According to the Department of Justice, Matthew Keys, a 26-year-old journalist hailing from New Jersey has been charged with conspiring with Anonymous, the hacking collective known for trumping some big-name targets. Keys aided the hackers in accessing and altering a Los Angeles Times news article by providing login information.
Anonymous has released 14GB of data it acquired about Bank of America, Thomson Reuters, ClearForest, Bloomberg, and TEKSystems, an intelligence firm. It did this via a press release on the website Par-AnoIA, including a link to the hacked data and a rundown of the relevant details for those who don't have the time to look at 14 gigs of info. The data concerns the spying habits of Bank of America and other corporations, which are said to include a log of data on hundreds of thousands of employees and executives at various corporations around the world.
This week there's a letter being sent to the heads at HTC from what reports claim is an anonymous defector from the company's R&D department, this letter claiming that "more than a thousand" engineers have been asked to work 12 hour days without overtime on a regular basis. This system has been claimed by the anonymous letter-writer to have been called a "Responsibility System" and is having workers put in "1000 hours" of overtime work without overtime pay. While the letter has not yet been entirely authenticated beyond what Taiwanese publication MyDrivers claim, such claims will likely prompt a response from HTC rather rapidly.
This past week has been full of hackings of various organizations, and the Federal Reserve is the latest on the list. They have confirmed that they were recently hacked by Anonymous. One of the organization's website was breached, and Anonymous reportedly leaked the contact information of thousands of bankers.
The death of Aaron Swartz, as many of you already know, is something that has Anonymous upset, and today the hacker collective is doing something about it. Two weeks after Swartz committed suicide, Anonymous has taken over the U.S. Sentencing Commission's website, leaving a message for visitors and threatening to release government documents it has uncovered. At the time of this writing, the U.S. Sentencing Commission hasn't made a statement about the attack.
Two hacker associated with the infamous Anonymous group have been sentenced to jail time for their role in DDoS attacks on the websites of MasterCard, Visa, and PayPal. 22-year-old Christopher Weatherhead and 28-year-old Ashley Rhodes, both from the UK, will spend 18 months and seven months in jail, respectively.
In a world dominated by the instant availability of digital information, social profiles, and constant connection to the proverbial hivemind, privacy is more of an issue than it has ever been. While many users are ready to pounce on the latest Facebook privacy blunder or diligently request that their data be removed from people search websites, there's one area of privacy that has been all but overlooked: DNA. Researchers at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research demonstrated how they were able to identify anonymous study participants using nothing more than their genomes and the Internet.
Over the past week we've seen several reactions to the death of freedom of information activist Aaron Swartz, one of the most disturbing being the planned protest of his funeral by the Westboro Baptist Church. It would appear that today the hacktivist collective known as Anonymous has saved the day, having promised action against the WBC if they did, in fact, show up at the funeral in Highland Park, Illinois. The WBC's lawyer has reportedly since contacted local police, stating that the group would not be attending the vigil - and by the looks of it here the day after the event, they did indeed stay away completely, not a one of them showing up.
Hack-collective Anonymous broke into MIT's website over the weekend and subverted it into a tribute to open-access activist Aaron Swartz, the internet hero who committed suicide on Friday last week. Describing the $1m lawsuit Swartz faced for hacking into the JSTOR database as "a grotesque miscarriage of justice," Anonymous also called for "reform of computer crime laws," CNET reports, in addition to "a renewed and unwavering commitment to a free and unfettered internet."
A petition was posted on the White House's website by Anonymous, which is seeking to have DDoS attacks become a legal form of protest. Distributed denial-of-service attacks are not hacking, the group says, but are instead the equivalent of "hitting the refresh button on a webpage." In doing so, the protesters are occupying a digital space much like a protester outside of a physical business.