From the FinallyFast Help Desk:
HBGary Federal CEO Aaron Barr recently announced he is stepping down from his position following an embarrassing battle with the Anonymous hacking organization.
“I need to focus on taking care of my family and rebuilding my reputation,” Barr said in a phone interview with Kaspersky Labs’ Threatpost. “It’s been a challenge to do that and run a company. And, given that I’ve been the focus of much of bad press, I hope that, by leaving, HBGary and HBGary Federal can get away from some of that. I’m confident they’ll be able to weather this storm.”
Barr and HBGary Federal previously collaborated with the FBI on an investigation into the hacking organziation known as Anonymous. Barr claimed in an interview with the Financial Times that he obtained the identity of two members of Anonymous residing in the United States, and scheduled an address at this month’s RSA Security Conference in which he was expected to reveal these identities.
Before the conference began, Barr’s personal Twitter account was breached, through which a hacker posted a statement on Anonymous’ motives. Meanwhile, both domain names used for the HBGary Federal website were hijacked and the home page was replaced with a similar statement from Anonymous. Then, news broke that Anonymous stole 60,000 company emails and immediately began publishing them on the internet.
“Today we taught everyone a lesson. When we actually decide to bite back against those who try to bring us down, we bite hard,” the hackers posted from Barr’s Twitter account.
HBGary Federal proceeded in light of the data breach, with Barr still scheduled to speak at the RSA Security conference. However, after the first two days at RSA brought hecklers to the HBGary Federal showcase tent and death threats against Barr and his family, the company vacated the conference. Shortly after, in place of an HBGary Federal sign explaining its sudden departure, a large white sign claiming victory in the name of Anonymous was found in the place where HBGary Federal’s tent was set up.
Now, after Barr announced he is stepping down, a Twitter account by the name of Topiary, which claims to be an “online activist” and “supporter of anonymous operations, WikiLeaks and maintaining freedom on the internet” declared “victory” in a Tweet with the link to news about Barr’s departure attached.
Anonymous has grown into one of the world’s most influential hacking organizations in a short time. The group emerged shortly after the international persecution of WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange, defending both by lashing out at the organizations that condemned either. Anonymous has claimed responsibility for distributed denial-of-service attacks that have successfully brought down the MasterCard website, as well as targeted online payment service PayPal and Visa, after each declared they would stop processing donations to WikiLeaks.