Anonymous defaces US Sentencing Commission website

In the wake of the suicide of Internet activist Aaron Swartz earlier this month, it appears that the collective hacker group Anonymous is stepping up its cyber attacks. Soon after Swartz' death, Anonymous claimed responsibility for defacing MIT's website with a tribute to Swartz.

Earlier today, the group also claimed responsibility for defacing the website of the U.S. Sentencing Commission. CNN reports that the website included a lengthy message and a YouTube video after it was hit by the hack, which claimed Anonymous had obtained secret files from the U.S. Justice Department.

Anonymous puts part of the blame for Swartz' suicide on his treatment in the hands of the US justice system, which targeted Swartz after he downloaded millions of academic documents from the JSTOR online resource in 2011, with plans to release them for free to the public. Today, Anonymous claims that the files it took from the Justice Department contain "enough fissile material for multiple warheads," which is obviously a metaphor for some highly sensitive data.

It remains to be seen if this newest cyber attack was just a defacement of another website or if secret files were really obtained by Anonymous. The U.S. Sentencing Commission site is down as of this writing and a FBI representative says they are treating this incident "as a criminal investigation."

Source: CNN | Image via CNN

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32 Comments

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do not do the crime if you can not do the time
suicide is the easy way out
i do not disrespect him but he would of got off with a fine at most.
over reaction i think

morebaker said,
do not do the crime if you can not do the time
suicide is the easy way out
i do not disrespect him but he would of got off with a fine at most.
over reaction i think

Ignorance is bliss

morebaker said,
do not do the crime if you can not do the time
suicide is the easy way out
i do not disrespect him but he would of got off with a fine at most.
over reaction i think


a fine ? you have not been keeping up have you

What they state in their own words is that they did not target just this site... they hit many "high profile" targets, and obtained data this way. It's not that the data obtained was on this site specifically, but knowing how they function (see: ORGANIZED), they likely hit many little places to get alot of data. It's 1.3GB of data, and is likely made up on documents... we'll see where this goes, but you now know why people like DoJ, ISC, and Homeland Security advised people to abolish Java.... they knew something, and Anon basically showed them they were right... now we wait to see the details and if they were actually right. I follow them pretty closely for curiousity sake, and will state that it's likely big judging how they are dealing with the sensitive nature of the "Files".

This
"And they say Linux servers are secured... "

and

This
"if it is windows it is easy to hack, unsecured not stable... If it is Linux it is the configuration. I dont care what statement or comment you put all am saying is the truth. Linux fans like saying rubbish"

Are two completely different statements. I agree with the second one. The second one is completely opposite of what you said in the first one.

russianmonk said,
This
"And they say Linux servers are secured... "

and

This
"if it is windows it is easy to hack, unsecured not stable... If it is Linux it is the configuration. I dont care what statement or comment you put all am saying is the truth. Linux fans like saying rubbish"

Are two completely different statements. I agree with the second one. The second one is completely opposite of what you said in the first one.


and yes people tend to speak that Linux is just secured and windows is not... So the first one is directed to what they say too.

Who said that? The act of securing a server is up to the person who configures it. People like Linux servers because in most cases they're more stable, but this has nothing to do with what operating system the servers were running.

benalvino said,
And they say Linux servers are secured...

I almost thought about writing a legitimate response to this, about why you are completely wrong. Then I realized it would be a waste of time. So instead I wrote this statement.

russianmonk said,

I almost thought about writing a legitimate response to this, about why you are completely wrong. Then I realized it would be a waste of time. So instead I wrote this statement.


if it is windows it is easy to hack, unsecured not stable... If it is Linux it is the configuration. I dont care what statement or comment you put all am saying is the truth. Linux fans like saying rubbish

Well, if there were secret files on their web server someone needs to find a new job. And someone else is going to jail, but nothing new there.

So this guy stole documents from JSTOR, he got caught, was being prosecuted, and committed suicide because he couldn't handle it and we should care why? He committed a crime, he deserved to be punished. I don't care how just he thought his actions were. Just because he couldn't deal with the results of his actions, Anonymous has the right to hack sites? I don't think so.

You really should do a little bit of reading before you start shooting off entitled and offensive opinions.

I'm going to dot point it for you since clearly you couldn't be bothered reading:

- Aaron Swartz was going not going to be prosecuted by his state because nobody wanted to press charges and it was a prank
- Federal prosecutors jump in to make an example out of him
- They attempt to put him prison for more than a murder sentence (>25 years)
- In order to attempt this they charged him with 13 different crimes with KNOWLEDGE that all of them were going to be extremely difficult to prove in court, this was an attempt to get him to take a plea
- When the defence notified the US federal prosecutors that he was not mentally stable enough to discuss plea bargains they said "well I guess he's going to prison then"

They had no legal case. No law to support to put him in prison for that long. So they shotgunned him with as many minor charges as they possibly could in order to stress him out in to a plea bargain--instead they stressed him out in to suicide.

It's a psychological game. They gambled and they ****ed up. They need to take responsibility for that.

(nb: I'm referring to coming out and apologising, not an anonymous attack).

LightEco said,
Anonymous has the right to hack sites?

Does the government have the right to hack(..or shut down) the anonymous though??

Yes, if anonymous is hacking sites and stealing information, they should be shut down.

Also, even if the original crime didn't justify the amount of criminal prosecution brought to him, it still does not justify anonymous' hacking.

ascendant123 said,
You really should do a little bit of reading before you start shooting off entitled and offensive opinions.

Also, I went back and researched this a little more. Even before JSTOR, this guy was stealing documents and giving them out for free.

-In 2008, Swartz downloaded, and released, approximately 20% of the Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) database of United States federal court documents managed by the Administrative Office of the United States Courts.

-Swartz visited the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals library in Chicago and installed a Perl computer script. From September 4 to 20, 2008, it accessed approximately 18,000,000 documents and uploaded them to a cloud computing service. He donated the documents, amounting to 19,856,160 pages, to Malamud's public.resource.org.

On top of all these crimes, he ended up facing only up to 35 years max, and would probably even get far less. Was that still rather harsh? Maybe - the point is Swartz knew what he was doing was illegal and he did it anyway. The guy was a major thief and I stand by my original statement.

Also, I went back and researched this a little more.

Now you have a case of confirmation bias--you made an uninformed opinion that was at its core inflammatory and now you need to go and back it up. It is utterly disgusting that you are willing to try and tarnish good peoples names because you're unable to admit you were wrong.

You called this one incidence (you seem to think they were separate) crimes; the US state and federal courts disagreed as he was not charged. He ended up facing 35+ years for the JSTOR 'crime' only, which was simply re-releasing documents that were already a matter of public record (JSTOR takes PUBLIC academic papers PUBLISHED by researchers and then charges people to read them).

He wasn't some childish hacker that you seem to have a chip off your shoulder about, he was a researcher fellow at Harvard's Center for Ethics and his only interests were to raise civil awareness and promote an individuals liberties. He was one of the many activists involved in making sure that ridiculous acts such as SOPA didn't go through and he co-authored the RSS specification.

Regarding PACER--the documents that he 'stole' were not covered by copyright and thus unable to be stolen. The words PUBLIC ACCESS are even in the title. They were not stolen; the FBI investigated and concluded as such with an incredibly short investigation that was suspended.

I don't know what you think you're defending because Aaron Swartz did nothing but give information back to the people, information that they had created and was then put behind pay walls so others could make money. He did more for internet freedom and privacy laws then most other people could ever hope to do in a life time.

You need to grow up.

yowanvista said,
Nothing more than crybabies playing with loic

yowanvista: Nothing more than someone spouting **** they haven't got a clue about.

n_K said,

yowanvista: Nothing more than someone spouting **** they haven't got a clue about.

Here comes the overracting Mr I.know.everything zealot.

yowanvista said,

Here comes the overracting Mr I.know.everything zealot.

I'll make it nice and simple for you; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Low_Orbit_Ion_Cannon
You only have to read the first line to see where you haven't got a clue, just in case you're not able to read or understand it, I'll quote it here for you: network stress testing and denial-of-service attack application
And as an added bonus, here's the wikipedia page for what this article is about: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Website_defacement

yowanvista said,
Nothing more than crybabies playing with loic

You really have no idea what loic does do you? LOIC does not enable you to deface websites, it's just a DDOS tool.

yowanvista said,

Here comes the overracting Mr I.know.everything zealot.

I must say I totally agree with you. I once downloaded LOIC and before it had even finished downloading; my dog's head fell off, I burnt my pizza in the oven (it was even on timer!) and my imaginary girlfriend split up with me. Sad times, I didn't even own a dog so I'm not sure how powerful LOIC is but the rest of you guys should heed the warnings of yowanvista. LOIC is a extreemes(1) hackering tool. I had to reformat my computer!

sagum said,
I must say I totally agree with you. I once downloaded LOIC and before it had even finished downloading; my dog's head fell off, I burnt my pizza in the oven (it was even on timer!) and my imaginary girlfriend split up with me. Sad times, I didn't even own a dog so I'm not sure how powerful LOIC is but the rest of you guys should heed the warnings of yowanvista. LOIC is a extreemes(1) hackering tool. I had to reformat my computer!

I just about died laughing at this. Thank you for the post of the day!

sagum said,

I must say I totally agree with you. I once downloaded LOIC and before it had even finished downloading; my dog's head fell off, I burnt my pizza in the oven (it was even on timer!) and my imaginary girlfriend split up with me. Sad times, I didn't even own a dog so I'm not sure how powerful LOIC is but the rest of you guys should heed the warnings of yowanvista. LOIC is a extreemes(1) hackering tool. I had to reformat my computer!

HA! This was amazing!