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Anonymous defaces police equipment supplier site, releases Symantec code

Actions a response to members' arrests this week

For the second time this week, hackers associated with the Anonymous hacking collective have taken down a website in retaliation for the arrests of several of their prominent members.

The latest victim is New York Ironworks, a supplier of police equipment and tactical gear based in New York City. The company's main webpage was defaced with a rambling message from AntiSec, a group affiliated with Anonymous, one of whose members was arrested this week.

The message expressed support for those who were arrested and anger at fellow hacker "Sabu" whose cooperation with the FBI contributed to this week's arrests. It included a brief diatribe against the FBI, a promise of more hacks Friday and a one-minute clip of the final moments of the movie the Fight Club.

"We will fight any individual, organization, corporation, and/or government that hinder our movement," the message said. "While some of our methods may seem unjust we believe that the action taken is needed." Also posted on the defaced site was what appeared to be hundreds of usernames and passwords as well as evidence purporting to show that the hackers had gained root access to the server hosting the website.

On Wednesday, members of Anonymous brought down Panda Security 's PandaLabs website in retaliation for the arrests and what they claimed was Panda's role in previous arrests of Anonymous members.

Meanwhile, AntiSec members also released source code to Symantec's Norton Antivirus 2006 software in apparent tribute to those who were arrested this week. A 1.07GB file that is apparently the source code was published on Pastebin on Thursday.

The release of the code was not unexpected. Last month, hackers affiliated with Anonymous had released source code to Symantec's pcAnywhere after a botched sting operation. That time too, the hackers published the code on The Pirate Bay website.

Symantec has previously admitted that hackers gained access to source code for its Norton Internet Security, Norton Antivirus Corp. Edition, Norton Utilities and pcAnywhere in a 2006 hack on its servers. The company has maintained that users are at relatively low risk from the theft. The company could not be reached immediately for comment.

The attack on Ironworks and the release of the source code appeared to be a tribute to those arrested, in particular, Jeremy Hammond , a Chicago native and AntiSec member who was arrested Monday in connection with the Christmas Day hack of security intelligence firm Strategic Forecasting (Stratfor).

Hammond is charged with breaking into Stratfor's servers, and along with co-conspirators, stealing credit card data on 60,000 Starfor subscribers and account information on about 860,000 of them. He faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted on all charges.

Hammond was one of five individuals arrested this week in a crackdown on members of Anonymous and affiliated groups. The other four individuals were arrested in the U.K.

Their arrests were facilitated at least in part by Hector Monsegur, a 28-year-old New York native and father of two. Monsegur, who used the online handle Sabu, was formerly one of the leaders of LulzSec, a hacker group associated with Anonymous. After being arrested on hacking charges last July, Monsegur agreed to cooperate with the FBI and, over the past few months, helped them gather information that led to this week's arrests.

Jaikumar Vijayan covers data security and privacy issues, financial services security and e-voting for Computerworld. Follow Jaikumar on Twitter at @jaivijayan or subscribe to Jaikumar's RSS feed . His e-mail address is [email protected] .

See more by Jaikumar Vijayan on Computerworld.com .

Read more about cybercrime and hacking in Computerworld's Cybercrime and Hacking Topic Center.


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