July 25, 2011 at 2:24 PM ET
Hacking group Anonymous said Monday it took confidential documents from Italy's cyber crime agency, and has begun posting what will total more than 8 gigabytes of data from the organization, which was involved in the arrest of some Anonymous members in that country earlier this month.
"This corrupted organization gathered all the evidence from the seized property of suspected computer professional entertainers and utilized it over many years to conduct illegal operations with foreign intelligence agencies and oligarchy to facilitate their lust for power and money, they never used obtained evidence to really support ongoing investigations," Anonymous said in an awkwardly worded statement in English on PasteBin, a public file-sharing site where it has posted many of its hacked documents.
"Today we reveal a whole Load of stuff (estimated leak would be over 8Gb) from such owned institutions, just to make it clear all of this stuff was stored on CNAIPIC evidence servers for years while people are doing time in jail waiting for the trial while CNAIPIC used the evidence in the global spy game galore."
Among the documents Anonymous says it has from countries around the world, are some from companies and government agencies in the United States, including Exxon Mobil, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Department of Justice, and various law firms that work with the government, as well as "hundreds of bull---- agencies we don't even know why we pay taxes to support all of them."
CNAIPIC, the Italian cyber crime organization, had no comment on Monday. Its acronym stands for "Centro Nazionale Anticrimine Informatico per la Protezione delle Infrastrutture Critiche." Translated, it's the National Computer Crime Center for Critical Infrastructure Protection.
The Telegraph noted that the CNAIPIC files "purport to contain information on an array of firms involved in critical infrastructure, including oil and nuclear firms, as well as government bodies such as the Australian Ministry of Defence. The authenticity of the documents has not been independently confirmed.
"The release follows the arrest earlier this month of 15 alleged members of Anonymous by Italian authorities, part of a global crackdown on the collective."
Last week in the U.S., the FBI arrested 16 alleged members of Anonymous and LulzSec, its allied group; 14 of the 16 face charges tied to last December's attacks on PayPal as retribution for dropping WikiLeaks' donation account. Another two were arrested on charges related to intrusion and theft from computer systems at InfraGard, which has an IT contract with the federal government, and from AT&T.
It's too soon to know whether Anonymous will post all the data it has; it seemed to show restraint last week when it hacked NATO, saying it would be "irresponsible" to publish most of the material it took. And it has yet to publish, although it is promising to, phone numbers, emails, email account names and passwords of some of Murdoch's News International staff.
The Italian job may be cause for real worry, said one security specialist.
"If it's true that security at CNAIPIC has been breached by hackers, that would be a genuine concern as the group works with intelligence agencies around the world," wrote Graham Cluley, Sophos security's senior technology consultant, wrote on Sophos' blog.