Special Agents with Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Honolulu disrupted a cyber-attack on an underwater cable linking Hawaii and the Pacific Region to critical telecommunications, including the internet, cable service, and cell phones. The breach specifically targeted infrastructure on Oahu.
“This is only one of the many examples of cyber incidents that HSI has responded to in Hawaii and the Pacific Region,” says Special Agent in Charge John F. Tobon. “Not only do we aggressively pursue these bad actors, but we also provide significant support to the private sector victims.”
Last week, based on a tip from HSI Agents on the mainland, an HSI Honolulu Cyber Incident Response Team disrupted the significant breach involving a private company’s servers associated with an oceanic undersea cable. Agents immediately implemented protocols to prevent any further unauthorized access.
Furthermore, an HSI investigation identified an international hacking group responsible for the attack. HSI agents and international law enforcement partners in several countries were able to make an arrest. No further information will be released pending prosecution.
“HSI Honolulu is on the frontlines of the cyber fight every day, and our expertise in this area is unmatched,” says Tobon. “We live in paradise, but that does not mean there is a diminished threat, particularly in the cyber world. Our goal is to interrupt the hackers before serious damage is done.”
HSI uses cutting-edge technology and the extensive cyber expertise of its workforce to conduct high-impact investigations into people and networks who commit online criminal activity. Additionally, as access to and utilization of the internet expands globally, people, organizations, and companies rely more heavily on digital information and records, substantially increasing the number of criminal cyber intrusions in the U.S. and abroad.
Damage or disruption to critical telecommunications infrastructure in Hawaii was prevented, and there is no immediate threat at this time.
Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) is the principal investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, responsible for investigating transnational crime and threats, specifically those criminal organizations that exploit the global infrastructure through international trade, travel, and finance.