California City Apologizes for Wrongly Accusing Bloggers of Criminal Hacking

To settle a lawsuit, the city of Fullerton California “has agreed to pay $350,000 and take back its accusations of criminal computer hacking” against two local bloggers, reports the Orange County Register. The settlement ends what the newspaper calls “a contentious fight over censorship and freedom of speech.”The lawsuit accused Joshua Ferguson and David Curlee of stealing computerized personnel files from a Dropbox account to which the city had mistakenly given them access. Some of the files were later published online… Attorney Kelly Aviles, representing the bloggers, said she was pleased with the settlement, but the litigation could have been avoided. “The city shouldn’t have tried to blame their mistakes on journalists trying to cover the city,” Aviles said. “It was unbelievably wrong … those kind of people should never be in public office…” Under the terms of the deal, Aviles will be paid $230,000, while Ferguson and Curlee will receive $60,000 each. Additionally, the city must publish a public apology on the home page of its website, Aviles said. While no formal charges were brought against the bloggers, the city’s accusations of criminal conduct cost them friends and family members. She said Ferguson was fired from his job. “It was really traumatic for them,” Aviles said. In turn, the bloggers must return the remaining confidential recordswhich they don’t plan on publishing anyway, Aviles said.Read more of this story at Slashdot.
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Lapsus$: Oxford teenager charged of being multi-millionaire cyber-criminal

A 16-year-old from Oxford has actually been charged of being among the leaders of cyber-crime gang Lapsus$.

The teen, who is alleged to have collected a $14m (₤ 10.6 m) ton of money from hacking, has been called by rival cyberpunks as well as researchers.

City of London Cops claim they have actually jailed seven teens in connection with the gang however will certainly not state if he is one.

The boy’s daddy told the BBC his family members was worried and was attempting to maintain him away from his computers.

Under his online moniker “White” or “Breachbase” the teenager, that is autistic, is stated to be behind the prolific Lapsus$ hacker team, which is believed to be based in South America.

Lapsus$ is relatively brand-new however has actually become one of one of the most talked about as well as feared hacker cyber-crime gangs, after successfully breaching significant firms like Microsoft and afterwards extoling it online.

The teenager, that can not be called for lawful reasons, attends an unique academic college in Oxford.

City of London Police stated: “Seven people between the ages of 16 and 21 have been detained in connection with an investigation right into a hacking team. They have actually all been launched under examination. Our queries remain continuous.”

Playing online games
The young boy’s father informed the BBC: “I had never ever found out about any one of this until recently. He’s never ever spoken about any type of hacking, but he is great on computers and also spends a lot of time on the computer system. I always thought he was playing games.”

‘ Doxxed’ online
” White” was outed – or “doxxed” – on a cyberpunk site, after an apparent befalling with company partners.

The cyberpunks revealed his name, address, and social media photos.

They likewise posted a bio of his hacking career, saying: “After a few years his total assets built up to well over 300BTC [near $14m] … [he is] currently is associated with an aspirant ransomware group known as ‘Lapsus$’, that has actually been extorting & ‘hacking’ a number of organisations.”

As first reported by Bloomberg, cyber-security researchers have been tracking “White” for virtually a year and have actually linked him to Lapsus$ and also other hacking events.

” We have actually had his name since the center of last year and also we identified him before the doxxing,” claimed Allison Nixon, chief research study officer at cyber-security examination firm Unit 221B.

” Unit 221B dealing with [cyber-security business] Palo Alto after determining the star, saw him on his exploits throughout 2021, occasionally sending law enforcement a heads-up regarding the most recent criminal activities.”

Mrs Nixon claims researchers tracked him via a path of activity connected through a virtually unbroken stream of the young boy’s on the internet accounts.

” We did it by enjoying the message background of an account and seeing older posts offer contact information for the guy.”

Mrs Nixon states the trail was followed thanks to mistakes “White” made in stopping working to cover his tracks.

Lapsus$ staff
The Lapsus$ cyber-extortion team has actually gained notoriety in a brief area of time thanks to its prominent targets and energetic existence on the messaging application Telegram. Its network has grown to 47,000 subscribers.

The last message was uploaded on the network on Wednesday, with the team saying: “A few of our participants has a trip up until 30/3/2022. We might be silent for some times. Many thanks for understand us – we will certainly try to leak stuff ASAP.”

Chris Morgan, from cyber-security company Digital Shadows, says Lapsus$ has actually increased in prominence in current months “after targeting several venture innovation companies, breaching considerable quantities of information as well as uploading on to their specialized Telegram data leak network”.

“Little is recognized of the origins of the team, however, considered that Lapsus$’s initial task was directed towards numerous organisations in Brazil, some researchers have actually hypothesized that the team is based in South America,” Mr Morgan said.

In a Wednesday blog post, Microsoft said Lapsus$ had gotten restricted access to its system.

Safety company Okta admitted that it as well had actually been hacked by the group, with consequences for numerous its clients.

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