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Thread: House Intelligence, Foreign Affairs Committee Members Compromised By Rogue IT Staff

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    Lightbulb House Intelligence, Foreign Affairs Committee Members Compromised By Rogue IT Staff

    Hmm....


    House Intelligence, Foreign Affairs Committee Members Compromised By Rogue IT Staff

    February 4, 2017


    Three brothers who managed office information technology for members of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and other lawmakers were abruptly relieved of their duties on suspicion that they accessed congressional computers without permission.

    Brothers Abid, Imran, and Jamal Awan were barred from computer networks at the House of Representatives Thursday, The Daily Caller News Foundation Investigative Group has learned.

    Three members of the intelligence panel and five members of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs were among the dozens of members who employed the suspects on a shared basis. The two committees deal with many of the nation’s most sensitive issues and documents, including those related to the war on terrorism.

    Also among those whose computer systems may have been compromised is Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the Florida Democrat who was previously the target of a disastrous email hack when she served as chairman of the Democratic National Committee during the 2016 campaign.

    The brothers are suspected of serious violations, including accessing members’ computer networks without their knowledge and stealing equipment from Congress.

    Jamal handled IT for Rep. Joaquin Castro, a Texas Democrat who serves on both the intelligence and foreign affairs panels.

    “As of 2/2, his employment with our office has been terminated,” Castro spokeswoman Erin Hatch told TheDCNF Friday.

    Jamal also worked for Louisiana Democrat Rep. Cedric Richmond, who is on the Committee on Homeland Security.

    Imran worked for Reps. Andre Carson, an Indiana Democrat, and Jackie Speier, a California Democrat. Both are members of the intelligence committee, and their spokesmen did not respond to TheDCNF’s requests for comment. Imran also worked for the House office of Wasserman Schultz.

    Then-Rep. Tammy Duckworth, an Illinois Democrat, employed Abid for IT work in 2016. She was a member of House committees dealing with the armed services, oversight, and Benghazi. Duckworth was elected to the Senate in November, 2016. Abid has a prior criminal record and a bankruptcy.

    Abid also worked for Rep. Lois Frankel, a Florida Democrat who is member of the foreign affairs committee.

    The three men are “shared employees,” meaning they are hired by multiple offices, which split their salaries and use them as needed for IT services. It is up to each member to fire them.

    A criminal investigation into five unnamed people began late last year related to serious and potentially illegal violations of House IT policies, Politico reported Thursday. Chiefs of staff for the members were briefed Thursday by the Sergeant-at-Arms.

    Capitol Police spokeswoman Eva Malecki said the investigation was still ongoing, and arrests have not been made but staff were “asked to update their security settings.”

    Buzzfeed reported that the Sergeant-at-Arms told staff that the subjects were four men who were brothers and one woman. It did not name them. It quoted one of the affected members as saying “they said it was some sort of procurement scam, but now I’m concerned that they may have stolen data from us, emails, who knows.”

    Jamal did not return a request for comment from TheDCNF at a personal email address, while emails to House addresses in the three men’s names bounced back Friday.

    Another man, Omar Awan, is a senior IT specialist for the House’s Chief Administrative Officer. An email to his House address did not bounce back Friday, but did not receive a response.

    Abid, Imran and Jamal have all shared a house in Lorton, Virginia, that is owned by Hina R. Alvi. Alvi is a female House IT employee who works for many of the same members as the three brothers, as well as the House Democratic Caucus.

    Signs of trouble have long been visible in public records. The Congressional Credit Union repossessed Abid’s car in 2009, and he declared bankruptcy in 2012, facing multiple lawsuits.

    Alvi, who did not respond to TheDCNF’s request for comment, has taken multiple second mortgages.

    Security-sensitive jobs typically require background checks for credit and legal problems that can create pressures to cash in on access to secret information and documents.

    Jamal, who public records suggest is only 22 years old and first began working in the House when he was 20, was paid nearly $160,000 a year, or three times the average House IT staff salary, according to InsideGov, which tracks congressional salaries. Abid was paid $161,000 and Imran $165,000.

    Jack Langer, spokesman for the intelligence committee, said the committee office has its own IT staff and security measures and classified information from the panel is not allowed to be sent to members’ personal offices.

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    Default Re: House Intelligence, Foreign Affairs Committee Members Compromised By Rogue IT Sta

    EXCLUSIVE: House Dem IT Guys In Security Probe Secretly Took $100K In Iraqi Money

    Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL 23rd District) and chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) speaks to a reporter before the democratic debate on December 19, 2015 in Manchester, New Hampshire. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)


    LUKE ROSIAK

    Investigative Reporter

    10:13 PM 02/20/2017

    [
    Rogue congressional staffers took $100,000 from an Iraqi politician while they had administrator-level access to the House of Representatives’ computer network, according to court documents examined by The Daily Caller News Foundation’s Investigative Group.

    The money was a loan from Dr. Ali al-Attar, an Iraqi political figure, and was funneled through a company with “impossible”-to-decipher financial transactions that the congressional information technology (IT) staffers controlled.


    Imran Awan, ringleader of the group that includes his brothers Abid and Jamal, has provided IT services since 2005 for Florida Democrat Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the former Democratic National Committee (DNC) chairwoman. The brothers are from Pakistan.


    The trio also worked for dozens of other House Democrats, including members of the intelligence, foreign affairs and homeland security committees. Those positions likely gave them access to congressional emails and other sensitive documents.


    The brothers, whose access to House IT networks has been terminated, are under criminal investigation by the U.S. Capitol Police.

    Wasserman Schultz resigned from her DNC post following a disastrous email hack during the 2016 campaign. Her House spokesman did not respond to TheDCNF’s question Monday about Imran’s employment status. As of Feb. 6, she had declined to fire Imran.


    Investigators found that congressional information was being copied to an off-site server and they suspect the brothers of improperly accessing information and stealing congressional property. Chiefs of staff for the employing Democrats were notified Feb. 2.


    Soon after Imran began working for members of Congress, Imran’s and Abid’s wives — Hina Alvi and Natalia Sova — also began receiving congressional paychecks, TheDCNF found. Imran’s employers included two members of the intelligence committee, Indiana Democrat Rep. Andre Carson and California Democrat Rep. Jackie Speier.


    By 2009, the family was simultaneously managing a full-time car dealership in Virginia, with Abid running day-to-day operations after contributing $250,000 in startup cash. It was called Cars International A, LLC, referred to as “CIA” in court documents.


    Imran boasted unusual clout among House Democrats, and was even pictured conversing with former President Bill Clinton. After Rao Abbas, who was owed money by the dealership, threatened to sue amid allegations of deception and theft, Abbas appeared on the congressional payroll and received $250,000 in taxpayer payments.


    Abid had “100% control” of the dealership, a one-time business partner said in court documents, in addition to his $165,000-a-year job working full-time for multiple representatives, including Ohio Democrat Tim Ryan and California Democrat Jim Costa.


    “He had the dealer license and sole responsibility of running it.

    Abid would put cars on the lot, take them in consignment, sell them, do all the title work and get money from the retail sale,” according to court documents. Multiple emails show the Awan brothers conducting business such as attending car auctions on weekdays.


    “Imram later acted as owner since CIA was considered family business by the Awans,” Abid’s one-time business partner, Nasir Khattak, said in court documents. The car dealership’s finances consisted of byzantine transfers in which staff and cars were often swapped between it and a dealership next door, Khattak said.


    Despite numerous family members making $160,000 congressional salaries, debts went unpaid by the brothers, including to the Congressional Federal Credit Union.


    “It was very bad record-keeping in Cars International … it is close to impossible to make any sense out of all the transactions that happened,” Khattak said in court documents.


    The $100,000 loan came as the dealership continued to rack up debt, court records show.


    “Ali Al-Attar was out of the country as he was involved in politics and the formation of the Iraqi government,” Khattak said in court documents.


    In addition to his other jobs, Imran is a real estate agent, and Khattak is also a realtor who obtained the cash from Al-Attar and passed it through bank accounts used for real estate deals in Fairfax County, Va.


    “Having lost my and Abid’s collective investment of $500k due to Awan’s mismanagement, [CIA] was further in debt $400k to other creditors,” Khattak said in a lawsuit.


    Khattak said Imran masterminded the family’s finances and by late 2010, Imran “was running the business in full control” and “instructed Abid not to even speak to anyone.”


    The Iraqi cash disappeared amid a dispute between Khattak and the Awans. Khattak said defaulting on the loan meant Al-Attar now owned the business, but the Awans refused to relinquish control.


    In 2012, Abid declared personal bankruptcy listing more than $1 million in liabilities. While debts to others went unpaid, he kept ownership of two houses, and Imran kept his own substantial property, despite his admitted role in the failed business.


    Bankruptcy documents listed Abbas as a creditor and said he might sue Abid, but Abbas later took the brothers’ side in a lawsuit against Khattak, who said that the Awans had somehow manipulated him to do so. Not long after, Abbas appeared for the first time on the congressional payroll, and collected $250,000 from taxpayers through the end of last year.


    Four out of the six Democrats he worked for also employed Imran. His employers included a member of the intelligence committee, Patrick Murphy of Florida; a member of the foreign affairs committee, Theodore Deutch of Florida; and Brad Ashford of Nebraska, who is on the armed services committee.


    Abbas’ congressional email was cut off in early February, around the time the Capitol Police revealed that they had uncovered a scheme involving a network of IT aides. The Awans’ access has also been cut off. Reached at a personal email address, Abbas did not respond to repeated questions from TheDCNF.


    Abid claimed the Iraqi doctor may never have existed. “If as suspected, all of this is a charade, particularly if it is learned the mysterious Dr. Al-Attar doesn’t exist or didn’t sign the documents, then the whole matter rises to a higher level,” he said in court documents.


    The youngest Awan brother, Jamal, was also placed on the House payroll at 20 years of age and makes $160,000, far higher than others in similar jobs.


    TheDCNF was the first to identify the brothers and Alvi, and now, Sova and Abbas.


    Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2017/02/20/ex...#ixzz4ZKVNxbLx
    Change is coming in ways you cannot imagine



    PREPARE TO ENDURE



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    Default Re: House Intelligence, Foreign Affairs Committee Members Compromised By Rogue IT Sta

    Hmm... Wonder how much of that info ended up in ISIS's hands?

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    Default Re: House Intelligence, Foreign Affairs Committee Members Compromised By Rogue IT Sta


    Plot Thickens In Probe Of House IT Contractors

    March 14, 2017

    A criminal investigation into IT contractors employed by dozens of House Democrats is sparking broader concerns about continuing access to sensitive government emails, amid new allegations of illicit activity beyond Capitol Hill.

    The investigation was announced last month by the U.S. Capitol Police and purportedly focuses on the contractors' access to House computers and whether they took hardware and made questionable IT-related purchases.

    A police spokesman, while declining to go into detail, told Fox News this week that the case remains opens and focuses on “the actions of House IT support staff.”

    But a high-level House staffer acknowledged Monday to Fox News that the probe has raised concerns about emails being hacked.

    Official documents and multiple sources say at least five contractors -- including brothers Imran, Jamal and Abid Awan -- are the focus of the probe but that as many as six people could be involved.

    The others purportedly involved are Imran’s wife, Hina Alvi, and Rao Abbas, who is not part of the family.

    They allegedly removed hundreds of thousands of dollars of equipment from offices, including computers and servers, and ran a procurement scheme in which they bought equipment, then overcharged the House administrative office that assigns such contractors to members.

    Sources also say the contractors, including one who worked for Florida Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, had “unauthorized access” to the House computer system.

    The connection to the former Democratic National Committee boss has sparked questions about whether the contractors could have ties to the DNC hack last summer, which was seen to hurt Hillary Clinton’s ultimately failed White House bid -- or whether Russia or other outside operatives accessed emails that the contractors allegedly put on a cloud server.

    There have been no reports or evidence so far showing the contractors were involved in a hacking incident.

    House Democrats have stood by the contractors, privately and publicly suggesting their Muslim and Pakistani heritage prompted the probe and is contributing to fear-mongering.

    Wasserman Schultz as of Friday was still employing Imran Awan, 36, as an adviser, despite his access to the chamber’s computer system having been revoked.

    Rep. Gregory Meeks, D-N.Y., kept Alvi, 33, employed until about two weeks ago.

    “I have seen no evidence that they were doing anything that was nefarious,” he told Politico. “I wanted to be sure individuals are not being singled out because of their nationalities or their religion.”

    But other troubling allegations have surfaced.

    Police in January were called to the northern Virginia home of a woman identified in the incident report as the stepmother of the Awan brothers, as first reported by The Daily Caller News Foundation.

    The woman alleged the brothers were keeping her away from her dying husband.

    Abid Awan told police her bedside visits were causing their father additional stress and that he had full power of attorney over him, then produced “an unsigned, undated document as proof.”

    A family member told a foundation reporter that the stepsons had kept the women in a “sort of illegal captivity” from October 2016 apparently until their father’s death in early February in a plot to get his life-insurance money. And they threatened her in an effort to get money that their father had stashed in Pakistan, the family member said.

    The Daily Caller story said the stepmother has filed a separate police complaint alleging insurance fraud.

    According to LegiStorm.com, which tracks congressional pay, the contractors’ Capitol Hill work started in 2004 with at least two making six-figure salaries, including Abid Awan last year earning $166,944.

    But Awan also had money troubles, contributing to concerns about the contractors' access to sensitive emails and how that could be used. Awan declared bankruptcy in 2012 with more than $1.1 million in debt.

    Court documents show the debt included roughly $51,150 to the Congressional Credit Union, for two cars and a credit line. And Virginia court records show he has had 19 violations since 2009, mostly traffic-related offenses.

    Database searches found no major criminal charges for any of the contractors allegedly under investigation.

    The contractors could not be reached for comment.

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