HBGary Federal, an American security firm, has recently had its website hacked by the online activist group Anonymous. The group has been involved in a number of high profile online attacks recently, including strikes on Visa, PayPal and others after the companies withdrew their support from WikiLeaks.
It gets worse. Anonymous not only replaced the HBGary website with a logo and a statement, but they also gained control of the company’s email, took down their phone system, placed many of their sensitive documents online and erased many of the others. They also personally attacked the head of the company, Aaron Barr, by hacking into his Twitter account and posting a series of racial and sexual slurs as well as many personal details.
Security breaches are becoming more and more common for all types of organisations, from banks to eTailers. But while most mean a financial gain for the culprit, this case takes on an eerily different tone. System hacking has become a weapon for the politically motivated and it looks like it’s only going to get worse.