150k personal records stolen from disused govt computer

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150k personal records stolen from disused govt computer

Hackers said to be based in China, South Korea.

Suspected Asian-based hackers may have stolen personal data of 145,000 US residents in a raid on government computers in March.

Sensitive information including names, addresses, dates of birth and Social Security numbers were thought stolen from the Monterey County network.

Atatckers used Remote Desktop Protocol to penetrate a password-protected computer not in use since 2009 and previously believed to have been shut down, Robinson said.

“How it was identified was by the volume of traffic coming into the network,” Robinson said, explaining officials pulled the power cord on the computer after moderators identified unknown access coming into the machine.

Monterey County officials held back from announcing the incident due to an ongoing forensic examination, during which time computer investigators used brute force to gain entry into the computer because it had been out of use for so long, Robinson said.

The lengthy collaborative investigation between state and local officials revealed that it was a power surge that caused the still network-connected machine to power on, allowing penetrators access to the system, Robinson said.

The hackers are believed to be located overseas because one of the Internet Protocol (IP) addresses was traced to a location in Hong Kong and another to a location in South Korea, Robinson said, adding he is unaware of any arrests linked to the attack.

This article originally appeared at scmagazineus.com

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