News (Stay Informed)
Anonymous hacks security consultant planning on selling fake information to FBI.
On Sunday evening, just when the Super Bowl was kicking off in Dallas, Texas, five supporters of Anonymous’ elite arm AnonOps brought down the Web site for HBGary Federal, a small, Washington D.C.-based security services firm.
They then hacked into the Twitter account of CEO Aaron Barr, releasing a series of profane, self-denigrating Tweets that also provided links to the hacked Web site of one of his researchers.
Barr was recently quoted in the Financial Times as saying that he had identified two key members of Anonymous, including a co-founder in the U.S. along with senior members in Britain, Germany, Netherlands, Italy and Australia. He claimed to have picked up clues to their identities by monitoring emails, Facebook and IRC chat using fake online names.
Though the FT report says that Barr did not plan to give his findings to the police, one person from within AnonOps who took part in Sunday night’s attack tells me that he had, in fact, been planning to sell his research to the FBI and hold a meeting with the authorities on Monday morning.
The five Anonymous supporters who participated in the hack also obtained more than 50,000 of Barr’s personal emails, financial details for HBGary and said they were planning to delete the company’s backups and support servers. The whole operation took just over 24 hours.
The hackers found that at Monday morning’s meeting with the FBI, Barr had been planning to offer a document showing names and addresses of dozens of Anonymous members, for a yet-to-be-negotiated fee.
Yet having obtained the alleged file, the Anonymous members didn’t destroy it–they made it public. The majority of the details in the 23-page document, they said, were incorrect and the names “random.” Nearly everyone actively involved in previous attacks has read the file and confirmed they were not it. The attackers thus released a link to the document through Barr’s own hacked Twitter account. Barr did not respond to voicemails seeking comment at the time of writing.
Not long after this, Anonymous was Tweeting Barr’s cell number, a link to his 50,000 personal emails, social security number and home address.
“It is harsh, but we’re harsh people,” said one of the attackers. “We felt Anon needed a break from seriousness for a while, we understood that Anon was getting paranoid about recent FBI raids and companies such as HBGary lurking our chats, so we’ve given all of Anonymous a message: we will fight back.”
Photos and comments courtesy of Mad Hatter:
Yep. Typical Anonymous work.
HB Gary’s panic replacement page. It doesn’t look good if a security company’s security fails, does it?
It really gives you a lot of confidence in a security company, when it’s employees are so careless of security that they loose control of their Twitter accounts.
Oh dear, another HB Gary employee who’s personal LinkedIN account has been taken over by Anonymous.
Oh yes, and a security company having their emails uploaded to The Pirate Bay, is a major fail.
Greg Hoglund who co-founded HBGary told Brian Krebs:
“Before this, what these guys were doing was technically illegal, but it was in direct support of a government whistle blower. But now, we have a situation where they’re committing a federal crime, stealing private data and posting it on a torrent. They didn’t just pick on any company, but we try to protect the US government from hackers. They couldn’t have chosen a worse company to pick on.”
Greg Hoglund doesn’t get it. Anonymous has already proven that HBGary isn’t a competent security company. As Mike Masnick of Techdirt says, Reputation is Everything. HBGary has blown their reputation. Founded in October 2010. Expected to be dead by December 2011.
Oh, and Greg lied about the breach, read the Krebs interview, Hoglund Gave Away Access to RootKit.Com:
Why would this guy go public with this information knowing that it was false? Isn’t he breaking some sort of law selling altered private information?
I’m also concerned for those who were listed on this man’s “official list” of users. Lives could have been ruined over a man looking for a PR news cycle.
It’s sad what some humans reduce themselves to for a quick buck. Just glad the tax payers missed the bill for this one.