Report: FBI doesn't warn hacking victims of their rights

LONDON — Americans caught up in international cyberespionage campaigns are routinely being left in the dark by the FBI, the U.S. Justice Department's watchdog said in a report published Monday.

The Justice Department's Office of the Inspector General said that advisory letters typically sent by the FBI to victims of cybercrime were almost never issued in "national security cyber cases," echoing a 2017 Associated Press report that found the FBI was routinely failing to warn targets of Russian hackers that their personal emails were under threat.

The inspector general quoted the FBI's Office of Victim Assistance saying that out-of-date guidelines were among the problems that kept American victims of foreign spies from getting timely advice.

In a letter dated Dec. 21, 2018, and published alongside the report, the FBI said it agreed with the need to strengthen its procedures and said it was "imperative that victims of cybercrime are informed of their rights."

Caring for the Americans caught in foreign hackers' crosshairs has shot up the agenda since Russian spies intervened in the 2016 election. An AP investigation found that only a handful of the hundreds of Americans targeted by the hackers received any help from the FBI.

Few if any appear to have heard anything since. Even former intelligence workers who have spent months trying to pry information from the government have been left none the wiser.

Authorities have shown "zero interest" in communicating, said Joe Mazzafro, a former U.S. Navy intelligence officer whose email was among those targeted by Russian hackers.

"Not even the proverbial 'thanks for your interest in national defense,'" he said.

A message seeking comment from the Office of the Inspector General was not immediately returned.

___

Online:

The Office of the Inspector General's report: https://oig.justice.gov/reports/2019/a1923.pdf

You may also interested in

Apple's Tim Cook: Fake news is 'killing people's...

Feb 11, 2017

Apple chief executive Tim Cook says fake news is "killing minds," and governments and tech firms...

Yahoo issues another warning in fallout from...

Feb 15, 2017

Yahoo is warning users of potentially malicious activity on their accounts between 2015 and 2016

Eurozone inflation above target for first time in...

Mar 2, 2017

Inflation across the 19-country eurozone is running above the European Central Bank's target for...

Global stocks weighed down by crude oil slump

Mar 9, 2017

World stock markets fell Thursday after news of a big buildup in U.S. oil stockpiles depressed...

Markets keep cyberattack and North Korea concerns...

May 15, 2017

Financial markets on Monday brushed aside worries over the "WannaCry" ransomware cyberattack, with...

Sign up now!

About Us

Future Science Today reports on captivating developments in science, medicine, technology, and the world around us.

Contact us: sales[at]futuresciencetoday.com