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February 7th, 2011

“HBGary Federal” Security Firm Compromised By Anonymous, Confidential Data, 60000 Emails Exposed

Members of the Anonymous collective have broken into the network of a security firm and exposed its internal communications, after it claimed to know the identity of the group’s founders.

Last week, Aaron Barr, the head of an information security firm called HBGary Federal, told the Financial Times that the company’s researchers infiltrated Anonymous and managed to learn who the group’s leaders are. Over the weekend, Anonymous supporters hacked into HBGary Federal’s network in order to learn what information the company has gathered about the group.

In the process they managed to extract over 60,000 business emails, they hacked Barr’s Twitter account and posted personal information about him and they defaced the company’s website. The hackers said they found evidence that Barr was planning to sell the details about the so called Anonymous “leaders” to the FBI at a meeting today.

However, they claim the data is absolute non-sense, except for the publicly available nicknames lifted from the group’s IRC network. To prove that it has no value, the hackers published the 23-page document online, as well as the company’s email database which contains sensitive information about customers.

Supporters describe Anonymous more as a movement than an organized group, and have repeatedly denied that there are any leaders. Some users might take up more important roles as different operations unfold, but they are not always the same people and can be easily changed if they loose public support.

For example, Anonymous members changed the entire Operation Payback “leadership” last year after they secretly negotiated with the UK and US Pirate Parties to stop the DDoS attacks.

Anonymous is sometimes described as a bunch of kids with little technical knowledge who only manage to do some damage because of their large numbers. The truth, however, is that the movement probably has the support of several blackhat or greyhat hackers who only act when there is a true need for a show of force.

“Let us teach you a lesson you’ll never forget: you don’t mess with Anonymous. You especially don’t mess with Anonymous simply because you want to jump on a trend for public attention […],” the hackers wrote in a message left for HBGary.

Credit: News

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