The Tech Cor­ner

The Standard Journal - - LIFESTYLE -

Thou­sands of files con­tain­ing the per­sonal in­for­ma­tion and ex­per­tise of Amer­i­cans with clas­si­fied and up to Top Se­cret se­cu­rity clear­ances have been ex­posed by an un­se­cured Ama­zon server, for most of the year.

The files were un­der the con­trol of TigerSwan, a North Carolin­abased private se­cu­rity firm. But in a state­ment on Satur­day, TigerSwan im­pli­cated Ta­len­tPen, a third- party ven­dor ap­par­ently used by the firm to process new job ap­pli­cants.

Ta­len­tPen could not be im­me­di­ately reached for com­ment. TigerSwan re­peat­edly refused to pro­vide any doc­u­men­ta­tion show­ing Ta­len­tPen was at fault.

Found on an in­se­cure Ama­zon S3 bucket with­out the pro­tec­tion of a pass­word, the cache of roughly 9,400 doc­u­ments re­veal ex­tra­or­di­nary de­tails about thou­sands of in­di­vid­u­als who were for­merly and may be cur­rently em­ployed by the US De­part­ment of De­fense and within the US in­tel­li­gence com­mu­nity.

Other doc­u­ments re­veal sen­si­tive and per­sonal de­tails about Iraqi and Afghan na­tion­als who have co­op­er­ated and worked along­side US military forces in their home coun­tries, ac­cord­ing to the se­cu­rity firm who dis­cov­ered and re­viewed the doc­u­ments. Be­tween 15 and 20 ap­pli­cants re­port­edly meet this cri­te­ria.

The files, un­earthed this sum­mer by a se­cu­rity an­a­lyst at the Cal­i­for­nia-based cy­ber­se­cu­rity firm UpGuard, were dis­cov­ered in a folder la­beled “resumes” con­tain­ing the cur­ricu­lum vi­tae of thou­sands of US ci­ti­zens holding Top Se­cret se­cu­rity clear­ances — a pre­req­ui­site for their jobs at the Cen­tral In­tel­li­gence Agency, the Na­tional Se­cu­rity Agency, and the U.S. Se­cret Ser­vice, among other gov­ern­ment agen­cies.

Due to the num­ber of resumes in­volved, the true im­pact of the breach has yet to be fully re­al­ized. Some of the ap­pli­cants were ap­par­ently in­volved in very sen­si­tive and highly-clas­si­fied military op­er­a­tions. Ac­cord­ing to UpGuard, at least one of the ap­pli­cants claimed he was charged with the trans­porta­tion of nu­clear ac­ti­va­tion codes and weapons com­po­nents.

These files con­tain home ad­dresses, per­sonal email ac­counts, and phone num­bers. Some of these in­di­vid­u­als may be cur­rently em­ployed by US spy agen­cies for work on Top Se­cret sur­veil­lance and in­tel­li­gence-gather­ing op­er­a­tions.

A lead­ing U.S. sup­plier of vot­ing ma­chines con­firmed on Thurs­day that it ex­posed the per­sonal in­for­ma­tion of more than 1.8 mil­lion Illi­nois res­i­dents.

State au­thor­i­ties and the Fed­eral Bureau of In­ves­ti­ga­tion were alerted this week to a ma­jor data leak ex­pos­ing the names, ad­dresses, dates of birth, par­tial So­cial Se­cu­rity num­bers, and party affiliations of over a mil­lion Chicago res­i­dents. Some driver’s li­cense and state ID num­bers were also ex­posed.

Jon Hen­dren, who works for the cy­ber firm UpGuard, dis­cov­ered the breach on an Ama­zon Web Ser­vices de­vice that was not se­cured by a pass­word. The voter data was dis­cov­ered by cy­ber risk an­a­lyst Chris Vick­ery who de­ter­mined Election Sys­tems & Soft­ware con­trolled the data. ES&S pro­vides vot­ing ma­chines and ser­vices in at least 42 states. A spokesman for U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin of Illi­nois also con­firmed that they had been made aware of the sit­u­a­tion.

ES&S was no­ti­fied this week by the FBI and be­gan its own “full in­ves­ti­ga­tion.”

ES&S said the AWS server did not in­clude “any bal­lot in­for­ma­tion or vote to­tals and were not in any way con­nected to Chicago’s vot­ing or tab­u­la­tion sys­tems.”

The company stressed that the leak had “no im­pact on the re­sults of any election.”

The hack­ers dis­cov­ered the per­sonal records of 654,517 peo­ple who voted in Shelby County, Ten­nessee, in­clud­ing names, ad­dresses, birth­dates, and po­lit­i­cal party. The poll book was pur­chased on eBay.

Po­lit­i­cal data gath­ered on more than 198 mil­lion US ci­ti­zens was ex­posed this month af­ter a mar­ket­ing firm con­tracted by the Repub-

The Tech Cor­ner is a tech­nol­ogy news and ad­vice col­umn pre­sented each week cour­tesy of Melvin McCrary at Ge­or­gia Com­puter De­pot in Cedar­town. li­can Na­tional Com­mit­tee stored in­ter­nal doc­u­ments on a pub­licly ac­ces­si­ble Ama­zon server.

The data leak con­tains per­sonal in­for­ma­tion on roughly 61 per­cent of the US pop­u­la­tion. Along with home ad­dresses, birth­dates, and phone num­bers, the records in­clude ad­vanced sen­ti­ment analy­ses used by po­lit­i­cal groups to pre­dict where in­di­vid­ual vot­ers fall on hot-but­ton is­sues such as gun own­er­ship, stem cell re­search, and the right to abor­tion, as well as sus­pected re­li­gious af­fil­i­a­tion and eth­nic­ity.

The data was amassed from a va­ri­ety of sources — from the banned sub­red­dit r/ fat­peo­ple­hate to Amer­i­can Cross­roads, the su­per PAC co-founded by for­mer White House strate­gist Karl Rove.

Deep Root An­a­lyt­ics, a con­ser­va­tive data firm that iden­ti­fies au­di­ences for po­lit­i­cal ads, con­firmed own­er­ship of the data to Giz­modo on Fri­day.

UpGuard cy­ber risk an­a­lyst Chris Vick­ery dis­cov­ered Deep Root’s data on­line last week. More than a ter­abyte was stored on the cloud server with­out the pro­tec­tion of a pass­word and could be ac­cessed by any­one who found the URL. Many of the files did not orig­i­nate at Deep Root, but are in­stead the ag­gre­gate of out­side data firms and Repub­li­can su­per PACs, shed­ding light onto the in­creas­ingly ad­vanced data ecosys­tem that helped pro­pel Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s slim mar­gins in key swing states.

Al­though files pos­sessed by Deep Root would be typ­i­cal in any cam­paign, Repub­li­can or Demo­cratic, ex­perts say its ex­po­sure in a sin­gle open data­base raises sig­nif­i­cant pri­vacy con­cerns. “This is valu­able for peo­ple who have nefarious pur­poses,” Joseph Lorenzo Hall, the chief tech­nol­o­gist at the Cen­ter for Democ­racy and Tech­nol­ogy, said of the data.

“This is valu­able for peo­ple who have nefarious pur­poses.”

The RNC paid Deep Root $ 983,000 last year, ac­cord­ing to Fed­eral Election Com­mis­sion re­ports, but its server con­tained records from a va­ri­ety of other con­ser­va­tive sources paid mil­lions more, in­clud­ing The Data Trust (also known as GOP Data Trust), the Repub­li­can party’s pri­mary voter file provider. Data Trust re­ceived over $6.7 mil­lion from the RNC dur­ing the 2016 cy­cle, ac­cord­ing to OpenSe­crets. org, and its pres­i­dent, Johnny DeSte­fano, now serves as Trump’s di­rec­tor of pres­i­den­tial per­son­nel.

Linda’s Place has been one of Rock­mart cit­i­zen’s go to places for break­fast since De­cem­ber 1988 when owner Linda Satcher started serv­ing coun­try clas­sic foods from 480 Nathan Dean By­pass 29 years ago.

Open bright and early at 5:30 a.m. on Tues­day through Satur­day, Linda’s is a con­ve­nient place for the city’s early birds to get their break­fast fix un­til the restau­rant be­gins serv­ing lunch at 1 p.m. and later closes at 3 p.m.

The restau­rant is now op­er­ated by man­ager Butch Gar­rett who makes s ure t he r es­tau­rant “starts each day with home­made bis­cuits at break­fast and a clas­sic meat and three for lunchjust like your grandma used to make.”

Break­fast is a big part of the restau­rant’s menu, but those look­ing to dine on bis­cuits, ba­con, or sausage should get to Linda’s be­fore they stop serv­ing break­fast at 1 p.m.

Satur­days ex­tend the break­fast hours to 5: 30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The morn­ing menu “in­cludes a myr­iad of bis­cuits and fill­ings in­clud­ing ba­con, chicken, bologna, gravy, egg, steak, ten­der­loin, and sausage bis­cuits.” Pan­cakes, French toast, omelets, serve to com­pli­ment a cup of cof­fee served by the restau­rant, and kids can dine on sim­i­lar foods in smaller por­tions.

Those look­ing to try Linda’s lunch should ar­rive any­time be­tween 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. when they can try var­i­ous com­bina-

The fol­low­ing birth an­nounce­ments were sub­mit­ted by Floyd Med­i­cal Cen­ter on Sept. 6, 2017. Con­grat­u­la­tions go out to these new par­ents in the Stan­dard Jour­nal read­ing area.

Christo­pher De­wayne Cash was born on Aug. 28, 2017, to Kelly and Todd Cash of Cedar­town.

Dakota Lee Moates was born on Aug. 30, 2017, to Kayci and Jeremy Moates of Cedar­town.

Kari Rae­gan John­son was born on Aug. 31, 2017, to Bre­anna Perez and Brett John­son of Cedar­town.

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