Anonymous, the hacker group that attacked companies after they pulled their services from WikiLeaks, has struck again. On Sunday, the group broke into the web site of a security firm that has been working with the FBI to discover the names of key people in the group.
On Saturday, Aaron Barr, president and CEO of HBGary Federal, told the Financial Times that he had discovered the identities of two U.S.-based key members, in addition to senior members abroad.
Besides penetrating the company's web site, Anonymous also hijacked Barr's Twitter account and posted racial and sexual insults, and such personal information as what are alleged to be his cell-phone and Social Security numbers. The group also broke into the LinkedIn account of the company's chief operating officer, Ted Versa.
'Teach You a Lesson'
Barr also told the Times that he did not intend to reveal the info to authorities unless compelled, although he did plan to provide the information at a security conference in San Francisco later this month.
In the web-site attack, a posting said "you brought this upon yourself." It added: "Let us teach you a lesson you'll never forget: Don't mess with Anonymous." The group also claimed to have taken control of the company's e-mail, erased files, brought the phone system down, and posted online a variety of internal documents.
Anonymous prides itself on being without leaders, and its attacks are often distributed among widely dispersed participants. The loose-knit organization has become known for its running public feud against the Church of Scientology, attacks on government sites in support of demonstrators in Tunisia and Egypt, and hacks against MasterCard and other companies that withdrew services from WikiLeaks, following that site's unauthorized release of thousands of U.S. diplomatic cables.
Following publication of the leaked cables, WikiLeaks had its accounts shut down by Amazon.com, PayPal, Visa and MasterCard, and founder Julian Assange was arrested in the U.K. on an unrelated charge, which he has said is politically motivated.
Late last month, five people -- aged 15 to 26 -- were arrested in London for the online attacks in support of WikiLeaks. The five, three of them teenagers, are suspected members of Anonymous. The arrests were related to denial-of-service attacks on PayPal, MasterCard, Visa and Moneybookers. Anonymous called the attacks Operation Payback.
In December, police in Holland said they had arrested two teenagers also suspected of being involved in Operation Payback. Observers suspect the raids were made in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Justice. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has said his agency was investigating the attacks on the companies.
A key technique apparently used by Anonymous, in both the corporate and government attacks, is to make available software, via chat rooms and other venues, that can be utilized by many users to jam servers in a distributed denial-of-service attack.
Posted: 2011-02-07 @ 4:25pm PT
"...following that site's unauthorized release" o who would have authorized it? the perpetrators?