Hacker groups connected with Anonymous systematically pick off high-profile targets
The collective hacker group Anonymous has continued its online assault against high profile targets ranging from companies to state and federal governments.
In their most recent attacks, Anonymous bumped the CIA’s website offline for a short time, while also targeting people in the state of Alabama. CIA confirmed they are investigating the security breach, which appears to be sophisticated DDoS attacks. Also targeted, the West Virginia Chiefs of Police Association saw the personal information of at least 150 police officers published on the internet.
In addition to the U.S. government and U.S.-based companies, a number of foreign governments have drawn the wrath of Anonymous. Included on the attack list, Anonymous is targeting Israel, claiming the government is “trampling the liberties of the masses,” using both political bribery and media deception in order to control their citizens. In addition, Croatian political candidates and other Eastern European authorities have been targeted for their support of anti-piracy and pro-government efforts.
Hackers loosely connected with Anonymous attacked a state database used for overdue traffic tickets and other minor fines. More than 45,000 people had their personal information stolen as a result of the data theft. Names, addresses, phone numbers, dates of birth, and Social Security numbers were compromised alongside criminal records and license plate numbers of those in the database — and the network intrusion was in response to “recent racist legislation in an attempt to punish immigrants as criminals.”
Earlier in the month, Anonymous admitted to spying on a secret phone conference between the FBI and the Scotland Yard. The group also attacked UFC President Dana White, a major figure head for the No. 1 mixed martial arts program, for White’s support of SOPA and PIPA.
Unfortunately, some of the sensitive information released by Anonymous was of a Las Vegas, Nevada, woman unrelated to White — and her phone number and personal address was released, with harassing and threatening messages continuing for days.
However, the official Twitter account for Anonymous, @YourAnonNews, relayed a message indicating that some attacks reportedly committed by Anonymous may not have been carried out by the group.
The actions of Anonymous have been supported by some, but others have called them vigilantes hurting Internet users. As the hacker group operates from a growing list of presumed enemies, authorities have largely been unable to hinder those responsible.
Sometimes legal action has been threatened, but actual court enforcement would likely prove to be difficult against such a scattered group. Instead of showing public disgust, the Boston Police Department sidestepped explanation as to why they were attacked by Antisec. Instead, the BPD PR team decided to post a tongue-in-cheek video on the Internet discussing the heartbreak felt because the site was hacked.