Skip to main content

Anonymous in revenge hack on firm helping FBI

Anonymous, the online collective that launched DDoS attacks on Visa, PayPal and others in support of whistle-blowing site WikiLeaks, has brought down the web site of a firm helping the FBI to unmask its members.

Security services firm HBGary Federal had been helping the Feds to track down the individuals behind a number of distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks (opens in new tab) on companies including Amazon, PayPal, Visa, MasterCard, Swiss bank PostFinance and Bank of America, after the firms suspended services to WikiLeaks.

In a sophisticated attack, Anonymous members hacked into HBGary's website and posted an image (opens in new tab) containing a message explaining their actions. In addition, they downloaded over 60,000 messages from the company's email servers and posted them on The Pirate Bay.

The Twitter account of HBGary's CEO, Aaron Barr, was also compromised and used to tweet a number of offensive messages, as well as his home address, social security number and mobile phone number.

Business magazine Forbes (opens in new tab) reports that the LinkedIn accounts of other HBGary executives were also accessed. Democrat blog DailyKos also claims that HBGary's backups were also deleted.

HBGary claimed to have gathered the names, addresses and personal details of individuals alleged to be Anonymous leaders, and was preparing to sell the information to the FBI. The hackers claim HBGary's data is bogus, and posted it publicly on the internet to prove their point.

At the time of writing, the HB Gary website is still unavailable (opens in new tab). According to a report on, the HBGary site was compromised using social engineering techniques to get a security administrator to give them complete access to one of the company's sites. monitors all leading technology stories and rounds them up to help you save time hunting them down.