Hackers send out cyber-threat warnings after the FBI’s email system was hacked.


Hackers send out cyber-threat warnings after the FBI’s email system was hacked.

On Saturday, hackers broke into the FBI’s external email system.

According to the Spamhaus Project, which tracks spam and related cyber threats, the hackers sent out tens of thousands of emails from an FBI email account warning about a possible cyberattack.

“We are aware of the incident this morning involving fake emails from an @ic.fbi.gov email account,” the FBI said, along with the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.

“We are unable to provide any additional information at this time due to the ongoing nature of the situation,” the FBI said in a statement.

According to Austin Berglas, head of professional services at the cybersecurity firm BlueVoyant, the FBI has multiple email systems, one of which appears to have been hacked on Saturday is a public-facing one that agents and employees can use to communicate with the public.

When sending classified information, he said, agents must use a separate email system.

“This is not a classified system that has been compromised,” said Berglas, a former assistant special agent in charge of the FBI’s cyber branch in New York.

“This is an account that is visible to the outside world and is used to share and communicate unclassified information.”

According to Spamhaus, the attacks began at midnight Saturday in New York, with a follow-up campaign starting at 2 a.m.

According to the nonprofit, the spam messages ended up in at least 100,000 inboxes.

The emails had the subject line “Urgent: threat actor in systems,” and warned recipients that the threat actor appeared to be cybersecurity expert Vinny Troia, who wrote an investigation of the hacking group The Dark Overlord last year.

According to Spamhaus, the emails contained no malware.

The hackers could have been attempting to smear Troia or staging a nuisance attack to inundate the FBI with phone calls, according to the group.

A request for comment from Troia was ignored.

Consumers should be wary and report any suspicious activity, according to the FBI.

This story was written by Bloomberg News’ Jenny Surane.

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