The hacker group Anonymous was in the limelight once again Sunday for attacking Bay Area Rapid Transit and releasing sensitive information of "at least 2,400" customers, in retaliation of the shutting down of cellular phone service in San Francisco subway stations.
Thousands of people who signed up for BART alerts had their names, emails, passwords, phone numbers and addresses exposed. The site does not keep any financial information, so the victims did not have to cancel their credit cards.
BART had shut down cell phone service on Thursday to thwart threatened protests in its subway system.
"We're going to take steps to make sure our customers are safe," a BART spokesman said. "The interruption of cell phone service was done Thursday to prevent what could have been a dangerous situation. It's one of the tactics we have at our disposal. We may use it; we may not. And I'm not sure we would necessarily let anyone know in advance either way."
According to a recent statement from Anonymous, the hacking attack was in response to the recent deaths of two men at the hands of California law enforcement.
“BART has proved multiple times that they have no problem exploiting and abusing the people. First they displayed this by the two recent killings by BART police," the hacker group said in a statement.
"Under no circumstance, unless police are shot at, make police killings acceptable," the group continued. "Non-lethal weapons were available to use during both incidents, providing even that was necessary, but instead they shot to kill. Next they violated the people’s right to assembly and prevented other bystanders from using emergency services by blocking cell phone signals in order to stop a protest against the BART police murders.
"Lastly, they set up this website called mybart.gov and they stored their members information with virtually no security. The data was stored and easily obtainable via basic sqli. Any 8 year old with a internet connection could have done what we did to find it. On top of that none of the info, including the passwords, was encrypted. It is obvious BART does no give a f*** about its customers, funders and tax payers,THE PEOPLE,” Anonymous stated.
Marsha-Ann Sebay of Vallejo, Calif., who was a victim of the attack, said, "To be honest with you, I'd like to kick their ass. If you have a problem with someone, you resolve it with that person. You don't punish other people because you don't agree with something.”