Anonymous has done it again. The loosely associated hacking collective, which has hacked everything from GoDaddy to religious organizations to government websites, the Pentagon and more, has released 16 gigabytes of data, code and software related to Bank of America, Bloomberg, Thomson Reuters and others, claiming that Bank of America had employed security firms to “spy and collect information on private citizens.”
“The source of this release has confirmed that the data was not acquired by a hack but because it was stored on a misconfigured server and basically open for grabs,” Par:AnoIA said. “Looking at the data it becomes clear that Bank of America, TEKSystems and others (see origins of reports) gathered information on Anonymous and other activists' movement on various social media platforms and public Internet Relay Chat (IRC) channels.”
The Anonymous collective said the data was actually retrieved from an open, insecure server in Tel Aviv, Israel, but also managed to obtain a full version of ClearForest’s text analyzing software called “OneCalais,” which was stored and openly accessible on the same server.
Among the leaked documents, Anonymous discovered that TEKSystems had compiled reports last year about hackers and so-called “cyber threats,” as well as online activity surrounding the Occupy Wall Street movement. Anonymous dismissed all of this research as “sloppy, random and valueless.”
“Apparently a keyword list was used to match for items of interest on IRC, Twitter and other social media,” Par:AnoIA said. “While the list has over 10.000 [sic] entries only 1,125 keywords seem to be genuine, the rest are simply Wikipedia references.”
In addition to the overwhelming amount of “research” about Bank of America’s antagonists, the Anonymous group also discovered an extra 4.8 gigabytes of “detailed career and salary information of hundreds of thousands of executives and employees from various corporations all around the world.” Anonymous noted that the folder was named “Bloomberg,” while the entries were tagged with “reuterscompanycontent,” which could mean Bloomberg LP and/or Thomson Reuters could have been involved or targeted as well.
“What it was doing on the Israeli server is up to anyone’s guess,” Anonymous added.
But above all, Anonymous hopes to use this data dump to spotlight these misguided efforts to hamper online activism, but also show how corporations like Bank of America are paying for these operations to take place.
“We release the received files in full to raise awareness to this issue and to send a signal to corporations and Governments that this is unacceptable,” the Anonymous press release concluded.