Entries in Hackers (3)


Anonymous Hijacks Federal Website, Threatens DOJ Document Dump

Fuse/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Activists from the hacker collective known as Anonymous assumed control over the homepage of a Department of Justice agency on Saturday morning.

In a manifesto left on the defaced page, the group demanded reform to the American justice system and what the activists said are threats to the free flow of information.

The lengthy essay largely mirrors previous demands from Anonymous, but this time the group also cited the recent suicide of Reddit co-founder and activist Aaron Swartz as has having “crossed a line” for the group. Swartz was facing up to 35 years in prison on computer fraud charges.

Prosecutors said he had stolen thousands of digital scientific and academic journal articles from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with the goal of disseminating them for free.

Anonymous says Swartz was “killed because he was forced into playing a game he could not win — a twisted and distorted perversion of justice — a game where the only winning move was not to play.”

“There must be a return to proportionality of punishment with respect to actual harm caused,” it reads, also mentioning recent arrests of Anonymous associates by the FBI.

In their statement, the hackers say they targeted the homepage of the Federal Sentencing Commission for “symbolic” reasons.

The group claimed that if their demands were not met they would release a trove of embarrassing internal Justice Department documents to media outlets. Anonymous named the files after Supreme Court justices and provided links to them, but the links yielded dead-ends of mostly offline sites.

The file names use an “.aes256″ suffix, denoting a common encryption protocol. The same system was used to encrypt the Wikileaks Afghan war documents before their release.

As of press time, the commission webpage had been taken down.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Hackers Obtain Mitt Romney’s Tax Returns?

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Someone claims to have stolen years of Mitt Romney’s tax returns from a Tennessee office of the financial firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, and the Secret Service is investigating what appears to be a ransom scheme.

The local Democratic and Republican parties in Williamson County, Tenn., where the PricewaterhouseCoopers office is located, both received packages, each containing a thumb drive and a letter outlining a competitive-bidding ransom scheme that appears designed to pit Republicans and Democrats against each other over the release of Romney’s taxes.

The letters stated an intention to publish Romney’s tax returns on Sept. 28, unless $1 million is deposited in a Bitcoin (Internet currency) account, according to Williamson County Democratic Party Chairman Peter Burr, who said both he and his Williamson County GOP counterpart received similar packages.

The Secret Service took the package from him after the local GOP contacted authorities, Burr said. The Secret Service confirmed to ABC News that it is investigating the ransom scheme.

The apparent hackers presented “two options,” Burr said. “If somebody wanted to prevent the publication of these tax records, they needed to put a million dollars into this Bitcoin account…that was to prevent them from going ahead and publishing it on September 28th. Then they went on to say that if you want to ensure that this is published before September 28th, you have the option of contributing a million dollars to this other Bitcoin account … and if you win the race … the other side will not be able to prevent the publication.”

PricewaterhouseCoopers acknowledged the scheme, first reported by the tech website Mashable, in a statement to ABC News.

“We are aware of the allegations that have been made regarding improper access to our systems. We are working closely with the United States Secret Service, and at this time there is no evidence that our systems have been compromised or that there was any unauthorized access to the data in question,” the firm said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Obama Assassination Rumors Circulate on Fox News Politics Twitter

NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Hackers briefly gained control of the Fox News Politics Twitter Monday morning to wrongly proclaim that President Obama had been assassinated in Iowa.

The first few bogus tweets were posted with "@BarackObama" and only showed up in timelines of those who follow Fox News and the presidential account.

One of the tweets read: "We wish @joebiden the best of luck as our new President of the United States. In such a time of madness, there's light at the end of the tunnel."

Earlier, another post read, "@BarackObama has just passed. Nearly 45 minutes ago, he was shot twice in the lower pelvic area and in the neck; shooter unknown. Bled out."

The identity of the hacker or group that hijacked the Fox News Politics Twitter is unknown, although several published reports stated that an anonymous hacking group known as Script Kiddies claimed responsibility for the tweets. issued a statement on its website, saying, "Hackers sent out several malicious and false Tweets claiming that President Obama had been assassinated.  Those reports are incorrect, of course, and the president is spending the July 4 holiday with his family.  The hacking is being investigated, and regrets any distress the false tweets may have created."

The Secret Service is investigating the incident as a possible threat to the president.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio