Hacktivist group Anonymous hit another FBI cyber-security contractor, as the group rallies to target the U.S. government despite recent arrests.
Members of Anonymous on Friday posted nearly 400 megabytes of files from ManTech, an online security contractor for the FBI, NATO, and U.S. defence, State and Justice Departments. Also among the exposed data were U.S. army personnel files and emails.
Anons dubbed this exploit “F— FBI Friday III,” the third instalment of the group’s “AntiSec” campaign against the department. Past weekly campaigns led to hacks against FBI contractors Infragard, Unveillance and IRC Federal.
“We are providing these ManTech documents so the public can see for themselves how their tax money is being spent,” said Anonymous in a blog post. “But don’t you worry, the U.S. is a rich country and can afford to waste money, right?”
Their comments reference the fact that the FBI paid $100 million to ManTech for a five-year contract. In hacking the cyber-security firm, the hacker group suggests the FBI’s investment was a poor one.
The FBI may need to be more vigilant on Fridays in the future, with the group’s seeming determination to make its opinions heard through high-profile hacks despite the recent arrests of 16 alleged Anonymous members.
Anonymous’ partner group LulzSec also took a hit when U.K. authorities last week nabbed two suspected key members. Last month too, Turkey and Spain put a total of 35 hackers behind bars.
Today’s news suggests the worldwide, leaderless collective remains strong despite such crackdowns. They also remain bold in their targets, striking the very organisations aiming to shut them down.
“Dear Government and Law Enforcement, we are repeating this message as we have the suspicion you still do not take us seriously: We are not scared anymore and your threats to arrest us are meaningless,” insisted Anonymous in a statement.
If they continue to target worldwide governments, however, hackers may find themselves thwarted more frequently as countries tighten their security systems in response. The Pentagon’s new five-pronged plan to combat hackers, plus the Obama administration’s proposal to extend fines and prison terms for those convicted of breaching government systems, may eventually push back the onslaught of recent hacking attacks, once their consequences fully play out.
On the other hand, until governments address their own security holes, hackers will likely find a way to dodge even the Pentagon and FBI. Each side will likely find increasingly ingenious ways to evade or pursue the other as the cat-and-mouse game continues.