Hacker News: Collection of 1.4 Billion Plain-Text Leaked Passwords Found Circulating Online

password-reuse-list

Hackers always first go for the weakest link to quickly gain access to your online accounts.

Online users habit of reusing the same password across multiple services gives hackers opportunity to use the credentials gathered from a data breach to break into their other online accounts.

Researchers from security firm 4iQ have now discovered a new collective database on the dark web (released on Torrent as well) that contains a whopping 1.4 billion usernames and passwords in clear text.

The aggregate database, found on 5 December in an underground community forum, has been said to be the largest ever aggregation of various leaks found in the dark web to date, 4iQ founder and chief technology officer Julio Casal noted in a blog post.

Though links to download the collection were already circulating online over dark-web sites from last few weeks, it took more exposure when someone posted it on Reddit a few days ago, from where we also downloaded a copy and can now verify its authenticity.

Researchers said the 41GB massive archive, as shown below, contains 1.4 billion usernames, email, and password combinations—properly fragmented and sorted into two and three level directories.

The archive had been last updated at the end of November and didn’t come from a new breach—but from a collection of 252 previous data breaches and credential lists.

data-breach-password-list

The collective database contains plain text credentials leaked from Bitcoin, Pastebin, LinkedInMySpace, Netflix, YouPorn, Last.FM, Zoosk, Badoo, RedBox, games like Minecraft and Runescape, and credential lists like Anti Public, Exploit.in.

“None of the passwords are encrypted, and what’s scary is that we’ve tested a subset of these passwords and most of the have been verified to be true,” Casal said. “The breach is almost two times larger than the previous largest credential exposure, the Exploit.in combo list that exposed 797 million records.”

“This new breach adds 385 million new credential pairs, 318 million unique users, and 147 million passwords pertaining to those previous dumps.”

The database has been neatly organized and indexed alphabetically, too, so that would-be hackers with basic knowledge can quickly search for passwords.

For example, a simple search for “admin,” “administrator” and “root,” returned 226,631 passwords used by administrators in a few seconds.

Although some of the breach incidents are quite old with stolen credentials circulating online for some time, the success ratio is still high for criminals, due to users lousy habit of re-using their passwords across different platforms and choosing easy-to-use passwords.

The most common yet worst passwords found in the database are “123456”, “123456789”, “qwerty,” “password” and “111111.”

worst-password-list

It is still unclear who is responsible for uploading the database on the dark web, but whoever it is has included Bitcoin and Dogecoin wallets for any user who wants to donate.

To protect yourself, you are strongly advised to stop reusing passwords across multiple sites and always keep strong and complex passwords for your various online accounts.

If it’s difficult for you to remember and create complex passwords for different services, you can make use of the best password manager. We have listed some good password managers that could help you understand the importance of such tool and choose one according to your requirement.

Mohit Kumar - Hacking News
      
Entrepreneur, Hacker, Speaker, Founder and CEO — The Hacker News and The Hackers Conference.
Advertisements

Hacker News: Newly Uncovered ‘MoneyTaker’ Hacker Group Stole Millions from U.S. & Russian Banks

hacking-bank-account

Security researchers have uncovered a previously undetected group of Russian-speaking hackers that has silently been targeting Banks, financial institutions, and legal firms, primarily in the United States, UK, and Russia.

Moscow-based security firm Group-IB published a 36-page report on Monday, providing details about the newly-disclosed hacking group, dubbed MoneyTaker, which has been operating since at least May 2016.

In the past 18 months, the hacking group is believed to have conducted more than 20 attacks against various financial organisations—stolen more than $11 Million and sensitive documents that could be used for next attacks.

According to the security firm, the group has primarily been targeting card processing systems, including the AWS CBR (Russian Interbank System) and SWIFT international bank messaging service (United States).

Criminals stole documentation for OceanSystems’ FedLink card processing system, which is used by 200 banks in Latin America and the US.” Group-IB says in its report.

Group-IB also warned that the MoneyTaker attacks against financial organizations appear to be ongoing and banks in Latin America could be their next target.

MoneyTaker: 1.5 Years of Silent Operations

Since its first successful attack in May last year, MoneyTaker has targeted banks in California, Illinois, Utah, Oklahoma, Colorado, South Carolina, Missouri, North Carolina, Virginia and Florida, primarily targeting small community banks with limited cyber defenses.

Even after a large number of attacks against so many targets, MoneyTaker group managed to keep their activities concealed and unattributed by using various publicly available penetration testing and hacking tools, including Metasploit, NirCmd, psexec, Mimikatz, Powershell Empire, and code demonstrated as proof-of-concepts at a Russian hacking conference in 2016.

“To propagate across the network, hackers used a legitimate tool psexec, which is typical for network administrators.” Group-IB says in its report.

money-taker

Besides using open-source tools, the group has also been heavily utilizing Citadel and Kronos banking trojans to deliver a Point-of-Sale (POS) malware, dubbed ScanPOS.

“Upon execution, ScanPOS grabs information about the current running processes and collects the user name and privileges on the infected system. That said, it is primarily designed to dump process memory and search for payment card track data. The Trojan checks any collected data using Luhn’s algorithm for validation and then sends it outbound to the C&C server.”

The group uses ‘fileless’ malware only existing in RAM and is destroyed after reboot. To ensure persistence in the system MoneyTaker relies on PowerShell and VBS scripts – they are both difficult to detect by antivirus and easy to modify. In some cases, they have made changes to source code ‘on the fly’ – during the attack,

 “To escalate privileges up to the local administrator (or SYSTEM local user), attackers use exploit modules from the standard Metasploit pack, or exploits designed to bypass the UAC technology. With local administrator privileges they can use the Mimikatz program, which is loaded into the memory using Meterpreter, to extract unencrypted Windows credentials.

Moreover, MoneyTaker also makes use of SSL certificates generated using names of well-known brands—including as Bank of America, Microsoft, Yahoo and Federal Reserve Bank—to hide its malicious traffic.

hacking-banks

The hacking group also configure their servers in a way that malicious payloads can only be delivered to a predetermined list of IP addresses belonging to the targeted company. Also, it relies on PowerShell and VBS scripts to ensure persistence in the targeted system.

The very first attack, which Group-IB attributes to MoneyTaker was conducted in May 2016, when the group managed to gain access to First Data’s STAR—the largest U.S. bank transfer messaging system connecting ATMs at over 5,000 organizations—and stole money.

In January 2017, the similar attack was repeated against another bank.

Here’s how the attack works:

“The scheme is extremely simple. After taking control over the bank’s network, the attackers checked if they could connect to the card processing system. Following this, they legally opened or bought cards of the bank whose IT system they had hacked,” Group-IB explains.

“Money mules – criminals who withdraw money from ATMs – with previously activated cards went abroad and waited for the operation to begin. After getting into the card processing system, the attackers removed or increased cash withdrawal limits for the cards held by the mules.”

The money mules then removed overdraft limits, which made it possible for them to overdraw cash even with debit cards. Using these cards, they “withdrew cash from ATMs, one by one.”

According to the report, the average money stolen by MoneyTaker from United States banks alone was about $500,000, and more than $3 million was stolen from at least three Russian banks.

The report also detailed an attack against a Russian bank, wherein the MoneyTaker group used a modular malware program to target the AWS CBR (Automated Work Station Client of the Russian Central Bank)—a Russian interbank fund transfer system similar to SWIFT.

The modular tool had capabilities to search for payment orders and modify them, replace original payment details with fraudulent ones, and carefully erase malware traces after completing its tasks.

While it is still unclear how MoneyTaker managed to get its foothold in the corporate network, in one specific case, the entry point of compromise of the bank’s internal network was the home computer of the bank’s system administrator.

Group-IB believes that the hackers are now looking for ways to compromise the SWIFT interbank communication system, although it found no evidence of MoneyTaker behind any of the recent cyber attacks on SWIFT systems.

Swati - Hacking News
Technical Writer, Security Blogger and IT Analyst. She is a Technology Enthusiast with a keen eye on the Cyberspace and other tech related developments.

Putin Makes Surprise Visit to Syria in the Company of Su-35 Jets to Announce the End of Op

Looks like the new Sheriff in town got the job done! So far the US plan to keep its troops operating in Syria on alleged counter-terror missions after the Russian military pullout, threatening real hopes at last for peace in the region, according to analysts.

Also US lied about the number of troops stationed, U.S. Has Four Times the Amount of Troops in Syria as Previously Acknowledged. The latest Pentagon announcement came a month after Army Maj. Gen. James B. Jarrard, told reporters at a news conference there were about 4,000 U.S. troops in Syria – a number which was immediately revised:

https://www.haaretz.com/us-news/1.828521

https://sputniknews.com/analysis/201712121059917104-us-russian-troops-withdrawal-syria/

Futurist Trendcast

Russian President Vladimir Putin paid surprise visit to Khmeimim Airbase in Syria’s Latakia province on Monday, December 11. As he prepared to land, he was met by an escort of Su-35 fighter jets.

During this unannounced visit Putin met with Syrian president Assad and made an important announcement regarding partial withdrawal of Russian troops from Syria following the defeat of ISIS. Putin added that if terrorists reappeared in Syria, Russian troops would be back.

Russia’s Enormous Victory & End of ISIS

Russian Syria op is one of the most successful military ops of all time. As a result of Russian BKC (Russian joint military-space forces) involvement along with Syrian ground troops, ISIS has been squeezed out of all cities in Syria, leaving only some straggling groups in the country, with which Syrian army is still dealing on the ground. Syrian government today controls most of the country’s territory. When Russia…

View original post 1,098 more words

Evidence points to Bitcoin being an NSA-engineered psyop to roll out one-world digital currency

Image: Evidence points to Bitcoin being an NSA-engineered psyop to roll out one-world digital currency

(Natural News) I’m going to assume the readers who make it to this article are well informed enough that I don’t have to go into the history of the global money changers and their desire for a one world currency. (If you don’t yet understand the goal of the globalist banking empire and the coming engineered collapse of the fiat currency system, you’re already about 5,000 posts behind the curve.)

With that as a starting point, it’s now becoming increasingly evident that Bitcoin may be a creation of the NSA and was rolled out as a “normalization” experiment to get the public familiar with digital currency. Once this is established, the world’s fiat currencies will be obliterated in an engineered debt collapse (see below for the sequence of events), then replaced with a government approved cryptocurrency with tracking of all transactions and digital wallets by the world’s western governments.

NSA mathematicians detailed “digital cash” two decades ago

What evidence supports this notion? First, take a look at this document entitled, “How to make a mint: The cryptography of anonymous electronic cash.” This document, released in 1997 — yes, twenty years ago — detailed the overall structure and function of Bitcoin cryptocurrency.

Who authored the document? Try not to be shocked when you learn it was authored by “mathematical cryptographers at the National Security Agency’s Office of Information Security Research and Technology.”

The NSA, in other words, detailed key elements of Bitcoin long before Bitcoin ever came into existence. Much of the Bitcoin protocol is detailed in this document, including signature authentication techniques, eliminating cryptocoin counterfeits through transaction authentication and several features that support anonymity and untraceability of transactions. The document even outlines the heightened risk of money laundering that’s easily accomplished with cryptocurrencies. It also describes “secure hashing” to be “both one-way and collision-free.”

Although Bitcoin adds mining and a shared, peer-to-peer blockchain transaction authentication system to this structure, it’s clear that the NSA was researching cryptocurrencies long before everyday users had ever heard of the term. Note, too, that the name of the person credited with founding Bitcoin is Satoshi Nakamoto, who is reputed to have reserved one million Bitcoins for himself. Millions of posts and online threads discuss the possible identity of Satishi Nakamoto, and some posts even claim the NSA has identified Satoshi. However, another likely explanation is that Satoshi Nakamoto is the NSA, which means he is either working for the NSA is is a sock puppet character created by the NSA for the purpose of this whole grand experiment.

The NSA also wrote the crypto hash used by Bitcoin to secure all transactions

On top of the fact that the NSA authored a technical paper on cryptocurrency long before the arrival of Bitcoin, the agency is also the creator of the SHA-256 hash upon which every Bitcoin transaction in the world depends. As The Hacker News explains. “The integrity of Bitcoin depends on a hash function called SHA-256, which was designed by the NSA and published by the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST).” THN also adds:

If you assume that the NSA did something to SHA-256, which no outside researcher has detected, what you get is the ability, with credible and detectable action, they would be able to forge transactions. The really scary thing is somebody finds a way to find collisions in SHA-256 really fast without brute-forcing it or using lots of hardware and then they take control of the network.” Cryptography researcher Matthew D. Green of Johns Hopkins University said.

In other words, if the SHA-256 hash, which was created by the NSA, actually has a backdoor method for cracking the encryption, it would mean the NSA could steal everybody’s Bitcoins whenever it wants. (Call it “Zero Day.”) That same article, written by Mohit Kumar, mysteriously concludes, “Even today it’s too early to come to conclusions about Bitcoin. Possibly it was designed from day one as a tool to help maintain control of the money supplies of the world.”

And with that statement, Kumar has indeed stumbled upon the bigger goal in all this: To seize control over the world money supply as the fiat currency system crumbles and is replaced with a one-world digital currency controlled by globalists.

Think cryptography is bulletproof? Think again…

Lest you think that the cryptography of cryptocurrency is secure and bulletproof, consider this article from The Hacker News: Researchers Crack 1024-bit RSA Encryption in GnuPG Crypto Library, which states, “The attack allows an attacker to extract the secret crypto key from a system by analyzing the pattern of memory utilization or the electromagnetic outputs of the device that are emitted during the decryption process.”

Note, importantly, that this is a 1024-bit encryption system. The same technique is also said to be able to crack 2048-bit encryption. In fact, encryption layers are cracked on a daily basis by clever hackers. Some of those encryption layers are powering various cryptocurrencies right now. Unless you are an extremely high-level mathematician, there’s no way you can know for sure whether any crypto currency is truly non-hackable.

In fact, every cryptocurrency becomes obsolete with the invention of large-scale quantum computing. Once China manages to build a working 256-bit quantum computer, it can effectively steal all the Bitcoins in the world (plus steal most national secrets and commit other global mayhem at will).

Ten steps to crypto-tyranny: The “big plan” by the globalists (and how it involves Bitcoin)

In summary, here’s one possible plan by the globalists to seize total control over the world’s money supply, savings, taxation and financial transactions while enslaving humanity. (And it all starts with Bitcoin.)

1) Roll out the NSA-created Bitcoin to get the public excited about a digital currency.

2) Quietly prepare a globalist-controlled cryptocurrency to take its place. (JP Morgan, anyone?)

3) Initiate a massive, global-scale false flag operation that crashes the global debt markets and sends fiat currencies down in flames. (Hoax alien invasion, hoax North Korean EMP attack, mass distributed power grid terrorism network, etc.)

4) Blame whatever convenient enemy is politically acceptable (North Korea, “the Russians,” Little Green Men or whatever it takes…).

5) Allow the fiat currency debt pyramid to collapse and smolder until the sheeple get desperate (i.e. Venezuela-style desperation with people eating out of dumpsters).

6) With great fanfare, announce a government-backed cryptocurrency replacement for all fiat currencies, and position world governments as the SAVIOR of humanity. Allow the desperate public to trade in their fiat currencies for official crypto currencies.

7) Outlaw cash and criminalize gold and silver ownership by private citizens. All in the name of “security,” of course.

8) Criminalize all non-official cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, crashing their value virtually overnight and funneling everyone into the one world government crypto, where the NSA controls the blockchain. This can easily be achieved by blaming the false flag event (see above) on some nation or group that is said to have been “funded by Bitcoin, the cryptocurrency used by terrorists.”

9) Require embedded RFID or biometric identifiers for all transactions in order to “authenticate” the one-world digital crypto currency activities. Mark of the Beast becomes reality. No one is allowed to eat, travel or earn a wage without being marked.

10) Once absolute control over the new one-world digital currency is achieved, weaponize the government-tracked blockchain to track all transactions, investments and commercial activities. Confiscate a portion of all crypto under the guise of “automated taxation.” In an emergency, the government can even announce negative interest rates where your holdings automatically decrease each day.

With all this accomplished, globalists can now roll out absolute totalitarian control over every aspect of private lives by enforcing financial “blackouts” for those individuals who criticize the government. They can put in place automatic deductions for traffic violations, vehicle license plate taxes, internet taxes and a thousand other oppressive taxes invented by the bureaucracy. With automatic deductions run by the government, citizens have no means to halt the endless confiscation of their “money” by totalitarian bureaucrats and their deep state lackeys.

How do you feel about your Bitcoin now?

 

 

Cody Snodgres & Ole Dammegard: CIA did 1995 OKLA City bombing to destroy (a) 400,000 Agent-Orange medical files & (b) Evidence of Bill/Hillary Clinton CIA-Arkansas drug smuggling

WEBINAR – Cody Snodgres & Ole Dammegard: CIA masterminded 1995 OKLA City bombing to destroy (1) 400,000 Vietnam Agent Orange medical-legal liability files, and (2) evidence files implicating Bill & Hillary Clinton in CIA-Drug Arkansas smuggling

“I was offered $1Million by blackops to bomb the Alfred P. Murrah Bldg in Oklahoma City [April 19, 1995].  I refused & became a COINTELPRO Fugitive”, Cody Sodgres,  a First-person Whistleblower comes out publicly!

https://player.vimeo.com/video/246470362

WATCH ON OmniverseTV https://vimeo.com/246470362

 

Recommended Reading:

WEBINAR – Cody Snodgres & Ole Dammegard: CIA masterminded 1995 OKLA City bombing to destroy (1) 400,000 Vietnam Agent Orange medical-legal liability files, and (2) evidence files implicating Bill & Hillary Clinton in CIA-Drug Arkansas smuggling
https://newsinsideout.com/2017/12/cody-snodgres-ole-dammegard-cia-1995-okla-city-bombing-destroy-400000-agent-orange-medical-files-b-evidence-bill-hillary-clinton-cia-arkansas-drug-smuggling/
WATCH ON OmniverseTV https://vimeo.com/246470362

WEBINAR PART I: Ole “Dammegardes” the Elite! Are False Flags like Las Vegas a reality version of the HUNGER GAMES?
NEWSINSIDEOUT WEBINARS & LINKS
https://newsinsideout.com/2017/10/webinar-ole-dammegardes-elite-false-flags-like-las-vegas-reality-version-hunger-games/
WATCH TRAILER [You Tube 4:19] https://youtu.be/ZJI0LrhfSo4
WEBINAR PART I: Ole “Dammegardes” the Elite! Are False Flags like Las Vegas a reality version of the HUNGER GAMES? [2:41:51]
WATCH PART I FREE WEBINAR on OmniverseTV [Streaming]: https://gum.co/WqWep
WATCH PART I FREE WEBINAR on OmniverseTV: https://vimeo.com/240077289

PART II-Ole “Dammegardes” the Elite: Are False Flags like Las Vegas a reality version of the HUNGER GAMES?
TRUMP THE ORANGE MAN & THE COLOR PURPLE
THE ILLUMINATI CARDS PREDICTS CHARLOTTESVILLE & LAS VEGAS FALSE FLAG HUNGER GAMES
NEWSINSIDEOUT WEBINARS & LINKS
https://newsinsideout.com/2017/10/part-ii-ole-dammegardes-elite-false-flags-like-las-vegas-reality-version-hunger-games/
WATCH WEBINAR PART II ON OmniverseTV [Streaming]: https://gum.co/MseiL
WATCH WEBINAR PART II ON OmniverseTV [Vimeo]: https://vimeo.com/239912864
WATCH TRAILER [You Tube 4:19] https://youtu.be/ZJI0LrhfSo4

Ole Dammegard exposes international False Flag psyop corporate hub responsible for 3/22 Westminster & 5/22 Manchester False Flag attacks: Crisis-solutions.com!
By Alfred Lambremont Webre
https://newsinsideout.com/2017/05/ole-dammegard-exposes-international-false-flag-psyop-corporate-hub-crisis-solutions-com/
WATCH ExopoliticsTV INTERVIEW: https://youtu.be/fS1bq_YrcgU

Ole Dammegard discusses clues of false flag attacks in Denmark & Eastern Europe

https://youtu.be/N1ir2WOksag

Ole Dammegard: “Statue of Liberty – NYC is next NWO synthetic terror False Flag”. Ole predicted & deconstructs 3/22 Westminster “Brexit” False Flag

By Alfred Lambremont Webre

WATCH INTERVIEW ON ExopoliticsTV

You Tube https://youtu.be/lQNPeYuXim4

NewsInsideOut ARTICLE & LINKS

https://newsinsideout.com/2017/03/ole-dammegard-statue-liberty-nyc-next-nwo-synthetic-terror-false-flag-ole-predicted-deconstructs-322-westminster-brexit-false-flag/

NewsInsideOut ARTICLE & LINKS

 

Ole Dammegard: Berlin “truck bomb”, Turkey Russian Ambassador “assassination” & Ft. Lauderdale airport “Shooter” are formulaic False flags for Fake News & Social tension Agenda

By Alfred Lambremont Webre

https://newsinsideout.com/2017/01/ole-dammegard-berlin-truck-bomb-turkey-russian-ambassador-assassination-formulaic-false-flags-fake-news-social-tension-agenda/

VIDEO: https://youtu.be/XVZuSNB27BI

PART II: Ole Dammegard reveals Freemason pyramid erected opposite Martin Luther King secret death site. Full details exposed of US Army, police sharpshooters, FBI operatives Jesse Jackson, Rev. Billy Kyles in false flag even as MSNBC uses Jesse Jackson as on-air commentator on 2016 Campaign African American issues
By Alfred Lambremont Webre
VIDEO: https://youtu.be/gGWAyYjIIv8
ARTICLE:
https://newsinsideout.com/2016/09/part-ii-ole-dammegard-reveals-freemason-pyramid-erected-opposite-martin-luther-king-secret-death-site/

BREAKING NEWS – Ole Dammegard: Probable cause evidence shows Jesse Jackson was key covert FBI operative responsible for April 4, 1968 Martin Luther King assassination.
Jesse Jackson continued as a post-King, US “black leader”, including as 1984-88 Manchurian US Presidential candidate & 1991-1997 US Senator from DC, based on status as covert FBI asset at the Dr. King assassination.
https://newsinsideout.com/2016/08/breaking-news-ole-dammegard-probable-cause-evidence-shows-jesse-jackson-key-policecia-operative-responsible-april-4-1968-martin-luther-king-assassination/

Ole Dammegard: CocaCola, Nike, Starbucks featured in NWO product placement signage at 2015 Paris, 2016 Brussels false flags. “Explosion” at 2016 Brussels airport false flag was produced by movie-like special effects built into fake airline ticket counter & ceiling
By Alfred Lambremont Webre
https://newsinsideout.com/2016/06/ole-dammegard-cocacola-nike-starbucks-featured-nwo-product-placement-signage-2015-paris-2016-brussels-false-flags-explosion-2016-brussels-airport-false-flag-produce/

Ole Dammegard: Pres. Hollande, G-20, Climate Summit part of Paris Friday 13th classic False Flag
By Alfred Lambremont Webre
https://newsinsideout.com/2015/11/2416/

Ole Dammegard exposes 2011 Norway false flag as 2-5 police shooters kill 69-86 youths. Bilderberger-CIA-Mossad-MI5 ops group commits false flags in USA; UK; Spain; Norway; Sweden; Denmark; Canada; France and others
By Alfred Lambremont Webre
https://newsinsideout.com/2015/08/ole-dammegard-exposes-2011-norway-false-flag-as-2-5-police-shooters-kill-69-86-youths-bilderberger-cia-mossad-mi5-ops-group-commits-false-flags-in-usa-uk-spain-norway-sweden-denmark-canada-fra/

Ole Dammegard: Ebola depopulation plot in Obamacare codes & UN takeover will fail
By Alfred Lambremont Webre
https://newsinsideout.com/2014/12/ebola-depopulation-un-takeover-mass-extermination-plot-embedded-obamacare-codes-will-fail/

Ole Dammegard: NWO crisis actor group stages false flags at Ottawa, Paris, Copenhagen. Italy next?
By Alfred Lambremont Webre
https://newsinsideout.com/2015/02/ole-dammegard-usisraelbilderberger-crisis-actor-group-stages-false-flags-ottawa-paris-copenhagen-italy-next/

 

www.NewsInsideOut.com

Alfred Lambremont Webre Contact/News:
news@newsinsideout.com

Secret Service Settles Five-Year Legal Battle With Whistleblower

BY: 

The Secret Service has settled a five-year legal battle with a whistleblower after the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general found that the agency retaliated against him for formally complaining about superiors’ alleged misconduct.

Robert MacQueen, a 24-year veteran Secret Service special agent, spent more than three years on unpaid leave with his security clearance revoked fighting trumped-up charges he misused his government vehicle and claimed more overtime pay than he deserved.

Sean Bigley, MacQueen’s attorney, said the case is groundbreaking and provides more hope for other federal intelligence and law enforcement officers who previously faced few legal options after managers wrongfully revoked their security clearances, ruining their career prospects.

Bigley confirmed that the legal dispute, which the Washington Free Beacon reported on in September, was settled “on terms very favorable” to MacQueen and followed IG report recommendations.

Declining to specify the monetary amount of the settlement, Bigley said it is “substantial and included retroactive promotion, back pay, attorney fees, compensatory damages, reinstatement of his security clearance and full retirement benefits.”

“Special Agent MacQueen’s case is a prime example of the work that remains to be done in strengthening whistle-blower protection statutes—especially as they pertain to security clearance matters. Whistle-blowing and leaking are two sides of the same coin,” Bigley said. “If the government wants to stop illegal leaks, it needs to incentivize lawful whistle-blowing by taking steps to ensure the type of retaliation that occurred in Mr. MacQueen’s case doesn’t happen again.”

The DHS inspector general report documenting the retaliation against MacQueen is the latest black eye for the Secret Service, whose top managers have repeatedly pledged to reform the agency after a string of embarrassing high-profile security lapses and embarrassing personnel practices have captured headlines over the last several years.

President Donald Trump in April named Randolph “Tex” Alles as the director of the Secret Service. His nomination quickly drew applause from Republicans on Capitol Hill who have long advocated for reforms at the troubled agency and believed he would move quickly to impose more even-handed policies and stricter discipline.

Bigley thanked the DHS inspector general’s office for its “tireless dedication,” and gave Alles and other top managers at the agency credit for appearing to have made efforts to “finally clean house” in their security division in response to the IG report.

The Secret Service, he said, has appointed a new and well-respected decision official to oversee the appeals of security clearance revocation cases.

The agency still has a long way to go in demonstrating that it can adjudicate security-clearance cases fairly, Bigley said, “but I am encouraged by the good start.”

A Secret Service spokeswoman said she could not comment on personnel matters.

Government watchdogs said the Secret Service, Congress, and the DHS IG still have more work to do to respond to several abusive and wasteful issues the case brought to light.

MacQueen told the Free Beacon that the Secret Service, after trying to fight his charges of retaliation for more than three years, offered to “fast-track” a false disability retirement for him even though he was able-bodied as a way to resolve the matter.

The Secret Service never denied that they made the offer. Initially an agency spokeswoman said she had no comment to that charge, then later pointed out that the Office of Personnel Management, not the Secret Service, has the authority to “grant” disability retirement.

“Any and all allegations that the Secret Service engages in disability fraud is [sic] completely false,” the spokeswoman said.

Leslie Paige, vice president of policy at Citizens Against Government Waste, said the case demonstrates just how opaque and secret the internal workings of federal bureaucracies like the Secret Service are and why they are so confusing to taxpayers.

“This veiled quality is what permits systemic abuses to go on unchecked, often for years,” she said.

Paige called on the DHS IG and Congress to further examine MacQueen’s case and his charges of disability fraud.

“This whole episode demands further exploration and the resolution of Mr. MacQueen’s case should not mark an end, but rather the beginning of a concerted effort to gain much more information and exercise more oversight into the federal disability system,” she said.

She called on Congress to call the parties to testify on the record about how the federal-disability program works and whether or not it is being improperly administered.

On FuturisTrendcast Nice Guys Finish FIRST! 2-Webinar Scholarship to Soul Sister from California

Heartwarming gratitude and holiday spirit, thanks for sharing Lada!

Futurist Trendcast

THE EARTH SHIFT WEBINAR SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM
Dear Lada,
 
It’s very hard for anyone to inspire me to cry, but you did. I am very touched that you have chosen to give me a love gift from your Heart. And not one, but TWO of your webinars! (I am so excited to listen to them!!) I am always deeply touched by the kindheartedness and generosity of spirit that you possess. It is so rare in the world these days. Thank you sooo much! I will honor you by graciously accepting your gift, with heartfelt gratitude. ~ By the way, I did not initially apply for a scholarship because I thought there surely must be others who were more deserving of assistance. I didn’t want to maybe take a rare opportunity away from someone else who might need it even more than me.
 
LOL, you are bang-on as usual, Lada!…

View original post 1,318 more words