(MintPress) – International hacktivist organization Anonymous allegedly published the credentials of more than 4,000 U.S. bank executives in its newest protest aimed at reshaping computer crime law in America.
Zero Day, a news site dedicated to software security research, reported Monday that Anonymous was likely behind the publishing of the information, which appeared in the form of a spreadsheet on an Alabama government website.
Dubbed “Operation Last Resort,” Anonymous has launched a new series of attacks on government-related websites in direct protest to computer crime laws, demanding reform. The Twitter profile for the operation addresses its motives claiming, “This tragedy is basis for reform of computer crime laws, and the overzealous prosecutors.”
Its Twitter account, with the handle @OpLastResort, has admitted to being behind the attacks, providing a link to the Zero Day story. On Sunday night, the account posted a link to the Alabama Criminal Justice Information Center (ACJIC) website, transforming the link by adding “oops-we-did-it-again” to the end of the address. While the site has since been taken down, it had hosted the private information of U.S. banking officials for a brief amount of time Sunday evening.
At the time of the hack, the OpLastResort Twitter account posted the following statement: “Now we have your attention America: Anonymous’s Superbowl Commercial 4K banker dox via the FED,” along with a link to the ACJIC website.
The timing of the event is linked to the deadline for U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to hand over answers to questions relating to the treatment of Aaron Swartz. Holder was issued a letter by the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, in which he was asked to address seven questions relating to Swartz’ case.
Swartz was cofounder of social media site, Reddit, and founder of Demand Progress, a movement demanding the halt of internet censorship bills, including Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA). As noted by in the letter to Holder: “He was a firm believer in using the Internet to provide open access to the world’s knowledge, and he campaigned fervently against SOPA/PIPA.”
Swartz was arrested for allegedly hacking into JSTOR, which chronicles literary and scientific journals. JSTOR did not pursue charges against Swartz after he handed over 4.8 million documents. The U.S. Justice Department continued to pursue the case.
Anonymous has taken on Swartz’ case, using its hacking abilities to protest against the Justice Department’s heavy-handed attacks on Swartz. Its most recent attacks on government computers are a continuation of the Swartz fight, which mirrored Anonymous’ protests against both SOPA and PIPA.
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