Aaron Barr, a computer security expert for HBGary, spoke last week to the Financial Times, telling the paper that he had gathered incriminating information about the shadowy hacker group known as Anonymous, a general source of online chaos and most recently, diligent supporters of WikiLeaks. In response, Anonymous promptly hacked Barr’s email, Twitter and company website, spreading the results of his investigation across the web. Now, the group has set up a WikiLeaks-style website, known as AnonLeaks, where all of Barr and his colleague’s emails can be searched, read and downloaded.
The portal sites of emails, mirrored here and here, reveals HBGary’s contract with Bank of America and a promise from the computer security team to target not just WikiLeaks, but the thousands of private citizens who have donated money to the group.
One PowerPoint presentation details the “WikiLeaks Threat” and, as Forbes summarizes, suggests “Nixonesque tactics for sabotaging the site on behalf of Bank of America, including spreading misinformation, launching cyberattacks against it, and pressuring journalists.” Barralso wrote that security firms “need to get people to understand that if they support the organization we will come after them,” threatening anyone even tangentially affiliated with WikiLeaks. A more specific target for Barr’s group is named: Salon’s Glenn Greenwald, who has written extensively about WikiLeaks, more often than not, in support.
The other firms in question — Planatir and Berico Technologies — joined HBGary to the prepare the reports for Bank of America, thought to be the next WikiLeaks target. But in their attempts to fortify the financial institution, all three security firms put a target on their own backs. Via Forbes, here’s another Barr email:
“The Wikileaks and Anonymous guys think they are doing the people justice by without much investigation or education exposing information or targeting organizations? BS. Its about trying to take power from others and give it to themeselves. I follow one law. Mine.”
To Anonymous, that’s a challenge.