Anonymous Sets Sights Higher, Hacks CIA
The hacker group Anonymous continues to make headlining news in the world today. They continue to set their target sights higher and higher, this time claiming to have launched a series of ambitious online attacks on Friday, claiming to have taken down the CIA’s website. Additionally, Anonymous also claims to have acquired the personal information of approximately 46,000 people in the Alabama area. Neither claim could immediately be confirmed, but the CIA’s site remained unavailable late Friday afternoon.
A member of Anonymous released a short message on Twitter, saying: CIA TANGO DOWN. “Tango Down” is a military expression meaning that someone or something has been killed or taken down.
Gizmodo, a technology blog about consumer electronics, was able to quote a member of Anonymous who claimed that the CIA was under a distributed denial of service, or DDoS, by a group of anti-pedophile hackers.
The CIA did not release a comment on the matter immediately. The unusually long length of the disappearance of the website suggests one of two things: either this is a very long DDoS, which is highly unorthodox, or that this is a different kind of assault or other form of attack that may have been used to directly infiltrate the site’s servers. If that were true, then it would signify a noted jump in the hacking abilities of Anonymous members, or those claiming to be with Anonymous, if they are able to penetrate the high grade of defenses used by the CIA.
As further indication that the group is continuing to step up its anti-bureaucracy pro-open Internet approach, Anonymous made an additional, unrelated claim. Anonymous claimed that have also acquired the personal information of 46,000 Alabama state residents. This information is highly personal and inclusive, including peoples’ dates of birth, Social Security numbers and criminal records.
In another recent online posting, the Anonymous member who claimed to be responsible for the attack said the attack was a response to what they called “recent racist legislation in an attempt to punish immigrants as criminals.”
The statement is most likely a reference to the law Alabama Governor Robert Bentley signed in June of last year that has been referred to by many as the nation’s toughest immigration legislation. The comment also contained a link to a story run by msnbc.com in which they reported that officials promised to enforce the law to its fullest extent.
The post said that the acquired personal information would be deleted and not used to harm anyone, much to the relief of those 46,000 Alabama residents. However, the group did release about 500 edited samples of the personal information as proof that it had gotten the information. This is something new for Anonymous, as they usually only publish personal information if they have attacked a government or public official.
The attack on the CIA website was preceded by a pair of attacks on the Salt Lake City, Utah ,police website, which was then followed by an attack on the West Virginia Chiefs of Police Association. Cabin Cr3w, the group that claims responsibility for the CIA attack and affiliation with Anonymous, was responsible for these two attacks as well.
As of nine hours after the initial attack, the CIA website is back up and running, but at a very slow pace. The claim that Anonymous was responsible came shortly afterwards.