The Internet vigilante hacker group Anonymous claimed to have broken into an Apple Inc server and published a small number of usernames and passwords for one of the U.S. technology company's websites.
Anonymous said on Sunday via its account on microblogging site Twitter that Apple could be a target for hackers and released the data as part of its Anti Security, or AntiSec, campaign.
Not being so serious, but well ... Apple could be target, too. But don't worry, we are busy elsewhere, Anonymous said on its Twitter feed, where it shared a link to the data posted on text-sharing website Pastebin.
Anonymous said the data included 27 usernames and passwords for the www.abs.apple.com website.
The website, used by Apple for online surveys, on Monday displayed an error message that said the server was temporarily offline.
A spokesman for Apple declined to comment.
Anonymous teamed up with the Lulz Security group of hackers late in June. LulzSec, which gained wide recognition for breaching the websites of Sony Corp, the Central Intelligence Agency and a British police unit among other targets, said it had accomplished its mission to disrupt corporate and government bodies for entertainment.
Security experts who have researched LulzSec's origins say it emerged from Anonymous, which became famous for attacking companies and institutions that the group considered opponents of WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange.
Anonymous earlier this month released scores of private e-mails and other data from an Arizona police website. LulzSec first released dozens of internal documents from the same Arizona police website in June.
(Reporting by Marius Bosch in Johannesburg and Poornima Gupta in San Francisco; Editing by Gary Crosse)