ANONYMOUS’ Cyber Campaign Continues
by Parmy Olson via Kismo - Forbes Monday, Feb 14 2011, 5:36pm
mass media /
Anonymous Reveals 27,000 More HBGary E-Mails
An act of revenge has turned into a high-minded campaign against unscrupulous corporate and government activities – that is, if you believe a group of elite, hot-tempered hackers supporting Anonymous, the online campaign group that stands up for free speech by, among other things, attacking Web sites.
A week after publishing more than 50,000 private emails of Aaron Barr, CEO of digital intelligence firm HBGary Federal who had publicly claimed to have penetrated Anonymous’ ranks, the group this morning republished those emails with another 27,606 from Greg Hoglund, the chief executive of sister company HBGary for other Anonymous supporters and journalists to pour over.
And instead of just uploading the email packet to bittorrent site Pirate Bay, they’ve created on online reader for easy perusing. It sets the stage for the launch of Anonymous’ latest venture, AnonLeaks. While the group has said little about AnonLeaks so far, it will presumably be a brazen addition to the growth of whistleblower sites like WikiLeaks.
The group said in a statement that it had taken “the game to the next level” and that HBGary’s leaked emails had revealed it was “entangled in highly dubious and most likely illegal activities, including a smear campaign against WikiLeaks, its supportive journalists, and adversaries of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Bank of America. Evidence even suggests this was done with full knowledge of the U.S. Department of Justice.”
The original emails had indeed revealed a report by HBGary looking at ways to sabotage WikiLeaks in collaboration with Palantir Technologies and Berico Technologies. The emails also show that Bank of America, a potential target of WikiLeaks, was to hear the proposal via its outside law firm Hunton & Williams. The proposal’s recommendations included a disinformation campaign against WikiLeaks and cyber attacks on its Web site.
ThinkProgress meanwhile discovered from the original leaked e-mails that similar proposals had been prepared for the Chamber of Commerce to attack progressive groups and other activists including ThinkProgress itself. The Chamber of Commerce has now denied hiring “the security firm referenced by Think Progress” and accused the group of orchestrating a “baseless smear campaign” together with the Center for American Progress.
Palantir Technologies and Berico Technologies have also distanced themselves from the controversy and from HBGary itself. Having already denied its involvement with HBGary’s proposals earlier this week, Palantir put out another statement on Saturday to “further clarify the facts,” saying:
Palantir never has and never will condone the sorts of activities that HBGary recommended.
• Palantir does not condone the recommendations in HBGary’s presentations, proposals and emails.
Anonymous acknowledged the lack of clarity, saying in its statement this morning:
• Moreover, the tactics proposed by HBGary were never accepted and never acted upon.
• Palantir did not participate in the development of the recommendations that Palantir and others find offensive.
• Palantir was NOT retained by any party to develop such recommendations and indeed it would be contrary to Palantir ethics, culture and policies to do so.
• As we have previously stated, Palantir has severed all ties with HBGary going forward.
"While the whole truth has yet to be uncovered, Anonymous feels that it is its duty to let the world know what you, related companies, and government agencies are up to behind closed doors.”
And in a perturbing, brassy follow-up added:
"Admittedly, HBGary, while we do what we feel is necessary and just, we do not deny that we enjoyed breaking your neck in the process. You tried to play our game. You lost.”
© 2011 Forbes.com LLC
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