30 Jun 2011

Soldiers' personal information hacked

Hackers who infiltrated a Gannett Government Media database accessed the personal information of military leaders and soldiers who subscribe to publications including Defense News, the Armed Forces Journal, the Federal Times and the Marine Corps Times.

Gannett first announced its computer security systems had been breached in a June 7 web posting, and in an email to its subscribers on June 28, the publishing company specified hackers may have obtained such subscriber information as first and last names, userIDs, passwords, email addresses, duty status, paygrade and branch of service.

While no credit or debit card numbers appear to have been accessed, the personal information gleaned could be used by cybercriminals to launch phishing attacks on high-value targets in the government and armed forces. Gannett has warned its subscribers to watch out for seemingly legitimate emails asking for bank account, credit card or Social Security numbers, and to never give out this information or click on links in these emails, which could lead to malicious websites.

Websites of government agencies such as the FBI, CIA, U.S. Senate and Federal Reserve have recently been targeted by the group LulzSec, which recently announced its dissolution.