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04 June 2011, 21:24

LulzSec hacks FBI liaison and security firm

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On Friday, LulzSec announced that it had hacked one of security organisation InfraGard's web servers, which led it to a security firm's confidential data; the head of the firm used the same password for his email account. Over the past week, LulzSec has made headlines twice: first, the hackers compromised the web site of US TV broadcaster PBS, then they broke into the servers of Sony Pictures.

This latest attack targeted InfraGard's office in Atlanta, Georgia. LulzSec replaced the homepage with cursing and a YouTube joke video. They apparently also downloaded all the interesting information from the web server. The server's user database was apparently not properly protected. LulzSec published the personal data of 180 InfraGard members and a number of passwords in plain text. They also made 700 MB of emails available as a torrent download.

A controversial organisation, InfraGard acts as a liaison between the FBI and private sector US firms. Its goal is to protect the US from major attacks by interlinking governmental authorities and private companies – a kind of high level neighbourhood watch.

The attack was apparently a reaction to plans in the US to start treating hacker attacks as an act of war. In a press release, LulzSec claims that some users also used their InfraGard passwords on other servers. The press release adds that the hackers obtained information about a hacking attack against Libya sponsored by the US government.

The hackers reserved special gloating for Karim Hijazi, head of the Unveillance security firm. Unveillance specialises in analyses of botnets – networks of computers captured via malware. LulzSec managed to use Hijazi's InfraGard password to access his Gmail account. The hackers also say they briefly got control of the Unveillance server. When contacted, Hijazi allegedly tried to get LulzSec to "eliminate" his competitors.

Hijazi denies these charges in his own public statement: he claims that the hackers have been after him and his firm for two weeks now and tried to extort information from him about his firm's botnet analysis methods. Hijazi claims that he managed to protect all of his firm's confidential information. As he puts it, the hackers "only" got hold of his private and professional emails.

It will probably take some time to determine for certain what exactly happened between the hackers and the security firm. It also remains to be seen whether yesterday's hack of the InfraGard web site was only the latest in a series, as Unveillance would have us believe. But one thing is already clear – the hackers are at least partly after money. Tellingly, LulzSec's press release stored at Pastebin points to a BitCoins account where you can donate to the hackers.


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