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Anonymous hacks sheriffs' offices across the U.S.

The merry band of headless hackers known as Anonymous said it has hacked dozens of sheriffs' offices across the U.S. and appears to have made off with a bunch of sensitive data.

Operating under the AntiSec banner the outfit said it lifted GB of data in retaliation for the arrests of suspected operatives in the US and Britain.

"We are releasing a massive amount of confidential information that is sure to embarass [sic], discredit and incriminate police officers across the US," a statement on Pastebin claimed. "Over 10GB of information was leaked including hundreds of private email spools, password information, address and social security numbers, credit card numbers, snitch information, training files, and more."

The hackers say they were watching news reports in which police officers were denying anything of worth had been hacked. "Many lulz have been had as we taunted the sheriffs by responding to their denials by tweeting teasers exposing their SSNs, passwords, addresses, and private emails," the mischief makers wrote, before dumping a load of data on the page.

By way of explanation, the statement under the AntiSec banner, with a whiff of LulzSec thrown in reads: "We are doing this in solidarity with Topiary and the Anonymous PayPal LOIC defendants as well as all other political prisoners who are facing the gun of the crooked court system. We stand in support of all those who struggle against the injustices of the state and capitalism using whatever tactics are most effective, even if that means breaking their laws in order to expose their corruption. You may bust a few of us, but we greatly outnumber you, and you can never stop us from continuing to destroy your systems and leak your data."

The leaked data included five credit card numbers the hackers said they use to make "involuntary donations".

In all, the hackers say they broke into the systems of over 70 law enforcement offices and many of these attacks have now been confirmed by red-faced sheriffs.