More than 77 law enforcement computers were hacked from outside of the United States on Saturday. A hacking group targeted by the FBI is posting the confidential information online. The group intends to do a “rolling release” of information in the days and weeks to come.
The hacking comes on the heels of the arrest of 14 people suspected to be members of the hacking group "Anonymous."
Hackers “AntiSec” and “Anonymous” announced via Twitter tonight that they absconded with up to 10 Giga Bytes of confidential information, including protected witnesses. They have posted more than 7,000 law enforcement officials’ private information online including: their social security numbers; email accounts and passwords; phone numbers and home addresses on www.pastebin.com
The victims of the hacking were unaware of the breach on Saturday night, according to a law enforcement official in Mo., where some of the victims work. Their information was not secure and their emails were open to anybody who knew where to find the information posted by "Anonymous."
The group is threatening to release additional information at PasteBin in retaliation for FBI arrests of 14 alleged computer hackers in the U.S. and Europe, who are suspected to be members of their group.
Supervisory Special Agent Jason Pack of the FBI press office in Washington declined all comment on the breach. The FBI will be releasing an official statement later.
“Anonymous” is also calling for the release of those arrested and a halt to their prosecutions.
The information due to be posted allegedly includes the identity of “snitches,” according to "Anonymous" and additional information about prisoners and witnesses will be posted. They claim to have redacted the information about prisoners due to sympathy regarding their incarceration.
Websites that were allegedly defaced by the hacking group were "mirrored" at sites hosted by "Anonymous" so people could view them after they were taken off line by their owners. A mirror site is a snap shot in time of a website. The mirror sites are listed by "Anonymous" on their Twitter accounts.
In their Twitter news account, “AnonymousIRC” the group posted the following notice to the FBI.
“Dear @FBIPressOffice, do you know what happens if these people are convicted? This is no threat as we don't know either. But *we* expect us.”
The FBI arrests in the U.S. and Europe two weeks ago was an effort to catch those who attacked Paypal. The defendants are suspected of launching denial of service attacks and crashing Paypal’s website preventing them from doing any business.
The attack on Paypal came after the business stopped service to Wikileaks, a whistleblower website. The website is directed by Julian Assange, who is fighting extradition from England to Sweden on unrelated charges. “Anonymous” and “AntiSec” are supporters of WikiLeaks and Assange.
The FBI and another federal security agency had been tracking the proposed law enforcement attacks prior to the breach, according to official sources. A few of the proposed sites had some warning prior to the attack and were taken offline. Some crucial confidential information had been removed from other websites.