'Anonymous' hackers planning 'real-world attacks'

Feb 17, 2011
The screensaver of whistleblower website Wikileaks. A computer security firm working to expose members of hacker group "Anonymous" pulled out of a premier industry conference here due to threats of real-world attacks on its employees.

A computer security firm working to expose members of hacker group "Anonymous" pulled out of a premier industry conference here due to threats of real-world attacks on its employees.

HBGary personnel have been peppered with threatening messages since Anonymous hackers looted data from its computer systems earlier this month, according to a message on the California firm's website Wednesday.

"In addition to the data theft, HBGary individuals have received numerous threats of violence, including threats at our tradeshow booth," the company said.

"In an effort to protect our employees, customers and the RSA Conference community, HBGary has decided to remove our booth and cancel all talks."

specialists and national security officials are in San Francisco this week to share insights on topics ranging from guarding "smart" power grids to blocking attacks on smartphones and computer tablets.

Anonymous, the hacker group behind online attacks on companies that withdrew services to , busted through HBGary Federal computer defenses early this month because the firm was working with federal agents to expose their identities.

Anonymous took credit for breaking into the website of HBGary Federal, stealing tens of thousands of email messages and temporarily routing traffic to a page with a vitriolic message.

The HBGary hack was more sophisticated than the distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks last year on the Amazon, Visa and MasterCard websites in apparent retaliation for their decisions to stop working with WikiLeaks.

WikiLeaks has triggered political ire in Washington for its publication of a trove of classified US diplomatic cables, as well as military reports from Iraq and Afghanistan.

In a typical , a large number of computers are commanded to simultaneously visit a website, overwhelming its servers, slowing service or knocking it offline completely.

Last month, British police arrested five people and the US Federal Bureau of Investigation launched raids across the United States as part of a probe into cyberattacks by Anonymous.

Explore further: Escaping email: Inspired vision or hallucination?

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Wikileaks defenders hack computer security firm

Feb 07, 2011

A hacker group behind online attacks on companies that withdrew services to WikiLeaks busted through the defenses of a computer security firm working with federal agents to expose their identities.

British arrests over cyber group 'Anonymous'

Jan 27, 2011

British police arrested five people Thursday as part of an investigation into cyber attacks by the online group "Anonymous", which last year assailed websites that were hostile to WikiLeaks.

Hackers train sights on Yemen after Egypt

Feb 03, 2011

The loose-knit group of online global hackers known as "Anonymous" has trained its sights on Yemen following cyber attacks on government websites in Tunisia and Egypt.

WikiLeaks under new cyber attack: Twitter feed

Nov 30, 2010

WikiLeaks said in a Twitter message on Tuesday that it was under a new cyber attack after a similar incident at the weekend just before the website began releasing secret US diplomatic cables.

Recommended for you

Teens love vacation selfies; adults, not so much

4 hours ago

(AP)—Jacquie Whitt's trip to the Galapagos with a group of teenagers was memorable not just for the scenery and wildlife, but also for the way the kids preserved their memories. It was, said Whitt, a "selfie ...

US spy agency patents car seat for kids

7 hours ago

Electronic eavesdropping is the National Security Agency's forte, but it seems it also has a special interest in children's car seats, Foreign Policy magazine reported Wednesday.

Country Web domains can't be seized: regulator

10 hours ago

The Internet's regulatory authority said Wednesday that country-specific Web domains cannot be seized in court proceedings, as it sought to quash an effort to recover assets in terrorism-related lawsuits.

User comments : 2

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

frajo
5 / 5 (1) Feb 17, 2011
The actual reason for HBGary's retreat is their absolutely embarrassing and unprofessional behavior while trying to uncover "Anonymous".

Read the whole funny story on ArsTechnica:
arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2011/02/
anonymous-speaks-the-inside-story-of-the
-hbgary-hack.ars
draa
5 / 5 (1) Feb 17, 2011
I've been following this and haven't heard of any "real world" attacks. HBGary pulled out because they got pwned. By the way, can you call yourselves Security experts after this. I think not.