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Anonymous: the new face of cyber-war

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Author Topic: Anonymous: the new face of cyber-war  (Read 443 times)
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« on: June 24, 2011, 04:20:57 pm »

LulzSec hacks Ariz. state police computers

By Yvonne Wingett Sanchez, Matt Haldane and Shaun McKinnon, The Arizona Republic

Updated 6h 3m ago

PHOENIX Computer experts are trying to determine how an international group of hackers broke into the Arizona Department of Public Safety's computers Thursday and downloaded and released hundreds of law-enforcement files.

The group Lulz Security, which has taken responsibility for breaching websites of the CIA and U.S. Senate and hacking into Sony computers, said in a bulletin that it targeted the the state police agency because LulzSec opposes Senate Bill 1070, a law the Arizona Legislature passed that widened law-enforcement officers' ability to apprehend illegal immigrants. The law is largely on hold pending a Supreme Court review.

The files, posted on LulzSec's website, include personal information about officers and numerous documents ranging from routine alerts from out-of-state police agencies to videos and photos about the hazards of police work and operations of drug gangs. The names of the files are as innocuous as "resume" and "evaluation form" and as provocative as "cartel leader threatens deadly force on U.S. police."

In its Web posting, the group said the files were primarily related to U.S. Border Patrol and counterterrorism operations. The hackers vowed to release more classified documents each week as a way to embarrass authorities and sabotage their work.

In London, a 19-year-old who may have ties to LulzSec was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of involvement with cyber attacks on Sony and the CIA website, according to The Associated Press.

Steve Harrison, a state police spokesman, confirmed late Thursday that the agency's system had been hacked earlier in the day.

Experts are working on closing the loopholes and have closed external access to the system.

Harrison said the release of officers' personal information is alarming. This information included the names of eight officers, their spouses' names, cell-phone numbers and addresses.

"When you put out personal information, you don't know what kind of people will respond," Harrison said, noting that another officer was attacked at his home Thursday morning in an unrelated incident.

The only breach that the agency identified so far has been that of email accounts, the passwords of which were also posted online. The agency suspects most, if not all, of the information released was obtained via what was available on those accounts.

Although LulzSec claims some of the files were labeled "not for public distribution," Harrison said. The agency did not believe any sensitive information that would compromise current investigations was leaked.

Many of the files reflect the mundane concerns of law enforcement. Others offer insight into efforts to keep pace with rapidly evolving technology and the ways criminals take advantage of it.

Some documents also relate to the agency's effort to address issues of alleged racial profiling, stemming from a 2001 lawsuit that it agreed to settle. As part of that agreement, state police have continued to allow a university research firm to collect data on its officers' traffic stops.

Other documents included an intelligence bulletin about the leader of a Mexican drug cartel, an advisory from the Arizona Counter Terrorism Intelligence Center and Highway Patrol operational plans for responding to border threats.

According to news reports, the anonymous computer-hacking group has taken responsibility for breaching websites of the CIA, the U.S. Senate, the Public Broadcast System and numerous video-game companies.

LulzSec posts its exploits on Twitter and, as of Thursday, claimed more than 261,200 followers.

Aaron Sandeen, the state's chief information officer, said a national cybersecurity agency that monitors state websites notified his office of a potential breach and the site was shut down immediately.

The agency's information system is separate from the rest of state government, he said. No other state agency websites have been compromised, he said.

On Thursday afternoon, LulzSec taunted Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio on his official account, saying, "Media? Heat? You?" The tweet included an expletive in Spanish aimed at the Border Patrol.

Sheriff's Deputy Chief Jack MacIntyre said the Sheriff's Office is taking "some countermeasures" with the agency's IT system.

"We will be cooperating with DPS to make sure that we minimize any possible impact," he said. Asked if the sheriff's computer systems had been compromised, MacIntyre responded, "We don't think so, we're looking at that."
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The most successful tyranny is not the one that uses force to assure uniformity, but the one that removes awareness of other possibilities, that makes it seem inconceivable that other ways are viable, that removes the sense that there is an outside. --Allan Bloom
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