Anonymous Hacks US Department Of Justice Server, Posts Data Online

May 22, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC – The hacker activist group Anonymous hacked into a Justice Department server and posted troves of data online on Monday.

The group claimed it was releasing 1.7GB of data belonging to the “United States Bureau of Justice” and said the data included internal emails.

A Justice Department spokeswoman confirmed that someone had gained unauthorized access to a department server.

But she said the only server affected was the one that contains the data for the public website of the Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics, which compiles national crime statistics.

The spokeswoman said the Bureau of Justice Statistics website had remained operational and the main website, justice.gov, was not affected.

“The department is continuing protection and defensive measures to safeguard information and will refer any activity that is determined to be criminal in nature to law enforcement for investigation,” she said.

It is not immediately clear whether the data dump included any sensitive information. But the fact that Anonymous had gained access to a Justice Department server makes the attack much more serious than the group’s more common tactic of overloading a government website with requests from thousands of computers.

Anonymous has used that method, known as a denial-of-service attack, in the past to crash the websites of the Justice Department, the FBI, the CIA and major record labels and movie studios. But that method does not give the hackers access to classified information.

In a statement, the hacker group said it released the data “to spread information, to allow the people to be heard and to know the corruption in their government.”

“We are releasing it to end the corruption that exists, and truly make those who are being oppressed free,” the group claimed.

The Justice Department arrested five alleged leaders of Anonymous earlier this year after one of the hackers became a government informant in exchange for a lighter sentence.

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Anonymous Targets Chicago Illinois Police Department And Its Websites – Takes Out cityofchicago.org

May 20, 2012

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS — Authorities are investigating whether the City Of Chicago’s website is under a cyber attack, CBS 2 has learned.

The main portal to cityofchicago.org was not accessible for part of Sunday morning, but appeared to be functioning again by about 12:40 p.m.

“We are aware of the potential issue of the City of Chicago website and are working with the appropriate federal authorities to address the situation,” Office Of Emergency Management and Communications spokesman Pete Scales said earlier Sunday.

A posting on the website cyberwarnews.info, explains the hacking group called Anonymous started an “an operation toward the Chicago police department and its websites.”

The Chicago Police Department website, cityofchicago.org/police, was also down temporarily, but was also functioning again Sunday afternoon.

“We are actively engaged in actions against the Chicago Police Deptartment [sic], and encourage anyone to take up the cause,” the group said. “We are in your harbor Chicago, and you will not forget us.”

The group explains the attack is in response to the NATO Summit being held in Chicago. The summit officially opens this afternoon and runs through Monday.

Thousands of protesters have been filling the streets of Chicago all week to protest NATO’s mission. The biggest rally yet is planned for Sunday afternoon from Grant Park to near McCormick Place, where leaders are gathered for the summit.

Hackers may also be attacking other NATO-related websites, but details were not available, sources to CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine.

On Twitter, allies of the Occupy protest movement applauded the development:

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Paybacks Coming: Interpol Doing Everything Possible To Piss Off Anonymous Hacker Group

February 29, 2012

LYON, FRANCE – Interpol has arrested 25 suspected members of the Anonymous hackers group in a swoop covering more than a dozen cities in Europe and Latin America, the global police body said Tuesday.

“Operation Unmask was launched in mid-February following a series of coordinated cyber-attacks originating from Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Spain,” Interpol said.

The statement cited attacks on the websites of the Colombian Ministry of Defense and the presidency, as well as on Chile’s Endesa electricity company and its National Library, among others.

The operation was carried out by police from Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Spain, the statement said, with 250 items of computer equipment and cell phones seized in raids on 40 premises in 15 cities.

Police also seized credit cards and cash from the suspects, aged 17 to 40.

“This operation shows that crime in the virtual world does have real consequences for those involved, and that the Internet cannot be seen as a safe haven for criminal activity,” said Bernd Rossbach, acting director of police services at Interpol, which is in the French city of Lyon.

However, it was not clear what evidence there was to prove those arrested were part of Anonymous, an extremely loose-knit international movement of online activists, or “hacktivists.”

Spanish police said earlier they had arrested four suspected hackers accused of sabotaging websites and publishing confidential data on the internet.

They were accused of hacking the websites of political parties and companies and adding fangs to the faces of leaders in photographs online, and publishing data identifying top officials’ security guards, Spanish police said.

The operation, carried out after trawling through computer logs in order to trace IP addresses, also netted 10 suspects in Argentina, six in Chile and five in Colombia, Spanish police said.

Anonymous has in recent weeks targeted the websites of a series of police organizations, with subgroup Antisec vandalizing the website of a major US prison contractor last Friday.

Anonymous took credit Thursday for an online raid on the Los Angeles Police Canine Association and previously attacked websites of the CIA and FBI.

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Snitches Exposed Across The United States As Hackers Target Law Enforcement Websites Worldwide

February 4, 2012

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS – Saboteurs stole passwords and sensitive information on tipsters while hacking into the websites of several law enforcement agencies worldwide in attacks attributed to the collective known as Anonymous.

Breaches were reported this week in Boston, Syracuse, N.Y., Salt Lake City and Greece.

Hackers gained access to the Salt Lake City Police Department website that gathers citizen complaints about drug and other crimes, including phone numbers, addresses and other personal data of informants, police said.

The website remained down Friday as police worked to make it more secure.

Boston Police Department’s website was hacked Friday morning by the group, which claimed retaliation for police action during the Occupy Boston eviction.

The hackers posted a music video by 80s rapper KRS-One on the website with a message that threatened “more mayhem.”

Friday’s incident was the second time BPD had been hacked. Hackers referenced the initial cyber attack in their statement on bpdnews.com.

“They clearly ignored our warnings, because not only did they raid the camp again and kicked protesters off of public parks, but they also sent undercover TSA agents to assualt (sic) and attempt to steal from some organizers,” a message read.

Boston police evicted Occupy protesters from Dewey Square back in December after the movement sued for a permanent injunction against the city and lost in court.

Forty-six people were arrested during that eviction.

Boston police issued a statement acknowledging the site had been hacked, saying they were working on fixing the problem.

“It is unfortunate that someone would go to this extent to compromise BPDNews.com, a helpful and informative public safety resource utilized daily by community members seeking up-to-date news and information about important safety matters,” a police spokesperson said.

Computer security experts are not surprised.

“There’s no such thing as an un-hackable website,” says Tim Lasonde, the president of Boston-based NSK, inc., an information technology company. “Vulnerabilities that get exploited have been around forever and there always will be those vulnerabilities.”

Boston Police have an active online presence. They say they have more Twitter followers than any police department in the world. They have the oldest police blog in the country, founded in 2005, and it gets up to 90,000 hits a month. Those factors may have made this department a more attractive target.

Anonymous is a collection of Internet enthusiasts, pranksters and activists whose targets have included financial institutions such as Visa and MasterCard, the Church of Scientology and law enforcement agencies.

Following a spate of arrests across the world, the group and its various offshoots have focused their attention on law enforcement agencies in general and the FBI in particular.

The group also claimed responsibility for recently hacking the website of a Virginia law firm that represented a U.S. Marine involved in the deaths of civilians in Iraq in 2005.

Anonymous also published a recording on the internet Friday of a phone call between the FBI and Scotland Yard, gloating in a Twitter message that, “the FBI might be curious how we’re able to continuously read their internal comms for some time now.”

In Greece, the Justice Ministry took down its site Friday after a video by activists claiming to be Greek and Cypriot members of Anonymous was displayed for at least two hours.

Salt Lake City authorities continued their investigation and said criminal charges were being considered.

Police said the group Anonymous had taken credit for the attack through local media but hadn’t contacted the department directly.

The hackers claim to have targeted the site in opposition to an anti-graffiti paraphernalia bill that eventually failed in the state Senate. The bill would have made it illegal to possess any instrument, tool or device with the intent of vandalizing an area with graffiti.

Salt Lake City police Detective Josh Ashdown downplayed any danger to citizens.

He said the department’s website is used by residents to report crimes or suspicious activity, and that some submit the tips anonymously while others include personal information.

Ashdown said investigators believe the group is bluffing about the extent of the information it got from the website, and he noted authorities didn’t think any of the details would be widely distributed.

He said police don’t have any reason to believe that citizens who reported crimes on the website are going to be targeted specifically.

“Our main concern is for the public not to lose confidence in the department,” Ashdown said.

In New York, Syracuse police said the department website had also been hacked in an attack attributed to Anonymous.

Sgt. Tom Connellan said names and passwords of people authorized to alter the site were stolen earlier this week and posted on Twitter.

No private information about officers or citizens was accessed, he said, though the site remained down Friday while the FBI and state police continued to investigate. In an online post attributed to Anonymous, the group claims to have targeted the Syracuse site for failing to aggressively pursue child abuse allegations against a former assistant basketball coach.

Another incident struck the website of the Alexandria, Va., law firm of Puckett & Faraj, which represented a U.S. Marine convicted of negligent dereliction of duty in a 2005 attack in Iraq that resulted in the deaths of 24 unarmed civilians.

Attorney Neal Puckett did not immediately return a telephone message and email seeking comment Friday.

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Anonymous Posts Thousands Of Police Officers Personal Information On Web After Occupy Movement Camp Evictions

December 20, 2011

US – Computer hackers are avenging the Occupy movement by exposing the personal information of police officers who evicted protesters and threatening family-values advocates who led a boycott of an American Muslim television show.

In three Internet postings last week, hackers from the loose online coalition called Anonymous published the email and physical addresses, phone numbers and, in some cases, salary details of thousands of law enforcement officers all over the country.

The hackers said they were retaliating for police violence during evictions of Occupy protest camps in cities around the country, but law enforcement advocates slammed the disclosures as dangerous.

“I hope the individuals behind these cyberattacks understand the consequences of what they are doing,” said John Adler, president of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association. “There are very dangerous criminals out there who might seek retribution” against any of these police officers.

Another hacker calling himself ihazcAnNONz struck the website of the Florida Family Association. The group opposes gay marriage and has promoted a successful but highly controversial boycott of advertisers on the reality TV show “All-American Muslim.”
Occupy D.C. protesters stand off with police as they block 14th and K streets NW in Washington on Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2011. (T.J. Kirkpatrick/The Washington Times)Occupy D.C. protesters stand off with police as they block 14th and K streets NW in Washington on Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2011. (T.J. Kirkpatrick/The Washington Times)

The group says the show is “propaganda clearly designed to counter legitimate and present-day concerns about many Muslims who are advancing Islamic fundamentalism and Shariah law.”

Supporters of the show say it depicts ordinary Muslim-American families living their normal lives, and they accuse its critics bigotry.

The hacker, ihazcAnNONz, warned the Florida family group, “Your hatred, bigotry and fear mongering towards Gays, Lesbians and most recently Muslim Americans has not gone unnoticed!”

In an Internet posting, he told the family association he was reading its email, and he provided email addresses and partial credit-card information of two dozen or so of the group’s supporters. He referred to the Occupy Wall Street movement’s slogan about the “1 percent” and the “99 percent.”

“I am going to assume most of the people who receive your newsletter, email you and make donations are potentially part of the 99 percent … who have been mislead by all of your [expletive] and god talk,” he wrote, adding that he therefore would not post confidential information on them.

The family association did not respond to an emailed request for comment.

Last week, a hacker calling himself Exphin1ty posted the email and physical addresses, phone numbers and encrypted passwords of more than 2,400 police officers and corporate security executives.

“We have seen our fellow brothers and sisters being teargassed for exercising their fundamental liberal rights,” he wrote.

He urged fellow hackers with access to greater computing power to crack the encryption on passwords and see if the victims had used the same password for any other accounts.

Websites that require users to register typically store data such as names, email addresses and passwords on their servers.

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