The Internet hacker collective Anonymous claims to have breached the security of NATO’s computer network and made off with roughly a gigabyte of “restricted material,” according to a message posted from a Twitter account belonging to the group.
Anonymous released two NATO documents in PDF form, both apparently confidential documents belonging to the cross national defense organization. One document purports to be a restricted memo from 2008 detailing NATO plans to outsource communication and information systems (CIS) support for crisis response operations in the Balkans. The other PDF is an unclassified document describing the security procedures, both electronic and physical, within the alliance.
NATO did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but a report from the Telegraph claims that NATO is investigating the Anonymous’s claims.
The alleged breach suggests that Anonymous has lost little momentum following a spate of FBI raids and arrests that took place Monday in connection with an ongoing Anonymous campaign of DDoS attacks and Web site hacks directed at corporate and government entities, including Visa, PayPal, Amazon in retaliation for corporate action against the whistle blower site WikiLeaks, and against U.S. government contractor Booz Allen Hamilton. The group contends that widespread government and corporate corruption justify a wide range of attacks against government agencies and companies that do business with them.
If the group did indeed breach NATO, then they would be making good on a warning they issued to the alliance shortly after the HBGary incident. Earlier hacks, such as a release of confidential information related to the FBI’s Infragard program, were said to be retribution for the Obama Administration and NATO’s increasingly tough stand against the kinds of politically and ideologically motivated attacks that are a hallmark of Anonymous, LulzSec and other groups.