Wikileaks defenders hack computer security firm

Feb 07, 2011
The homepage of Wikileaks.ch with a picture of its founder Julian Assange is seen on a computer screen in 2010. 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.

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.

Hackers operating under the banner "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.

"You've tried to bite the Anonymous hand," a copy of the message online Monday stated. "You angered the hive and now you are being stung."

Efforts to visit HBGary's website on Monday were met with an automated post saying the page was "under construction."

Plundered email accounts included that of HBGary chief executive Aaron Barr, whose separate Twitter account was also reportedly compromised by someone who "tweeted" personal information about him and rude messages.

Stolen email messages were made available online at a popular peer-to-peer file sharing website, Chester Wisniewski of Sophos firm said in an online post regarding the hack.

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.

had triggered political ire in Washington for its publication of thousands of classified US diplomatic cables and military reports from Iraq and Afghanistan.

"Unlike the DDoS attacks for which Anonymous has made headlines in recent months, this incident involved true hacking skills," Wisniewski said.

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.

HBGary had been working to expose the culprits behind the DDoS attacks and was poised to sell identifying information about members of Anonymous to the FBI, according to Wisniewski.

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

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User comments : 5

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ormondotvos
not rated yet Feb 07, 2011
The kettle simmers...
Caliban
not rated yet Feb 08, 2011
"Sauce for the" F****ing "Goose".
I read elsewhere that weenie Barr is alleging that he's received threats against(apparently)his life. He complains that he has two children, under age four, and that this worries him. It seems supremely unlikely that any members of this group would be so foolish as to make any threats of this nature against him, but, in the long run, the question of the allegation's factual basis may be moot, given Barr's close ties to the Intelligence/Law Enforcement Establishment.
MarkyMark
not rated yet Feb 08, 2011
Heh well i am sure the retaliatory attacks against America and its stooges will continue while America uses dirty tricks to try and silence the truth. I hear that the women who were allegidly raped by Julian both say they were not raped and didnt even want to prosecute. It seems the prosocutor is some rabid anti-male femanist who based her descition to prosocute publicly based just on media reports, and collegues have admited she tends to lose here objectivaty where alleged crimes against women by men are involved!
elbeasto
5 / 5 (1) Feb 08, 2011
"The HBGary hack was more sophisticated than the distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks"

Out of curiosity, what is less sophisticated than a DDoS? I was pretty sure that DoS was about as low as it got.
frajo
not rated yet Feb 14, 2011
More details in a suspense story on Ars Technica at
arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2011/02/
how-one-security-firm-tracked-anonymous
and-paid-a-heavy-price.ars

Some people might even learn something from this story.