Just last Friday, the hacker collective Anonymous claimed victory for gaining access a private FBI conference call — as well as taking down several websites. Here’s today’s deja vu moment: Anonymous has accepted credit for downing the Central Intelligence Agency’s website and hacking personal information from several Alabama government sites.
RT reports that the CIA’s website appeared to be down just after 3 p.m. this afternoon — at the time of this posting, it still remains offline. RT states that it is most likely a DDoS attack where the hackers overload the server causing the site to crash. Gizmodo writes “If this is what it looks like, it could be Anon’s greatest hit so far.”
The CIA is reportedly looking into these attacks.
The group also claims to have stolen the personal information of more than 46,000 people from Alabama law enforcement and government websites.
In an online news release Friday, the group claimed to have taken Social Security numbers, license plate numbers, phone numbers, addresses and criminal records.
Mobile city spokeswoman Barbara Drummond said Utah authorities alerted officials Thursday night that hackers may be targeting the city. She told The Associated Press that the city shut down its computers to avoid the attack and that the hackers did not gain access to Mobile’s servers.
However, hackers did breach the website of the city webmaster, and took data from a recent program offering amnesty to people with outstanding warrants for municipal offenses.
The warrant amnesty information from Mobile had already been made public by the city to encourage people to participate in the amnesty program, Drummond said. She said city technicians are still trying to determine whether some personal information required to log on to that website may have been stolen.
The group says the attack was prompted by what it called Alabama’s “racist legislation” targeting illegal immigrants.
“You complain about immigrants costing the state money, however, you do not care about spending the same money to protect your own legal citizens,” the news release said.
The group says it will not use the personal information to do damage.
“Because of the possible cost of lives and money to regular citizens, we are deleting this data and are seeking to make it known that you not only have shown zero regard for immigrants, but for the very citizens that live in the great state of Alabama.”
Officials in other Alabama cities have said they are not aware of being attacked.
Hackers claiming to be affiliated with Anonymous have launched a spate of attacks on law enforcement websites in recent weeks, hitting such cities as Salt Lake City, Boston, Syracuse, N.Y. and Greece. The collective of activists, pranksters and hackers have also targeted financial institutions such as Visa and MasterCard, as well as the Church of Scientology.
The New York Times reports Jerry Irvine, a member of the National Cyber Security Task Force, as saying the group is “unstoppable” and that more attacks such as this will continue to happen on government sites:
“Why can’t they be stopped? Because security technologies have not kept up with the extent of the vulnerabilities that exist.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.