Anonymous Claims Hack of NATO, Sends Warning to FBI

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.

NATO AnonymousThe 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. 

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Discussion

  • Eric Dorman on

    Anonymous will try, but they will fail. Like all hacking groups before them. 

  • Emily on

    Fail at what, Eric?  Any project that yield information they release registers as a success.  They aren't an army, they are more like snipers, in which one kill is succeeding.  And you could say that they either force the target organizations to tighten security or they limit the most egregious behavior of those same organizations, or both; and that is a success which cannot be measured.

  • Mike Shafer on

    Quoting: "but they will fail. Like all hacking groups before them. "

    Given that on-line cybercrime is a many billion dollar business it would seem to me that quite a few "hacking groups" have done rather well for themselves financially.  Not exactly a "fail."

    Moreover I have to agree with the points made by the previous commenter (Emily).

    Undoubtedly the various "Feds" will haul in some suspects (the usual suspects?) and make some charges stick. However if we take "failure" above to mean that the group in its entirety (or even mostly) will be caught and prosecuted I would say that's a silly notion at best given the current structure of the Internet and the virtual sieve of security holes contained there in.

    I'm neither condoning nor condemning the actions of Anon et al but only arguing that a skilled cyber-activist/criminal/ pick your term is highly unlikely to be caught.

    As a consultant to the SMB sector that focuses on client secruity I share no such smug assurance that Anon or others of the cyber-crime world will so assuredly be stopped and apprehended.

  • Environmental Engineer on

    I see they are talking about a batch of "NATO Restricted" data.  In US terminology, NATO Restricted is the equivalent of "For Official Use Only."   Non-US NATO countries secure NATO Restricted documents when not in use by keeping them in a closed file drawer that does not have to be locked, although US personnel in units assigned to NATO are required to treat it as "Confidential" and lock it up.  Unless Anon has accessed some actual classified NATO information, I wouldn't be too concerned about this breach as long as NATO has taken appropriate action.

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