As the law enforcement crackdown against hacktivist groups Anonymous and LulzSec continued, British law enforcement on Wednesday announced the apprehension of "Topiary," a 19-year-old man from the Shetland Islands north of Scotland who has served as the spokesperson for the group.
Police were said to still be searching the residence where the individual was apprehended, as well as talking to a 17-year-old in the municipality of Lincolnshire in east central England in connection with the arrested. The person had not been charged or arrested.
Hackers with the group Anonymous claimed Thursday that they had hacked into the servers of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). However, it wouldn't release much of the gigabyte of information it stole because doing so would be "irresponsible," seemingly indicating some of the data may be sensitive to security interests.
"Yes, #NATO was breached. And we have lots of restricted material," the group tweeted over its @AnonymousIRC account. "In the next days, wait for interesting data :)"
Anonymous and LulzSec issued a joint statement Wednesday, firing back at FBI director Steve Chabinsky over his comments to NPR that Tuesday's arrests of 14 hackers associated with the groups was meant to send a message that "chaos on the Internet is unacceptable." The response strikes a markedly political tone.
Posted to Pastebin, the statement accuses governments of lying to their citizens and "dismantling their freedom piece by piece," governments conspiring with corporations and wasting taxpayer money, and lobbyists having too much control over day-to-day business "and corrupt them enough so the status quo will never change."
At least a dozen individuals were arrested early Tuesday as the FBI expanded its investigation into the hacking group Anonymous. In conjunction with these arrests, raids were carried out in three homes -- two in Long Island, N.Y. and the other in Brooklyn, N.Y. -- as well as locations in California.
The FBI was not commenting on the raids directly but sources told Fox News that the raids were related to the federal government's widening probe of the activities of Anonymous. Arrests were made in California, Florida, and New Jersey. Charges against the detained individuals were not specified.
Responding to Google's ban of +YourAnonNews on new social network Google+, "hacktivist" group Anonymous and Presstorm Media began discussing the possibility of a new social network called AnonPlus (or Anon+).
"This project is not overnight and will take many of those out there who simply want a better internet," the site's landing page says. "We will not be stopped by those looking to troll or those willing to stop the spreading of the truth. One thing i would like to point out that this project is for ALL people not just anonymous, this idea is a presstorm idea and only takes the name anon because of the Anonymity of the social network."
Black hat security group Anonymous has exposed 90,000 military email addresses stored on servers from consulting firm and U.S. government contractor Booz Allen Hamilton. The hacker group said the breach was done to expose the corruption of government and related corporate entities.
Booz Allen Hamilton deals with all branches of the armed services as well as the defense and intelligence communities of the U.S. Government. It claims to provide, among other things, "strategy and technology solutions that help deter 21st century threats and meet complex mission requirements."
The alarming tweets that went out a few hours ago are false, according to Fox News. They claimed that President Barack Obama had been shot while campaigning, which itself is red flag something wasn't right. What president would campaign on America's Independence Day nearly 18 months before the election?
"FoxNews.com's Twitter feed for political news, FoxNewspolitics, was hacked early Monday morning", according to a report by Fox News. "Hackers sent out several malicious and false tweets claiming that President Obama had been assassinated. Those reports are incorrect, of course, and the president is spending the July 4 holiday with his family. The hacking is being investigated, and FoxNews.com regrets any distress the false tweets may have created".
Now operating under the #AntiSec banner, the LulzSec hackers are still busy causing trouble. The latest data dump posted to torrent sites goes after several governments worldwide as well as both Viacom and Universal Music Group.
"While the LulzBoat is still sailing with us (albeit not with the LulzSec flag), the objective of #AntiSec is different," the description of the torrent reads. "#AntiSec is more than Lulz and more than even Anonymous: It is our true belief that this movement has the capability to change the world. And should that fail, we will at least rock the world."
LulzSec may have faded off into the hacking annals of history, but Anonymous isn't resting. The group on Monday released a file of what appears to be a cyberterrorism training manual. It is not clear how the group obtained the document.
"Little teaser while we work on the actual release: Ever interested in anti-cyberterrorism training?" a tweet from a Twitter account associated with the group reads. The manual appears to come from FEMA's Counter Terrorism Defense Initiative and is dated from 2009.
In what is an embarrassing oversight for Citigroup, attackers that got away with information on over 200,000 credit card holders only needed to make a change in the string of the URL itself. This means that as long as you had the account number, you would be able to access all personal data associated with that particular account.
Citigroup should consider itself lucky that more customers did not have their accounts compromised. How the hackers got the credit card numbers themselves is not clear yet, but the vulnerability allowed them to jump among accounts automatically by just being logged in and running a script.
Earlier this week, Google claimed to have uncovered a password-stealing campaign that originated from Jinan, China, and targeted senior U.S., officials and other prominent individuals. The Chinese government later denied involvement. The attacks' origins aren't being disputed so much as who is responsible.
The most famous cases of alleged "cyberwar" have some common characteristics that are at the heart of the problem. It's never clearly the governments conducting the attacks and it's plausible that outside actors are responsible. This leads to the "attribution" problem of cyberwar, that it's never crystal clear where retaliatory measures should be targeted.
Perhaps the question should be: "If I hold my breath waiting for Sony to answer and I die, can someone sue?" Because Sony's continued promises when PSN will be back up are like the kid who incessantly promises to clean his room and never does. Subscribers grow impatient, with the vast majority answering our poll are ready to switch to Xbox 360 and Xbox Live.
Late last month, Sony promised partial PSN restoration -- gaming, music and video services -- on May 4, a pledge repeated on May 1. It's now May 8, and PSN is still down. I checked just before posting.
As Sony is in the final stages of getting the PlayStation Network back online, a new threat may be emerging. People with knowledge of the IRC chat room where hackers have been congregating to discuss the attacks are discussing a new effort, CNET reported late Thursday.
This news comes amid word from Sony that it had entered "the final stages of internal testing of the new system," likely indicating PSN would be back up in a matter of days. The issue also has prompted a letter from Sony chairman and CEO Sir Howard Stringer, who reiterated that the company was working "around the clock" on the issue.
Hard-core players hate to lose games. But what happens when they're the sport -- the object of play? That increasingly is the state of PlayStation Network subscribers, following a hack that swiped personal data. If that's you, there are ways to protect you now and from future data theft anywhere on the Internet. Fun and games don't have to end when someone breaks in.
It all started so innocently. Two weeks ago, PlayStation Network went down. The next day, Sony promised the outage would last for a "day or two" to the despair of the fun-loving millions who use the service to access multiplayer games, movies, music and other downloadable entertainment. At the time, Sony raised the possibility that a hacker instigated the outage, but it took six days and outside help before it was revealed that PSN had indeed been the victim of a hack -- one that compromised the personal data of as many as 77 million customers. Today, new details emerged that, despite denials, Anonymous may have been responsible for the hack and data theft.
With the PlayStation Network expected to be back up within a matter of days, Sony's statements to a US House subcommittee seem to point the finger on responsibility back at hacktivist group Anonymous, which initially denied involvement.
PlayStation chief Kazuo Hirai told Congress in a letter that the company was a victim of a sophisticated attack. As part of the hack, a file was planted on the company's servers named "Anonymous" with the words "We Are Legion." He said the company understood the full scope of the attack by April 25, but could not rule out the compromising of credit card data.