US INSECURITY FIRM HBGary Federal incurred the wrath of the online hacktivist group Anonymous, which led to it having its website defaced and its CEO, Aaron Barr, publicly humiliated.
HBGary was a relatively unknown insecurity outfit until Barr claimed in an interview that he had identified several senior Anonymous members. Anonymous claims that Barr had been negotiating the sale of that information to the US Federal Bureau of Investigation, which the group made available online, calling it incorrect.
Defacing HBGary's website was just the start of the attack on Barr carried out by Anonymous, however. The placeholder image on the firm's website poured scorn on Barr's claim that he had infiltrated Anonymous and managed to collect information on the leading hackers of the group.
Mirroring an attack by Anonymous on Andrew Crossley, the owner of the speculative invoicing law firm ACS:Law, Barr's email archive comprising some 50,000 messages was posted on The Pirate Bay. This time Anonymous even included easy to use instructions on how to view the email archive.
The nightmare wasn't over for Barr, with Anonymous hijacking Barr's accounts on various social networks including Linkedin and Twitter. Barr's Twitter account came in for particular attention, with Anonymous posting numerous derogatory messages along with Barr's home address, social security number and telephone number.
At the very least Anonymous' actions have revealed a distinct lack of real expertise in computer security by HBGary and might make it a lot harder for it to obtain more insecurity business in the future, even assuming that its potential clients will be able to stop laughing. µ
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