Hackers send out thousands of fake emails from FBI account

The agency said it is aware of the fake emails

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Hackers were able to break into the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s email systems on Saturday and send out tens of thousands of fake emails from an FBI address, according to cybersecurity researchers.

Ironically, the hacked messages warned of a possible cyber attack, according to the monitoring group Spamhaus.

The agency said it is aware of the cyberattack.

“This is an ongoing situation and we are not able to provide any additional information at this time,” the FBI said in a statement to Bloomberg News, which reported on the breach.

The agency has added that it disconnected the “impacted hardware” from the internet, and urged members of the public to be way of strange messages or those coming from unknown senders.

The attack appears to have targeted the law enforcement bureau’s public-facing email systems, which the FBI uses to send messages to the public. It uses a separate system to transmit classified information.

The hack reportedly began at midnight on Saturday and sent the false emails to at least 100,000 inboxes, using the subject line “Urgent: threat actor in systems.” Inside, the emails included a signature claiming the message was from the Department of Homeland Security, and mentioned Vinny Troia, a prominent cybersecurity expert, as well as a cybercriminal group known as The Dark Overlord.

The breach is reportedly believed to be the first time a hacker has used FBI cyber warning systems to send high volumes of spam.

Hackers have targeted a number of US government actors in recent months, including the “SolarWinds” hack, believed to be conducted by Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service, which hit at least nine federal agencies, and a China-backed effort in March that targeted a government mail and calendar server program.

Last September, UK national Nathan Wyatt pleaded guilty to being part of The Dark Overlord, a group which the Justice Department said used their “technical skills to prey on Americans’ private data and exploited the sensitive nature of their medical and financial records.”

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