U.S. government’s ‘online security’ website taken down by Anonymous

By Stephen C. Webster
Tuesday, January 24, 2012 10:03 EDT
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A poster designed by artist Shepard Fariey. Photo: Flickr user Lord Jim.
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A website managed by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC), intended to advise Internet users on cyber security matters, has been taken offline by an unknown individual or individuals claiming to be part of the hacker collective “Anonymous.”

In a message posted online, the hacker or hackers explains that the attack on OnGuardOnline.gov was a retaliation against several anti-piracy bills before the U.S. Congress and the European parliament.

The message begins with the now ubiquitous Internet meme: “umad?”

“[Don't] like it when your site is wiped off the internet do you?,” they ask. “If SOPA/PIPA/ACTA passes we will wage a relentless war against the corporate internet, destroying dozens upon dozens of government and company websites.” The explanation also included lengthy server logs from OnGuardOnline.gov and a list of email accounts, complete with passwords.

The attack was just the latest in a long string of high-profile attacks on corporate and government websites in recent weeks.

“Anonymous” hackers claimed this past weekend that they were behind an attack that deleted the whole CBS News website, taking one of the nation’s largest corporate news outfits offline completely. They also took credit on Monday 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).

The hacker collective has also been targeting European governments for their support of the forthcoming Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), which is even broader in scope than U.S. anti-piracy measures temporarily defeated by the Internet’s first ever mass work stoppage.

“As you are reading this we are amassing our allied armies of darkness, preparing boatloads of stolen booty for our next raid,” the hackers’ message explains. “We are sitting on hundreds of rooted servers getting ready to drop all your mysql dumps and mail spools. Your passwords? Your precious bank accounts? Even your online dating details?! You ain’t even trying to step to this.”

Photo: Flickr user Lord Jim.

(H/T: PC World)

Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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