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AntiSec forces hack targets high and low in protest move

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Adherents of AntiSec, a philosophical movement sometimes linked with the Anonymous hacker collective, have struck again in the spirit of LulzXmas—their holiday-themed moniker for a series of Yuletide hacks.

On Christmas Eve, AntiSec forces hacked into security think tank Stratfor, and openly mocked them for not encrypting their data properly. (That kind of hack is typical: AntiSec is opposed generally to the computer-security industry and seeks to demonstrate the pointlessness of most security measures.) Stratfor’s clients include the US military as well as numerous news organizations, including MSNBC and Fox News.

AntiSec also made hay about a hack of Special Forces Gear, a law-enforcement supply and apparel company. AntiSec obtained customers’ passwords and credit-card numbers and expiration dates.

A release posted on the Pastebin text-sharing website announcing the hack stated that Special Forces was chosen because its clientele is “comprised primarily of military- and law-enforcement-affiliated individuals.”

The Special Forces site had featured two logos identifying the site as “hacker-proof,” the kind of claim that’s sure to draw AntiSec’s attention.

The release went on to criticize these law-enforcement personnel for “pepper-spraying peaceful protesters,” “recreationally” using Taser stun guns on “kids,” and having a “fetish for putting people in plastic zip ties,” a nod to the treatment Occupy protesters have received from local police seeking to break up their encampments.

Bradley Manning, the soldier charged with passing confidential government information to whistle-blowing site WikiLeaks, also drew a mention:

“Did Bradley Manning get his fancy holiday meal yet? Might want to hurry up before we hit even more targets.”

But the hack may not have been as closely linked to those causes as the hackers claimed, according to Special Forces owner Dave Thomas.

“Old news,” he said in a phone interview with the Daily Dot. His site, he said, had actually been hacked in August, and that version of the site was not the one currently operating at specialforces.com.

Occupy Wall Street didn’t get started until September, and pretrial hearings in Manning’s case only began this month.

Indeed, in the release, the hackers admitted they’d been “in possession” of the Special Forces card numbers “for the past few months.”

“I imagine it is coming up again because of the publicity over Stratfor,” said Thomas. “That’s what they are after. I am not a big company. I am minuscule. They’ve hurt me financially quite a bit, and I am thinking here we go again.”

Thomas said none of his customers had reported unauthorized activity on their credit cards.

In a private message with the Daily Dot, an AntiSec member admitted Special Forces was essentially chump change, but attacking it is part of a “war of attrition” and “guerrilla tactics.”  

“We go for every weak point,” wrote the AntiSec member. “We cut off every resource. We twist the knife in the back of the already untrusted.”

As for demanding Bradley Manning get a good holiday meal?

“While most of the free Western world enjoys the fruits of their Christmas holidays, Bradley Manning remains incarcerated for fighting for transparency in government and bringing glaring war crimes to light.” wrote the AntiSec member. “I think a nice holiday dinner is the least that could be given to him.”  

True. But if he’s worth that much, isn’t he at least worth a fresh hack?

Photo by iscari0t