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February 7, 2011

Anonymous hits security firm HBGary Federal

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by Darren Allan

The latest victim of cyber-activists Anonymous is a security outfit called HBGary Federal.

Currently, the FBI is investigating Operation Payback, the attacks by Anonymous on finance companies such as PayPal and Visa (prompted by their treatment of WikiLeaks). And HBGary Federal had been working to help the FBI collar Anonymous members, according to a report by Chester Wisniewski of Sophos.

In fact, at the weekend the CEO of HBGary Federal, Aaron Barr, told the Financial Times he had names to name. So Anonymous struck against the security firm, this time not with a simple denial of service attack, but with a spot of real hacking.

Anonymous breached HBGary Federal’s network and sites, defacing the web page and retrieving the document which supposedly contained personal details of their members. In a press release, the group called the information “woefully inaccurate”, and added that “it provided no incriminating evidence” anyway.

Anonymous also made off with 50,000 or so company emails, which they distributed online, and further embarrassed the security CEO by hacking his personal Twitter account.

Concluding its press release on the matter, Anonymous states that it doesn’t have leaders, and adds: “We are not a group, we are not an organization. We are just an idea.”

“We understand that our participants have been concerned about recent FBI raids and companies such as HBGary Federal lurking and logging our chats, so we’ve given all of Anonymous a message: we will fight back.”


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