By Pierluigi Paganini, Editor-in-Chief
#OpLastResort Anonymous hacked US State Dept
The war of Anonymous against US institutions is continuing, few weeks ago the group of hacktivists hit Federal Reserve computers and now announced the it accessed to State Department’s website and its database, publishing it online on ZeroBin website.
Anonymous also violated the site of investment firm George K. Baum & Company, motivating its actions as part of announced Operation Last Resort campaign in the name of Aaron Swartz and Lulzsec.
The hackers published the names and email addresses of State Department consular and careers staff members included phone numbers if present, they also defaced the website of George K. Baum and Company adding a page containing company client’s data such as user account credentials, passwords, phone numbers, and access to transaction information.
Always as part of “Operation Last Resort” Anonymous recently failed to interfere with the web broadcast of President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address.
Why anonymous has chosen George K. Baum & Company?
Anonymous charges the company to be linked to Stratfor intelligence firm, one of the most illustrious victims of the popular group that breached its systems in December 2011. The Stratfor Global Intelligence was hacked by Anonymous who disclosed company website and also the full client list of over 4000 individuals and corporations. The hacker gained access to a subscriber list stored on stratfor.com, and that list contained unencrypted credit card data.
Stratfor is an organization that gathers open source intelligence which markets publications for forecasting purposes, due of the confidentiality of information leaked the company will spend around $1.75 million to compensate its customers who have taken revenge with a class action. The hacktivists of Anonymous during the attack leaked more over 200 GB of confidential data accessing to the database of the Stratfor. Most interesting part of leaked data is composed by millions of emails that were published on the Web this year by Julian Assange’s WikiLeaks revealing uncomfortable truths, secret relationships between government’s exponents, private companies and a network of informers all around the world.
As anticipated in previous statement the initiative of Anonymous against US State Department has been also motivated by the arrests of members of the Lulzsec group, another popular collective very famous for the data breach to Sony Pictures occurred in 2011.
Following the statements posted by the group:
“Freedom for all Anons!
Our reasons for this attack are very simple. You’ve imprisoned or either censored our people. We will not tolerate things as such. You don’t see us going around censoring everything that is inappropriate or we do not like. Basically, you tried to put an end to us and you got owned, there’s nothing more you can say or do. You took away Topiary, Avunit, Neuron, Pwnsauce, lolspoon, Aaron Swartz shall we go on? Heck you think this makes us weak? We are only growing stronger because of the fact that you are forcing us to revolt. When the lions roar you will hear them. And when it’s feeding time you’ll be our dinner.
Aaron Swartz this is for you, this is for Operation Last Resort.
We are Anonymous.
We are Legion.
We do not forgive.
We do not forget.
Anonymous warned that it still has possession of password to unlock encrypted files which allegedly contain highly sensitive government information and belonging to nine Supreme Court justices. The encrypted documents were distributed on January 25th in occasion of the attack of Anonymous to the US Sentencing Commission website.
During the recent State of the Union address, Obama announced that he had signed the Executive Order on cyber security, an act to protect US from increasing number of cyber threats.
One of the fundamental of the Executive Order is the definition of “cyber threats” that includes cyber crimes such as “website defacement, espionage, theft of intellectual property, denial of service attacks, and destructive malware”, many of these activities characterize the operations of Anonymous, in fact according to the order Anonymous will not be considered as a movement of protest by a group of dangerous cyber criminals that menace Homeland Security.
Anonymous’ is in complete disagreement with the order and its action of protest demand a “reform of computer crime laws” and investigation of “overzealous prosecutors” considering the US laws responsible for Swartz’s suicide.