Hackers who claimed responsibility for online attacks against Sony Corp. and the CIA said they compromised the security of more than 1,000 accounts of an FBI partner organization, hours before releasing a web manifesto calling for "war" on governments that control the Internet.
The online collective Lulz Security said it attacked a local section of InfraGard, a partnership between the FBI and the private sector to share security information. InfraGard's website was down Monday afternoon.
The FBI was aware of the attack and that the website had been shut down as a precaution, agency spokeswoman Jenny Shearer said. She declined to comment on the extent of any damage.
Lulz tweeted Sunday night that its Connecticut attack had "compromised 1000 (plus) FBI-affiliated members." The group said it would not leak the user information but would embarrass the FBI with "simple hacks." It did not provide details on the information it said was compromised.
InfraGard is an association of businesses, academic institutions and law enforcement agencies dedicated to sharing information to prevent hostile acts against the United States, according to its website. Business representatives who participate get access to security information from government sources such as the FBI and Department of Homeland Security and can participate in discussions with others in the IT-security field.
This month, the Atlanta chapter of InfraGard said hackers stole 180 passwords from its members and leaked them online. Lulz also claimed responsibility for that attack, saying it was a response to a report that the Pentagon was considering whether to classify types of cyber-attacks as acts of war.
After announcing the Connecticut attack, the group issued its statement calling for a united hacker effort against governments and organizations that control the Internet.
"Our Lulz Lizard battle fleet is now declaring immediate and unremitting war on the freedom-snatching moderators of 2011," the group said in the statement, which was written in its characteristic rambling speech.
The group said it was teaming with another hacker collective, Anonymous, and encouraged others to fight corruption and attack any government or agency that "crosses their path" including banks and other "high-ranking establishments."
Anonymous is a group of online activists that has claimed responsibility for attacking companies online such as Visa, MasterCard and PayPal over their severing of ties with WikiLeaks following that group's release of troves of sensitive documents. Anonymous also led a campaign against the Church of Scientology.
Anonymous and similar hacker organizations are notable for their leaderless, diffuse construction that maximizes secrecy but can lead to mixed or unclear messages.
Lulz has taken credit for hacking into the PlayStation Network of Sony Corp., where more than 100 million user accounts were compromised, and defacing the PBS website after it aired a documentary seen as critical of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. The hackers also say they are responsible for attacks on the CIA webpage and the U.S. Senate computer system.
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