Hackers associated with the AntiSec and LulzSec groups launched a massive hack into the Web sites of as many as 77 law enforcement agencies in the United States, displaying the nerve and resolve to compromise sensitive government data.
In the latest hack on government agencies, the hackers teased and taunted Sheriffs, exposed police informers and said they had no qualms about putting informers' lives in danger. They also used stolen credit card information to make online donations to Bradley Manning and organizations like ACLU and Electronic Frontier Foundation.
The hackers also exhorted comrades to step up attacks on government agencies and corporate bigwigs. "To our hacker comrades: now is the time to unite and fight back against our common oppressors. Escalate attacks against government, corporate, law enforcement and military targets: destroy their systems and leak their private data.”
One of the biggest "data dumps" in recent times was staged by the hacker group in retaliation against the recent arrest of key activists of the underground anti-security movement.
The 10GB data, which was posted on file share platforms, contained 300 email accounts from as many as 56 law enforcement Web sites, user names and passwords, home addresses, phone numbers, and Social Security numbers.
"A week after we defaced and destroyed the websites of over 70 law enforcement agencies, we are releasing a massive amount of confidential information that is sure to embarass, discredit and incriminate police officers across the US," the hackers said in a Pastebin post.
"We have no sympathy for any of the officers or informants who may be endangered by the release of their personal information," the hackers added. "For too long they have been using and abusing our personal information, spying on us, arresting us, beating us, and thinking that they can get away with oppressing us in secrecy… Well it's retribution time: we want them to experience just a taste of the kind of misery and suffering they inflict upon us on an everyday basis."
The hack was carried out once the hackers compromised the server of a company called Brooks-Jeffrey Marketing, a media services hosting company. Law enforcement agencies in Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri and Mississippi were affected by the operations.
The latest provocation for the hackers was the arrest of teenage hacker Jake Davis, who had worked as a spokesman for the hacking groups, and believed to have been operating under the name "Topiary".
The hackers named the huge data cache as "Shooting Sheriffs Saturday." According to them, even as various Sheriffs denied the news of a cyber attack on their Web sites, they went about releasing online personal information including SSNs, passwords, addresses, and private emails.
"We lol'd as we watched the news reports come in, quoting various Sheriffs who denied that they were ever hacked, that any personal information was stolen, that they did not store snitch info on their servers," they said.
In June, hacking group Lulz Security had broken into the Arizona Department of Public Safety’s computers and stole a cache of files labeled as training manuals, emails and intelligence documents.
The Arizona agency confirmed the stolen documents appeared to be authentic and said hackers possibly got them by hacking into email accounts of eight officers.
The anti-security zealot group had said this at that time: "We are releasing hundreds of private intelligence bulletins, training manuals, personal email correspondence, names, phone numbers, addresses and passwords belonging to Arizona law enforcement. We are targeting AZDPS specifically because we are against SB1070 and the racial profiling anti-immigrant police state that is Arizona."
In the last week of July, hackers associated with Anonymous had announced that they had released 90 megabytes of data from defense contractor ManTech international. This attack was the high point of the hackers' battle with the FBI. The top police agency had outsourced cyber security to ManTech Services last year in a $100-million deal.
Hackers have attacked media organizations like PBS, computer giants like Sony and Apple, and defense majors like Lockheed Martin in recent times.