SHAMED EXECUTIVE Aaron Barr has stepped down from his position as CEO at HBGary Federal, hoping his departure will help both that company and its parent firm HBGary move on after the humiliation they suffered at the hands of Anonymous last month.
HBGary Federal was targeted by the online hacktivist group Anonymous after Barr claimed to have infiltrated the group. At the time Barr was said to be negotiating the transfer of documents to US federal authorities that he claimed contained personal information about Anonymous members.
Anonymous not only defaced HBGary Federal's website but hijacked Barr's personal Twitter account and publically disclosed his email correspondence. Since then Barr said he has been hounded by threats to him and his family, but has produced no evidence to substantiate that claim. Now it seems Barr has decided to step down "to focus on taking care of my family and rebuilding my reputation", Barr told Threatpost.
The long term problem for HBGary and its subsidiary HBGary Federal was not the public shaming of Aaron Barr but that his email archive was laid bare for everyone to see. Not only did it show up the so-called security expert, it contained correspondence with its clients.
Other leaked documents were even more damaging, since they outlined a campaign of dirty tricks, subversion and intimidation against Wikileaks, its supporters and journalists that Barr and other companies had proposed to a prominent Washington DC law firm.
As for Barr's deal with US federal authorities, well, Anonymous took care of that by publishing the files that Barr was allegedly negotiating handing over.
Barr's leaving wish is that his departure will not only take him out of the public spotlight but that his former employer can now move on.
While we might never know whether Barr jumped or was pushed, it's certainly true that Anonymous' actions acted as the catalyst for Barr's departure. µ