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15 August 2011, 10:59

Anonymous take on San Francisco's rapid transit system

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Anonymous icon Anonymous, the loosely aligned and loosely organised hacktivist group, has begun attacking sites related to BART, the San Francisco area rapid transit system. On Sunday 14 August,, a marketing site for events near BART stations, was hacked and 2000 usernames and plain text passwords, zipcodes, phone numbers and addresses were released by a group affiliating itself with Anonymous. It is believed that this data was obtained as the result of an SQL injection attack.

Last week, in an attempt to prevent protests within its stations, BART and the BART police turned off the mobile phone cell towers that operated in a number of stations. In response, Anonymous declared that it would be holding a peaceful protest on 15 August and called for a "flood" of BART directors' communications. A site run by the California Office of Traffic Safety against drunk driving,, was also defaced with Anonymous images and modified text, though Anonymous's spokesperson on Twitter @anonymousirc has not mentioned the defacement, and its relationship to BART does seem to be somewhat tenuous.

Announcing action against the BART authorities in advance is the latest apparent change in Anonymous tactics – a UK Anonymous affiliate group, #opbritain (Operation Britain), has announced #opunity (Operation Unity) for 15 October, this time in a call for "peaceful rebellion" on that date. On the other hand, Anonymous have denied responsibility for a call to take Facebook down on 5 November.


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