Anonymous hacked into the U.S. Sentencing Commission website due to the suicide of Aaron Swartz. Swartz was facing 50 years in prison for downloading four million Academic Journal articles.
Two weeks ago today, a line was crossed. Two weeks ago today, Aaron Swartz was killed. Killed because he faced an impossible choice. Killed because he was forced into playing a game he could not win -- a twisted and distorted perversion of justice -- a game where the only winning move was not to play.
Last year the Federal Bureau of Investigation reveled in porcine glee at its successful infiltration of certain elements of Anonymous. This infiltration was achieved through the use of the *same tactics which lead to Aaron Swartz' death. It would not have been possible were it not for the power of federal prosecutors to thoroughly destroy the lives of any hacktivists they apprehend through the very real threat of highly disproportionate sentencing. As a result of the FBI's infiltration and entrapment tactics, several more of our brethren now face similar disproportionate persecution, the balance of their lives hanging on the severely skewed scales of a broken justice system.
More amusing is their ease of hacking up a government website.
There has been a lot of fuss recently in the technological media regarding such operations as Red October, the widespread use of vulnerable browsers and the availability of zero-day exploits for these browsers and their plugins. None of this comes of course as any surprise to us, but it is perhaps good that those within the information security industry are making the extent of these threats more widely understood. Still there is nothing quite as educational as a well-conducted demonstration...
They put editing areas on the site so others can upload their outrage over mandatory sentencing guidelines. They also embedded files and link to distributed networks where one can download even more hacks they call warheads. The government website is offline, but as we all know, through caching and mirrors one can get to it. Buyer beware though and why we just copied some of the text.
Anonymous calls this operation last resort and is threatening to expose secret documents. Who knows what they will accomplish, even though they are right. Fifty years in prison for downloading some Academic Journal articles while Wall Street goes Scot-free for financial fraud is ridiculous. CNET has more on the persecution of Schwartz.