The anarchic hacking collective Anonymous took credit for a successful attack on Web sites belonging to the FTC. The attack, on Friday, was in protest for the U.S. Government’s support of ACTA, the Anti Counterfeiting Trade Agreement.
[Story updated to include comment from the FTC.]
A number of FTC Web sites were offline Friday morning following the incident, with reports that Anonymous had defaced the pages and posted an anti-ACTA video on them. They included the consumer.gov, a consumer protection Web site, and business.ftc.gov, the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection Business Center Web site. A post on the Web site Pastebin purporting to be a data dump from the hack included the user names and hashed login credentials for scores of FTC personnel.
An FTC spokesman declined to comment on the incident but said the agency was looking into the reports of a hack.
In an e-mail statement, an FTC spokeswoman acknowledged the hacks.
“The Bureau of Consumer Protection’s Business Center website and the partnership site NCPW run by the Federal Trade Commission were hacked earlier today,” the statement read. “The FTC takes these malicious acts seriously. The sites have been taken down and will be brought back up when we’re satisfied that any vulnerability has been addressed.”
The alleged attack on the FTC Web sites is just the latest targeted at government, law enforcement and industry groups, including those that are pushing for stronger laws to enforce protections on copyrighted materials. The group launched denial of service attacks following the takedown of the Web site Megaupload in January. Anonymous also posted a recording of an FBI conference call to discuss an pending case against alleged Anonymous leader Jake Davis (aka “Topiary”) and Ryan Cleary. A linked group also launched denial of service attacks against US stock exchanges including NASDAQ.