Anonymous is posting files labelled ‘NATO Restricted’ on the web, as the FBI closes in on hackers
Nato is investigating claims that Anonymous has broken into its servers and stolen a gigabyte of data, amid threats by the hacker group to release a batch of emails relating to The Sun and News of the World today.
The hackers posted the following update on the AnonymousIRC Twitter feed at around 1pm BST: “Yes, #NATO was breached. And we have lots of restricted material. With some simple injection. In the next days, wait for interesting data :)”
This was followed soon after by a second update, which said: “We are sitting on about one Gigabyte of data from NATO now, most of which we cannot publish as it would be irresponsible. But Oh NATO…”
Anonymous then posted links to two documents headed “NATO Restricted.” The first is apparently a working paper on communication systems at the Joint Communications Control Centre for ISAF forces in Afghanistan from 2007, and includes detailed procurement estimates and technical information. The second, dated 2008, covers proposals for outsourcing communications systems for Nato forces in Kosovo.
“Hi NATO. Yes we haz more of your delicious data. You wonder where from? No hints, your turn. You call it war; we laugh at your battleships,” reads the latest post on AnonymousIRC.
The attack follows the recent publication of a NATO report by Lord Jopling, which singled out Anonymous as a threat to “government and the people”.
“The longer these attacks persist the more likely countermeasures will be developed, implemented, the groups will be infiltrated and perpetrators persecuted,” warned the report.
At the time Anonymous warned NATO not to challenge it. “Do not make the mistake of believing you can behead a headless snake,” it said.
News International and the FBI
The news follows an apparent U-turn by Anonymous and associated hacktivist group LulzSec, who have been threatening to release 4GB of emails taken from the Sun and the “royal family”. LulzSec broke into News International computer systems on Monday night and redirected visitors on the Sun website to a spoof story reporting Rupert Murdoch’s suicide.
However, Anonymous tweeted this afternoon: “We think, actually we may not release emails from The Sun, simply because it may compromise the court case.”
Lulzsec now seems to be planning to release extracts of the emails through the press. “We’re currently working with certain media outlets who have been granted exclusive access to some of the News of the World emails we have,” said a tweet on the LulzSec Twitter account this afternoon.
Meanwhile, the FBI this week arrested 16 suspects as part of a broad investigation into the activities of Anonymous and LulzSec. The suspects are all thought to be accused of organising the distributed denial of service attack that targeted PayPal last December. According to The Wall Street Journal, the FBI was seeking out individuals “in their late teens and early 20s”.
The hacktivists have responded by releasing a joint statement, addressed to the FBI and international law authorities:
“Your threats to arrest us are meaningless to us as you cannot arrest an idea. Any attempt to do so will make your citizens more angry until they will roar in one gigantic choir,” it said. “Most people do not behave like bandits if they have no reason to. We become bandits on the Internet because you have forced our hand.”