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Forbes has bagged an interview with the "teenage girl" who supposedly played a key role in hacking security firm HBGary on behalf of Anonymous. HBGary Federal earned the enmity of the loosely knit hacker collective by threatening to expose its membership at the B-Sides security conference last month. The security consultancy unwisely publicised the planned move, which followed weeks after members of Anonymous brought down the websites of MasterCard and PayPal in an act of cyber-solidarity/vandalism (take your pick) and in support of WikiLeaks. However before HBGary execs had the opportunity to spill the beans, Anonymous turned the tables on the small security consultancy, using a variety of website exploits and social engineering tricks to deface its website and extract HBGary's email database, which Anonymous then released as a torrent.
by Steve Ragan - Feb 7 2011, 12:30 HBGary hacked by Anonymous. Aaron Barr, the CEO of HBGary Federal, told the Financial Times this weekend that he used clues found online to discover the identities of key Anonymous members. Anonymous reacted to the story and Barr’s claims with a massive attack aimed at the security firm, leveraging local root exploits, shared passwords, and social engineering. In an interview with the Financial Times , Barr said that by using services such as LinkedIn, Classmates.com, Facebook, as well as IRC itself, he was able to connect the dots and identify several high-level Anonymous members, including “Owen” and “Q”, two people mentioned by their IRC names in the actual news report.
SAN FRANCISCO -- Security start-up HBGary has withdrawn from the RSA Conference here after the recent hacking attack that included the release of 20,000 e-mails. HBGary Federal CEO Aaron Barr was quoted in a news article as planning reveal the names of members of the notorious 'Anonymous' collective but after the hacking attack and subsequent threats, the company decided to pull the plug on its participation at the security conferences. On the RSA Conference show floor, HBGary's booth was replaced with this sign explaining the circumstances. <p style="text-align:right;color:#A8A8A8"></p>
WikiLeaks reportedly plans to release information about Bank of America. Photograph: Karl-Josef Hildenbrand/DPA/Corbis The hacker collective Anonymous claims to have unearthed proposals by a consortium of US security firms to attack WikiLeaks , ahead of reportedly planned disclosures about the Bank of America. Leaked emails apparently suggest that three private security firms – HBGary Federal, Palantir Technologies and Berico Technologies – pitched a plan to undermine the whistleblowers' site to a law firm which has represented the Bank of America. BoA, the largest US bank, is thought to be the next target of WikiLeaks releases. Anonymous began releasing tens of thousands of emails sent by HBGary Federal late last week, after the loose-knit "hacktivist" group attacked the security firm's computer systems .
Last Thursday, ThinkProgress revealed that lawyers representing the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, one of the most powerful trade associations for large corporations like ExxonMobil and CitiGroup , had solicited a proposal from a set of military contractors to develop a surreptitious campaign to attack the Chamber’s political opponents, including ThinkProgress, the Change to Win labor coalition, SEIU, StopTheChamber.com, MoveOn.org, U.S. Chamber Watch and others. The lawyers from the Chamber’s longtime law firm Hunton and Williams had been compiling their own data set on some of these targets. However, the lawyers sought the military contractors for assistance.
It has been an embarrassing week for security firm HBGary and its HBGary Federal offshoot. HBGary Federal CEO Aaron Barr thought he had unmasked the hacker hordes of Anonymous and was preparing to name and shame those responsible for co-ordinating the group's actions, including the denial-of-service attacks that hit MasterCard, Visa, and other perceived enemies of WikiLeaks late last year. When Barr told one of those he believed to be an Anonymous ringleader about his forthcoming exposé, the Anonymous response was swift and humiliating. HBGary's servers were broken into, its e-mails pillaged and published to the world, its data destroyed, and its website defaced. As an added bonus, a second site owned and operated by Greg Hoglund, owner of HBGary, was taken offline and the user registration database published.
Security company HBGary wanted to help the FBI take action against Anonymous but instead, some of its systems were hacked and company information, including over 50,000 internal emails, was published. The scale of the disaster which has overtaken the company is slowly becoming clear. HBGary is known largely for the exploits of its former Director of Engineering, James Butler, who rightly earned plaudits for his earlier work on Windows rootkits. These days, the company's key product is HBGary Responder , which can be used to analyse memory on Windows systems. It is often used as a forensic tool by criminal investigation agencies, but can also be used to detect malware. Now, the details of the company's other areas of business are also slowly being revealed.
By Richi Jennings . February 16, 2011. HBGary Federal has been the subject of counter-attacks by the Anonymous group-that's-not-a-group. The insecure security company allowed its email to leak to the WikiLeaks supporters. And now HBGary has had to pull out of the RSA Conference and the related unconference, Security B-Sides.
(update below) HBGary Federal, provider of classified cybersecurity services to the Department of Defense, Intelligence Community and other US government agencies, has opted over the past months to go to war with the group of WikiLeaks supporters known as Anonymous. The Tech Herald reported today on HBGary Federal and two other data intelligence firms “strategic plan” for an attack against WikiLeaks. The company is considered to be “a leading provider of best-in-class threat intelligence solutions for government agencies and Fortune 500 organizations.” It provides "enhanced threat intelligence" so "the federal government can better protect our national cyber infrastructure." Almost a year ago, the company received an extension to their contract with the US Department of Homeland Security to “conduct a series of hands-on memory forensics and malware analysis training events with local, state, and federal law enforcement officials around the country.”
Like Barr's previous statements to FT, the entirety of his research is not only terrible, but in many cases less informative than is the public record. The entry on me, for instance, is entirely inaccurate despite the fact that I have not been a clandestine participant since coming out of the closet months ago. As noted by Bernard Keane , the situation is rather hilarious.
Aaron Barr, CEO of security company HBGary Federal, spent the month of January trying to uncover the real identities of the hacker collective Anonymous—only to end with his company website knocked offline, his e-mails stolen, 1TB of backups deleted, and his personal iPad wiped when Anonymous found out. Our lengthy investigation of that story generated such interest that we wanted to flesh out one compelling facet of the story in even more detail. In a sea of technical jargon, social media analysis, and digital detective work, it stands out as a truly human moment, when Barr revealed himself to Anonymous and dialogued directly with senior leaders and "members" of the group. The encounter began on February 5. Barr had managed to get his work written up in a Financial Times story the day before, and now strange traffic was pouring in to HBGary Federal.
by Steve Ragan - Feb 9 2011, 20:28 Data intelligence firms proposed a systematic attack against WikiLeaks. (IMG: WikiLeaks/S.Ragan) After a tip from Crowdleaks.org, The Tech Herald has learned that HBGary Federal, as well as two other data intelligence firms, worked to develop a strategic plan of attack against WikiLeaks. The plan included pressing a journalist in order to disrupt his support of the organization, cyber attacks, disinformation, and other potential proactive tactics. Update:
Last week, the loose-knit hacking collective Anonymous stole over 50,000 emails from security researcher Aaron Barr . Now they're launching the Wikileaks-style Anonleaks.ru , to make it easy for anyone to browse Barr and his colleagues' private emails. Want to read the excruciating love letter a security company executive sent her husband? Anonymous attacked Barr and the security company he worked for, HBGary Federal, on Sunday after he (wrongly) boasted to a reporter about having identified Anonymous' "leaders." In just a few minutes, Anonymous broke into HBGary's computers, then posted an archive of HBGary corporate emails on The Pirate Bay.
This week, hackers said they had penetrated the computers of HBGary Federal, a security company that sells investigative services to corporations, and posted tens of thousands of what appear to be its internal company e-mails on the Internet. The documents appear to include pitches for unseemly ways to undermine adversaries of and the , like doing background research on their critics and then distributing fake documents to embarrass them. The bank and the chamber do not appear to have directly solicited the spylike services of HBGary Federal. Rather, HBGary Federal offered to do the work for Hunton & Williams , a corporate law firm that has represented them. A Hunton & Williams spokesman did not comment. But spokesmen for Bank of America and the chamber said Friday that they had not known about the presentations and that HBGary Federal was never hired on their behalf.
On the weekend, a report appeared in the Financial Times (paywalled, but carelessly copied at Pastebin ) on the internet group Anonymous, about which I’ve written a couple of pieces of late. According to the report, senior members of Anonymous face arrest because “they left clues to their real identities on Facebook and in other electronic communications.” The source of the claim was former US Navy cryptographer Aaron Barr of computer security company HB Gary Federal. Barr claimed to the FT that he had “penetrated” Anonymous – a choice of language guaranteed to induce hysterics at 4chan – and that, in the words of the journalist, “key Anonymous figures” were “fretting”.