Anonymous claims theft of 1.7 G of data from DOJ
- By William Jackson
- May 22, 2012
The Anonymous hacker collective has announced it is releasing 1.7 G of data it claims to have taken from the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics.
“Within the booty you may find lots of shiny things such as internal e-mails, and the entire database dump,” it said in the announcement.
The Justice Department has acknowledged the attack, according to several published reports, and said in a statement that the bureau's website was not taken offline during the attack. The department's primary site, Justice.gov, was not involved.
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The breach appears to be the latest in the group’s ongoing anti-government harassment campaign.
Included in the statistics published through the bureau’s website is information about cyber crime, although the most recent data on cyber crime is from 2005 (the site does have recent statistics on other areas of crime).
It would appear that the site was a target of opportunity for the group, which has breached a number of government systems, including the U.S. Senate, CIA, law enforcement organizations and some government contractors, such as the intelligence analysis company Strategic Forecasting.
Those activities resulted in federal charges being filed against five members of Anonymous and the loosely affiliated LulzSec group earlier in 2012. One of the group members was charged with the Strafor hack, in which e-mail and other information on the company’s customers, which includes government agencies, was stolen and published, affecting up to 860,000 victims. The information later was used in spear-phishing attacks.
Another member was charged with, among other transgressions, hacking into a conference call among the FBI, Scotland Yard and Irish police, and later posting the call on the Internet.
The group’s announcement made an apparent reference to the arrests and charges.
“We are releasing data to spread information, to allow the people to be heard and to know the corruption in their government,” the announcement said. “We are releasing it to end the corruption that exists, and truly make those who are being oppressed free. The price we pay very often is our own freedom.”
William Jackson is freelance writer and the author of the CyberEye blog.