A hacktivist group purportedly associated with the Anonymous movement has released a large amount documents that it claims hold private data from Bank of America and other large companies. The documents allegedly include employee personal information, such as salaries of prominent individuals such as Google CEO Eric Schmidt. The hacktivists also claim to have found evidence of the bank's spying efforts on private citizens.
In a statement on the Potentially Alarming Research site,the group taking responsibility, the Anonymous Intelligence Agency (AIA), claimed it didn't break into a server, but instead released information that was "stored insecurely and could have been retrieved by anyone." [See also: Hacker Faces Prison for Not Hacking iPad ]
"The data was not acquired by a hack, but because it was stored on a misconfigured server and basically open for grabs," AIA said in a statement.
AIA said it came across emails from IT firm TekSystems to Bank of America, and those emails contained information gleaned from conversations found in hacker chatrooms. AIA published what it says is a list of keywords that were used to search social media to find information about them and other hacktivists. The document contains well over 10,000 keywords ranging from "Wikileaks" to "Occupy Wall Street" to "jihad." It also includes purported pseudonyms of Anonymous-affiliated hackers.
The hacktivists said they also found a folder that contained 8.4 gigabytes of personal details, including salary information, for employees and executives at many different companies.
"The folder was named 'Bloomberg,' which could indicate that the data belongs to Bloomberg L.P. However, the entries are tagged with 'reuterscompanycontent,'" the AIA statement said.
Even stranger, the AIA claims the data came from a server in Tel Aviv, where Thomson Reuters subsidiary ClearForest is based.
"While ClearForest is based in Tel Aviv, it remains unclear why this huge amount of data was stored insecurely on an open server,” AIA said. "What it was doing on the Israeli server is up to anyone's guess."
AIA said it released the data to "raise awareness" and shed light on "how irresponsible companies handle the data of more than dubious projects."