‘Anonymous’ intercepts secret law enforcement call on hacking probe
In a stunning release, the mysterious hacker organization “Anonymous” has published audio of an international coordination conference call between the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the British Scotland Yard, revealing officers’ secret communications on investigations into the group’s recent exploits.
The FBI and Scotland Yard have both said they’re investigating how hackers obtained the conference call’s audio. A document published online, presumably by a member of “Anonymous,” reveals that the hacker or hackers were privy to law enforcement email communications, giving them access to the login information for the call.
During the call, which took place on Jan. 17, law enforcement agents discuss their investigations into a number of high profile hacks, and British officials divulge that they had delayed arresting two juveniles to prevent interference with an FBI probe.
Initially, American and British agents just joke around as they wait for colleagues to join the call. Then they discuss the particulars of one young hacker who’s allegedly a “wannabe,” and a “pain in the bum.”
A Scotland Yard agent later adds that they’ve been “speaking with the Irish” and “looking to share some intelligence with them” about another hacker.
The FBI reportedly said that the audio was obtained “illegally,” but it was still available on YouTube by Friday afternoon.
Shortly after the FBI took MegaUpload.com offline for allegedly facilitating copyright infringement, hackers claiming “Anonymous” affiliation took credit for crashing the U.S. Department of Justice website on Jan. 19.
Immediately thereafter, they also took credit for crashing the websites of Universal Music Group, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), saying their attacks were a response to those groups’ support for recent anti-piracy legislation that was defeated by the first-ever mass online work stoppage protest.
Hackers allegedly with “Anonymous” also recently took down the U.S. government’s “online security” website, OnGuardOnline.gov. That hack followed an audacious slap at CBS News, which saw its website deleted from the Internet entirely, knocking them offline briefly while server backups were restored.
They also took credit this month for hacking the Twitter account of Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), then posting messages correcting his grammar and highlighting his support for the Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA).
It’s not clear if hackers obtained access to the Justice Department’s secure servers ahead of their distributed-denial-of-service (DDoS) attack, which could explain how they learned of the conference call.
The video below was published to YouTube on Friday, Feb. 3, 2012.
Photo: Flickr user Anonymous 9000.
(H/T: Talking Points Memo)