An apparent coalition of hackers is hitting targets with surprising speed and accuracy — and it looks like it’s just the beginning.
By Scott Thill
February 17, 2011
Aaron Barr must feel like he’s wearing clown shoes.
Shortly after the overreaching CEO of Sacramento’s so-called cybersecurity outfit, HBGary Federal, assembled an online attack plan against pro-Wikileaks supporters like Salon journalist Glenn Greenwald and prematurely bragged about “pwning” the upstart hacker collective Anonymous privately to his employees and publicly to the Financial Times, Anonymous quickly retaliated by raiding his drives, releasing 40,000 HBGary Federal emails, remotely wiping his iPad and engendering a scathing public disconnection from those who have known and employed him. Evidently, if you fuck with the Internet bull, you still get the real-time horns.
“Rarely in the history of the cybersecurity industry has a company become so toxic so quickly as HBGary Federal,” Andy Greenberg blogged Feb. 15 for Forbes‘ Firewall column. “Over the last week, many of the firm’s closest partners and largest clients have cut ties with the Sacramento start-up. And now it’s canceled all public appearances by its executives at the industry’s biggest conference in the hopes of ducking a scandal that seems to grow daily as more of its questionable practices come to light.”
Competitive Intelligence, Rampant Idiocy
Of course, HBGary and Barr are tiny potatoes, especially for the code-savvy web heads of Anonymous, which is why his shamed mug has lately been making the media rounds. In fact, the finest breakdown of Barr and HBGary’s conspiratorial plan has taken shape in Ars Technica’s exhaustive spook farce, “Spy Games: Inside the Convoluted Plot to Bring Down Wikileaks,” which pegged Barr as “The Man Who Knew Too Little” as a parting pop-cult stab.