Titled Texas Takedown Thursday, the hacking group Anonymous released three gigabytes of personal data from various Texas law enforcement agencies. The majority of the departments that Anonymous hacked into were police departments in smaller Texas cities likely due to a reduced amount of security. Private information, such as social security numbers and cell phone numbers, were included in the data dump and the emails included correspondence from some former policeman that had already retired. A portion of the communication is likely embarrassing to specific officers within the law enforcement agencies due to racist, sexist and homophobic remarks.
This attack on law enforcement is a response to the arrests of fourteen Anonymous hackers last month in the United States, otherwise known at the “Paypal 14”. This group of hackers is allegedly responsible for participating in denial-of-service attacks on Paypal in December of 2010. The attack on Paypal was part of a larger effort to also deny service to Visa and Mastercard for denying donations for the people behind WikiLeaks. Titled Operation Payback, the group allegedly used a piece of software called the “Low Orbit Ion Cannon” to attack the financial sites. Since the tool did nothing to conceal the IP addresses of the attackers, law enforcement agencies tracked down the fourteen men after seven months of casework.
Today’s attack seems to be a continued collaborative effort to discredit law enforcement agencies, although Texas government has little to do with the current charges facing previously arrested members of Anonymous. In early August, the hacking group known at AntiSec released 10GB of communication and private documents from law enforcement agencies in Missouri. Previous to that, the LulzSec hacking organization released a large amount of personal communication between Arizona law enforcement agencies. Titled Operation Chinga La Migra, the data dump included phone numbers passwords, names, addresses and other private information for law enforcement officers.