attack at Crocus City Hall in the Moscow Region out of fear that Russian authorities might learn about their intelligence sources or methods of work.

Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) Director Alexander Bortnikov also said that the information transmitted by the United States on the preparation of a terrorist attack was of a general nature, and the Russian special services responded to it.

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