HBGary Federal, a security company that is helping the FBI track down the hacker group Anonymous, has become a target itself. The group hacked into HBGary's networks and posted archives of some 50,000 e-mails between company executives. The group also hacked the firm's website, publishing an explanation as to why the website was targeted.
Last month, authorities in the US and the UK moved against a number of suspected Anonymous members. On the weekend, The Financial Times ran a story quoting Aaron Barr, HBGary's head of security services, saying he had uncovered the identities of Anonymous' leaders. Barr said he planned to release his findings next week at a security conference in San Francisco.
Having hacked HBGary's website, Anonymous explained that it was releasing Barr's findings on its own because the group was confident the company's conclusions were wrong. As you can see in the above screenshot of the hacked website, the group announced it had no leaders and was quite adamant that the information was nothing new or was simply bogus.
In December 2010, Anonymous took down websites belonging to MasterCard, PayPal, and Visa, because the payment processors declined to transfer money to WikiLeaks. Last month, the group shut down websites belonging to the Tunisian government and stock exchange in support of the uprising that forced the country's dictator, Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, to flee. Earlier this month, the group hacked Egyptian and Yemen government websites for similar reasons: to show their support for promoting antigovernment protests that have roiled the Arab world.