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Anonymous hacks U.S. government website to avenge Swartz, threatens to leak info

APphoto_Obit Swartz

Michael Francis McElroy/AP

In this Jan. 30, 2009 photo, Internet activist Aaron Swartz poses for a photo in Miami Beach, Fla. Swartz was found dead Friday, Jan. 11, 2013, in his Brooklyn, N.Y., apartment, according to Ellen Borakove, spokeswoman for New York's medical examiner. Swartz, 26, was scheduled to face trial on hacking charges in a few weeks.

Screenshot from the hacked U.S. Sentencing Commission site

An excerpt of the threatening message Anonymous posted on a government website that it hacked January 26, 2012.

Flicker / Creative Commons

Internet activist Aaron Swartz, pictured at a Wiki Meetup in Boston in 2009, has reportedly committed suicide.

The hacker-activist group Anonymous says it hijacked the website of the U.S. Sentencing Commission to avenge the death of Aaron Swartz, an Internet activist who committed suicide. The FBI is investigating.

The website of the commission, an independent agency of the judicial branch, was taken over early Saturday and replaced with a message warning that when Swartz killed himself two weeks ago "a line was crossed."

The message began thusly:

Citizens of the world,

Anonymous has observed for some time now the trajectory of justice in the United States with growing concern. We have marked the departure of this system from the noble ideals in which it was born and enshrined. We have seen the erosion of due process, the dilution of constitutional rights, the usurpation of the rightful authority of courts by the "discretion" or prosecutors. We have seen how the law is wielded less and less to uphold justice, and more and more to exercise control, authority and power in the interests of oppression or personal gain.


Florida firm, not Anonymous or the FBI, was source of Apple data in breach


Zooey Deschanel in an Apple iPhone ad

A Florida company said Monday that the database of Apple device information that hackers stole and posted on the Internet last week came from a file the firm had in its computer system.

The disclosure comes nearly a week after a hacker group, which calls itself AntiSec, claimed that the data was stolen from an FBI laptop. The FBI flatly rejected the claim, saying it never possessed the information. The data included about 1 million unique identification numbers for Apple devices and some personal information, such as the names people assign to their iPads, iPhones and iPods.

Orlando-based BlueToad is a digital publishing company that converts files so that they can be more easily read online and by mobile devices.

In a statement, company president Paul DeHart said the Apple data was stolen in a cyberattack against BlueToad.


Alleged ‘Anonymous’ hacker John Borell blamed for cyber attack on LA Canine Association

Photo by Stian Eikeland via Flickr Creative Commons

The "hacktivist" group Anonymous, represented here by a member in their omnipresent Guy Fawkes masks.

In some circles he’s a hero. To the hacker collective known as Anonymous he’s a “hacktivist” who took on authorities in the fight against injustice.

But to local and federal law enforcement, John Anthony Borell III is the man who used his computer skills to invade the privacy of more than 100 officers in the Los Angeles County Police Canine Association, for no better reason than because he could.

Authorities announced today that the 21-year-old Ohio man, already in trouble for alleged cyber attacks against law enforcement agencies in Utah, also is thought to be behind the February attacks on the Canine Association’s website, according to the L.A. Times.

Borell currently faces two counts of computer intrusion in the Utah incidents, and could get 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted. He pleaded not guilty in mid-April.


Members of LulzSec, spin-off of Anonymous, arrested in NYC


This May 31, 2011, file frame grab of the PBS website shows what their site looked like after being hacked by LulzSec.

Top members of the computer hacking group LulzSec have been arrested and will face charges in New York, a law enforcement official said Tuesday.

Five people with the group were either under arrest or being sought, the official said. The details of the allegations weren't immediately available, but were expected in court documents that were being unsealed Tuesday morning.

The group also goes by the full name Lulz Security. Hackers associated with the group have claimed to be responsible for a variety of cyber attacks on big companies, law enforcement and government agencies.

LulzSec is a spin-off of the loosely organized hacking collective Anonymous, other spin-offs of which have recently claimed responsibility for exposing the personal information of LAPD brass. Its members attained notoriety last May by attacking the website of the public broadcaster PBS and posting a story claiming that the slain rapper Tupac Shakur was alive and living in New Zealand.