CBS correspondent Sharyl Attkisson accused the Department of Justice
(DOJ) of monkeying around with her hard drive while her computer was
in their possession. She tweeted on Thursday, "What would you think
if I told you the hard drive of one of my personal computers was
secretly switched out w/another while in custody of the Justice
Dept. Inspector General-- before they gave it back to me?"
may recall that Attkisson's computer was hacked back in 2012 while
she was working
for CBS and reporting on the Benghazi
scandal. CBS News spokeswoman Sonya McNair said at the time that a
cybersecurity firm hired by CBS News "has determined through
forensic analysis" that "Attkisson's computer was accessed by an
unauthorized, external, unknown party on multiple occasions in late
suggests this party performed all access remotely using Attkisson's
accounts," McNair said. "While no malicious code was found, forensic
analysis revealed an intruder had executed commands that appeared to
involve search and exfiltration of data. This party also used
sophisticated methods to remove all possible indications of
unauthorized activity, and alter system times to cause further
confusion. CBS News is taking steps to identify the responsible
party and their method of access."
her memoir, Attkisson recalled that a source connected to a
government agency implicated “a sophisticated entity that used
commercial, nonattributable spyware that’s proprietary to a
government agency: either the CIA, FBI, the Defense Intelligence
Agency or the National Security Agency" in the breach.
suing the Justice Department, accusing the Obama administration of
illegally surveilling her computers, and seeking $35 million in
damages. An excerpt from an affidavit in the case claims:
several subsequent tweets, Atkisson revealed more details about the
DOJ's handling of her computer while it was in the inspector
Attkisson wrote on her blog last August:
IG investigators found and described to me significant suspicious
anomalies in that system much like the CBS laptop, unearthing
similar efforts by someone to erase data and evidence. However, when
the IG computer experts finished their review, the findings went to
higher ups and the resulting report was inexplicably withheld from
me in its entirety.
was shut out.
months later, under pressure from Congress, the IG eventually
released a very different-sounding summary of its forensics report
to the press. It recast or excluded much of what the investigators
had told me they’d found. I attempted to obtain the full report
and original notes, some of which I reviewed while the
investigation was underway, describing the suspicious activity
found on my personal computer. However, the IG has stonewalled my
Freedom of Information (FOI) requests for these documents for
several years. If the Department of Justice won’t comply with FOI
law, then what recourse does a citizen have?
This new information about her hard drive will become part
of her lawsuit against the Departement of Justice, she said.