Anonymous Hacks State Department, Hacks Bank, Defaces "Federal Agents" Page
February 22, 2013 1:22 PM
comment(s) - last by
Retaliation for the death of Aaron Swartz continues, but is it really doing any good
The quasi-leaderless hacker group Anonymous continues to
batter government websites
-- a campaign design to protest the
death of internet activist Aaron Schwarz
. Mr. Swartz, who helped design the RSS standard, committed suicide last month after being
by federal prosecutors.
I. State Department, Federal Agents page hacked
The latest actions of OpLastResort echo those of many Anonymous campaigns. They clearly catch attention and see some success, but raise serious questions about whether they are truly fulfilling their intended purpose.
In the latest hack Anonymous broke into
U.S. State Department
servers, stealing records of hundreds of staffers. It published online State Department employees' names, email addresses and phone numbers [
Of course, the damage here is questionable -- while putting out this information in a central location certainly invites harassment of the employees, the information is no more than what would be found if you took a business trips to State Department locations and collected some business cards.
Anonymous also defaced a website "
(The humorless chaps, however, didn't put clever messages in the
The page is the landing spot for the National Association of Federal Agents (NAFA), which describes its mission, stating:
Founded in 1977, the National Association of Federal Agents is a non-profit, non-partisan legal service organization. Membership is open to the following groups: First, all current, retired, former, and future U.S. Treasury special agents, including those from IRS-CI, TIGTA, Treasury OIG and others, are eligible. Second, all current ,retired, former , and future special agents employed by an agency which at any time was subordinate to the U.S. treasury Department, are eligible (ATF, Secret Service, Customs, DEA and Coast Guard). In the future, others (FBI, INS, Postal, OIGs, etc.) may be admitted.
The rest of the page appears intact.
II. Bank Also Hacked
And in a third -- and arguably most impactful hack -- the group obtained and
published bank transactions
George K. Baum & Comp.
, a U.S. investment banking firm, which Anonymous claims is affiliated with
. Stratfor is a global intelligence firm that has worked with the
U.S. Central Intelligence Agency
(CIA). Anonymous claims that Strafor has assisted the CIA in spying on U.S. citizens.
Granted, GKBM has a relatively small customer base, but still the fact that account numbers and names are exposed could leave certain individuals open to identity theft. In that regard the operation embodies a sort of bloodless digital terrorism, which nonetheless may harm some individuals financially.
Anonymous surely feels that the "collateral" damage is justified and that those who support institutions that in turn work with the federal government -- which it views as corrupt -- are guilty by association. However, others may disagree.
Anonymous's campaign may fuel new Orwellian government measures.
[Image Source: Jason Mick/DailyTech]
And a danger, as
's Adam Popescu
, is that the hacks may fuel federal efforts to hastily push through cybersecurity legislation, legislation that many fear has Orwellian surveillance and anti-privacy provisions.
Currently two bills -- the Senate's "Cybersecurity Act", bill,
[PDF], and the House's "
Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act
-- are on the table. Last week President Obama
published an executive order
mandating a framework for voluntary corporate security risk sharing with federal agencies. But the new cybersecurity bills
go far beyond that relatively spineless order
, and have privacy advocates concerned.
But much like the idealistic, anarchic disestablishmentarianism of the Arab Spring gave way to the consolidation of power by Egypt's Mohamed Morsi -- a man who critics claims is appointing himself "pharaoh" with limitless powers -- Anonymous may see its own anti-establishment ideals fueling the expansion of the kinds of abuses it most fears.
Mahatma Gandhi famously said:
I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent.
While the lust for vengeance for the apparent injustice done to Mr. Swartz is understandable, and it may be gratifying to many to see damage done to the government, one has to wonder whether Gandhi's words hold true in the digital world much as they do in the physical world -- if violence begets violence.
U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation
is currently pursuing a criminal investigation
into the recent hacking campaign by Anonymous.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
2/22/2013 4:01:49 PM
Anonymous domestic attacks against our various government agencies are awful to back and support. Hopefully these are not the actions you applaud.
Also, isn't it a little childish and silly to 'retaliate over the death of Aaron' I mean, wasn't it a suicide? I get the reasons why he comitted suicide but bottom line is it was his choice. We are all subject to live in the reality of our lives and frankly, there are MANY lives worse than AArons ever was. Maybe Anoynmous could take up the cause of idk, 80% of the third world population and evidentally even people in 'first world' countries.
Bottom line, these attacks are counter-productive irresponsible and fly in the face of what real activists do. The summation of attacks in the passed two years 'claimed' by Anonymous are juvenile and harmful to REAL activism.
What, we support martyism now?
"Folks that want porn can buy an Android phone." -- Steve Jobs
Report: Obama Preps Sweeping Cyberdefense Executive Order for Wednesday
February 12, 2013, 2:15 PM
House Cybersecurity Bill Makes a Comeback, Despite Obama Veto Threat
February 8, 2013, 2:55 PM
FBI Opens Fresh Criminal Investigation Into Anonymous Following Hack
February 8, 2013, 11:42 AM
Federal Reserve Hacked, WSJ Still Under Heavy Fire From Chinese Hackers
February 6, 2013, 1:50 PM
House Committee Questions Aaron Swartz Charges in Letter to DOJ
January 29, 2013, 5:08 PM
Yahoo Acquires Tumblr for $1.1 Billion
May 20, 2013, 11:12 AM
Newegg Legal Chief: "We don't Feed the Trolls"; Defeats Bell Lab Shell Comp.
May 17, 2013, 10:11 AM
Quick Note: EA Axing Online Pass
May 16, 2013, 10:59 AM
Google's Eric Schmidt: "Don't Be Evil" was Stupid
May 14, 2013, 11:00 AM
RIAA Acknowledges Digital Streams for Artist Awards
May 13, 2013, 7:17 AM
ESPN Looking to Pay Wireless Carriers for Customer Data Overages
May 10, 2013, 11:21 AM
Most Popular Articles
Windows 8.1 Will Be Free; Microsoft Holds Onto Struggling ARM Variant
May 14, 2013, 2:57 PM
Google Announces "Pure" Galaxy Nexus S4 for $649, Android Updates
May 15, 2013, 1:42 PM
Bill Gates Gets Teary-Eyed While Discussing Steve Jobs, Shows Off Life-Saving Tech on 60 Minutes
May 13, 2013, 12:30 PM
U.S. Federal Traffic Board Wants to Make Drunk Driving Threshold Far Harsher
May 15, 2013, 11:32 AM
Google's Eric Schmidt: "Don't Be Evil" was Stupid
May 14, 2013, 11:00 AM
Latest Blog Posts
Quick Note: Sony "Teases" PS4 Ahead of Xbox Reveal in New Video
May 20, 2013, 12:33 PM
Nokia Introduces Instagram-Like App of Its Own to Help Lumia Sales
May 20, 2013, 7:10 AM
Parents of Pre-Teen Drivers Commonly Practice Distracted Driving Says Study
May 9, 2013, 7:16 AM
Apple's iOS 7 Running Into Internal Delays Due to Massive Overhaul
May 1, 2013, 4:26 PM
Elon Musk Willing to Spend More Money on Widening of 405 Freeway
Apr 26, 2013, 7:28 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2013 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information