Doug Vitale sharing and interesting read with our Readers from his Blog About HBGary Federal.
In February 2011, the loosely knit collective of hacktivists known as Anonymous successfully compromised the corporate network of HBGary Federal (HBG Fed), a company that provided information security services to the federal government of the United States. This attack brought down the HBGary Federal website, compromised the Twitter and LinkedIn accounts of HBGary Federal CEO Aaron Barr, and resulted in the public release of thousands of internal documents and emails.
Aaron Barr believed he had penetrated Anonymous. The loose hacker collective had been responsible for everything from anti-Scientology protests to pro-Wikileaks attacks on MasterCard and Visa, and the FBI was now after them. But matching their online identities to real-world names and locations proved daunting. Barr found a way to crack the code.In a private e-mail to a colleague at his security firm HBGary Federal, which sells digital tools to the US government, the CEO bragged about his research project.
“They think I have nothing but a heirarchy based on IRC [Internet Relay Chat] aliases!” he wrote. “As 1337 as these guys are suppsed to be they don’t get it. I have pwned them! : )” But had he?
On February 6, 2011, the HBG Fed website was wiped out and replaced with a message from Anonymous .Barr’s Twitter and LinkedIn accounts were taken over and used to disseminate messages that were derogatory against him, and which also included his cell phone number, his home address, and his Social Security number. Not surprisingly, Barr began receiving threats and prank calls.As if these breaches weren’t enough, a treasure trove of HBG Fed’s internal emails over 60,000 of them was released for public download. In fact, the very document that HBG Fed had been planning to sell to the FBI as some sort of intelligence report was also made available and criticized by Anonymous for being inaccurate. Additionally, Anonymous hackers acquired data backups and deleted HBG Fed’s copies.