Jeffrey Roman from Data Breach Today reported on the 2012 cyber attack against the Sheriff of Lake County, Florida computers. Roman wrote, “Hacktivists associated with Anonymous have reportedly released sensitive information from the Lake County Sheriff’s Office in Florida. According to WKMG Local 6, hackers who came from an Internet server in Russia posted 16,000 files online, which include 911 calls, witness and victim statements, names of young crime victims, and names of Central Florida SWAT team members and their personal phone numbers, as well as the SWAT unit’s operating guide, the number of team members and number of snipers.”
“The hacking group LulzKnightz, which associates itself with AntiSec and Anonymous, has claimed responsibility, and took to a Pastebin page to post the data online, which equals 4.7 gigabytes of information,” notes Roman.
In a statement posted to that page, LulzKnightz explained its justification for the attack, saying, “More evidence that the illegitimate justice system protects their own, who get away with rampant corruption and theft, while the police apply unconstitutional profiling and pressure in their efforts to raise their arrest quotas and keep homeland security money rolling in.”
But is this attack about exposing an “illegitimate justice system”, “rampant corruption and theft” or something else?
Who was really behind this attack on a Florida sheriff’s computers and why? The who: The Russian Foreign Intelligence Service – Служба Внешней Разведки. The why: International espionage.
The Lake County Sheriff’s computers were targeted, as are tens of thousands of other law enforcement computers, by a foreign government – Russia. The purpose is to gather intelligence. Russia monitors groups like LulzKnighz, AntiSec and Anonymous. In some cases, Russia embeds its own people into these and other hacker organizations to gather needed intelligence. These groups become a cover for Russian intelligence operations. As one expert in cyber warfare put it, “Some of these hackers may be ignorant of the fact they are being used, but they are not innocent.”
In this particular case the data traveled to an Adidas server in Romania and then to servers in Moscow. Foreign intelligence services monitor hacker groups daily and when they detect a breach, such as what happened in the Lake County Sheriff case, they tag along and take what they really want. Who gets the blame? Not the Russians, of course, but Anonymous who is more than happy to take the credit. The consequences of these attacks have a direct impact on US national security.
The Russians wanted the Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) usernames and passwords on the Lake County Sheriff’s computers. Why? Because many of the members of the JTTF use the same username and password for their own department computers. This gives Russia access to a variety of federal computer systems like that of the FBI.
Anonymous is being used by Russian intelligence. Some members of Anonymous, and other groups, are actually plants. Others do it as proxies, a.k.a. spies, being paid by the Russians in Bitcoins for their work. Some just do it for the fun of exposing an “illegitimate justice system” and unknowingly are aiding and abetting treason against the United States.
Perhaps Anonymous needs to vett who their members really are? Some of them are part of Russia’s “illegitimate justice system”.
EDITORS NOTE: The feature photo is of members of the ‘Anonymous’ group travel on the London Underground system between Scientology’s Queen Victoria Street and Tottenham Court Road offices. The masks are those of everyman ‘V’ from the film ‘V for Vendetta’. It is courtesy of James Harrison.
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