Following the arrest of five talented hackers affiliated with the formless online collective LulzSec (a politically charged hacktivist offshoot of Anonymous) by the FBI based on information leaked by LulzSec leader Hector Xavier Monsegur aka Sabu, Anonymous retaliated by attacking the cyber-security firm Panda Security, replacing over 30 sections of their website with a video titled Anonymous LulzXmas and a defiant message.
Panda Security, the fourth largest anti-virus vendor in the world, was targeted by AntiSec, a hacktivist and political arm of Anonymous, because the company took a direct role in the arrest of 25 Anonymous members across Europe and South American by Interpol on Feb. 28, 2012. Interestingly, the hackers left Panda Security's homepage standing, perhaps so that people hearing about the attack could learn what exactly Anonymous was protesting this time.
The message posted on the hacked websites accused Panda Security of helping apprehend well-meaning activists in order to make money.
Pandasecurity.com, better known for its sh-tty ANTIVIRUS WE HAVE BACKDOORED, has earning [sic] money working with Law Enforcement to lurk and snitch on anonymous activists, wrote the hacktivists. They helped to jail 25 anonymous in different countries and they were actively participating...hey contribute to bring activist to jail. Activists, not even hackers. Common people who are trying desperately to denounce the injustices happening on their countries right now.
The message also addresses the issue of Sabu's betrayal and the downfall of Lulzsec, stating that they understand why Monsegur acted the way he did and pity him, though they are disappointed he failed to live up to the high moral level he often called for.
Yeah yeah, we know... Sabu snitched on us, wrote the hacktivists in capital letters. As usually happens FBI menaced him to take his sons away. We understand, but we were your family too... It's sad and we can't imagine how it feel having to look at the mirror each morning and see there the guy who shopped their friends to police.
Regarding LulzSec, Anonymous does not seem to be particularly deterred by the high profile arrests.
Will this mean the end of Anonymous? The message asked. No. It will mean the end of LulzSec, but Anonymous existed before LulzSec and will continue existing. However, we probably won't see any more hacks as the ones LulzSec had been perpetrating, and Anonymous will only use their known childish tactic of DDoS using their LOIC tool.
The message can also be read on pastebin.com, an online message board often used by Anonymous. The post was titled Panda Pwned (Lulz Security lives!).
The video that accompanied Anonymous's message begins with a clip of Oprah Winfrey talking about the hacker collective, before an electronic version of the Christmas song Santa Claus is Coming to Town plays while a series of images related to Anonymous and general protests are displayed. The last portion is a monologue form the film The Great Dictator, starring Charlie Chaplin.
The successful hacking endeavor was announced on Twitter by @AnonymousIRC, an account with over 200,000 followers claiming to represent AntiSec.
Panda Labs targeted for allegedly working with law enforcement, AntiSec tweeted. #Anonymous - still sailing strong.
The message was echoed by @OccupyAllSt, a twitter account claiming connections to both Anonymous and Occupy Wall Street, who also linked to the original pastebin.com post.
Panda Security, the 4th largest antivirus vendor, has been hacked by #AntiSec, they wrote. 0wn3d!