In a bold move the hacker activist group called Anonymous has rooted, defaced, and ultimately removed Combined Systems servers from the internet. This pounding came on the same date as a well-known uprising in Bahrain. Founded in 1981, Combined Systems, Inc. (CSI), is a U.S.-based firm that supports military forces and law enforcement agencies around the world. The company describes itself as a “tactical weapons company” and is based in Jamestown, Pennsylvania. I found these reviews when I searched Google for Combined Systems.
The hack was first reported at 05:35:19 UTC today by the user “antisec” on the Zhone-h.org website. It was subsequently confirmed on the official Anonymous twitter feed. and again on Pastebin. The group admitted to gaining admin access to the Combined Systems servers, then defacing the website, and in they removed all files from the server’s hard drives. Once complete Anonymous then posted customer data, admin usernames, email addresses, encrypted passwords, and recent emails from company representatives, programmers and server admins.
CNN recently did a story on Combined Systems charging them with selling controversial tear gas cannisters used on protesters in Tunisia and Egypt.
CSI’s website describes the projectile as “a launched burning extended-range single projectile round that dispenses smoke or chemical agents via rapid burning. Used effectively during riots at safe stand-off distances to disperse groups or deny areas.”
Its warning label reads: “Danger: Do not fire directly at person(s). Severe injury or death may result.”
That warning is apparently not always followed. Lucas Mebrouk Dolega died in Tunisia on January 17, three days after being hit by a tear gas grenade at close range. The 32-year-old was a photographer for the European PressPhoto Agency.
According to a story last November on the DemocracyNow.org website, the Egyptan Military had started the process of ordering as many as 21 tons of the controversial tear gas in preparation for the protests. In December The Washington Post reported that Egyptians living in the USA stormed the Pennsylvania offices of Combined Systems in protest.
Combined Systems’ other clients include the U.S. Army, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, and the U.S. Department of State, as well as Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and Israeli Military Industries — both of which are weapons companies based in Israel.