June 29, 2011 at 5:13 PM ET
Hacking group Anonymous promised Tuesday it would target two U.S. companies and share data from them "soon." The group followed through on that pledge within a day, releasing data files and user passwords obtained from Universal Music and Viacom.
The information was shared, as some of it has been before, on PasteBin; while the more alarming hack, a second strike at data belonging to Arizona's law enforcement, was placed on another file-sharing site.
On their Twitter account, one of the main tools the group uses to communicate, Anonymous tweeted that in at least one media report of the incident, " 'A spokesman for the Arizona Department of Public Safety declined to comment.' Learning from mistakes?"
The Arizona, Universal Music and Viacom hacks reflect Anonymous' "Anti-Security" effort, or #AntiSec, as it's called on Twitter.
"We provide material that is primarily against corrupt Governments (in our world this is all Governments) and corrupt companies," the group said on the PasteBin site. "And keep in mind: #AntiSec vessels have a very large cache of valuable goods aboard; the crews are currently working hard to sort the loot in a way that even the lousy media sailboats are able to just grab it and sail away for the horizon. You will hear from us very soon."
So far this week, the group has taken aim at various government agencies, from the local to international level. Anonymous said it was taking on websites affiliated with the city of Orlando because of its handling of a food-for-the-homeless program, and it launched a denial-of-service attack that took the Tunisian government site offline. In recent days, the hacking group has shared information it says it obtained from the government websites of Brazil and Zimbabwe.
It also made clear that members of LulzSec — which recently disbanded after claiming responsibility for a series of hacks on gaming companies' websites, as well as the first Arizona law enforcement hack — are within Anonymous' fold.
"It has been a week since the LulzBoat lowered the LulzSec flag, she now proudly flies under the #AntiSec colors. Since this day, the movement is organized by a flotilla of independent but allied vessels," Anonymous said on PasteBin.