CNET reported that the group had taken the CIA website down Friday. As of this late Saturday night, the website was still down. They used a crude but effective Distributed Denial of Service attack to take it down. That means that they over whelmed the website with requests by using a large network of computers.
The group also attacked law enforcement and government servers in Alabama and posted the information online. Anonymous claimed to have lifted the social security numbers, names, dates of birth, criminal records, and license plate numbers of 46,000 Alabamans.
Anonymous said the attack on Alabama’s websites was in reaction to the State’s stringent immigration law that was passed last year. Heavily redacted information on 500 people was included in a Pastebin document that was released on Friday. The group said that the stolen data had been erased.
"Attached to this press release are redacted versions of a VERY SMALL amount of data that we have actually acquired,…" the post reads. "This release is only meant to show the Citizens of the state of Alabama the amount of incompetence that is taking place within the state government…. We mean no harm by releasing this redacted information. This data was not securely segregated from the Internet, nor was it properly encrypted."
Other government websites have been the target of Anonymous recently. Earlier this month, The Huffington Post reported on the groups attack on the FBI. In that instance Anonymous posted an intercepted conference call between FBVI operatives and their counterparts at Scotland Yard. Ironically, the conference concerned strategies for taking down Anonymous.
The Boston Police Department was hacked by the group and lost its news site for awhile. According to The Boston Globe the BPD responded with a humorous video. That’s not something you will see from the CIA or FBI.
Anonymous continued pointed attacks aren’t exclusively aimed at the US. At the same time that the CIA was losing its website, so were the Mexican Senate, Interior Ministry, and the Mexican Mining Chamber, also known as "Camimex." Those interruptions of service were to protest Mexico’s proposed SOPA like anti-piracy legislation and poor labor conditions.
Whether you agree with the group or not, as the FBI and CIA have found, it is a hard group to combat.
Photograph from Wikimedia Commons.