Breach, Data Security, Threat Management

Anonymous exposes details of FEMA contractors as payback

Hundreds of Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) contacts had their information accessed and leaked late Wednesday following a breach for which hacker group Anonymous took credit.

A document released by Anonymous reveals names, addresses and other information of FEMA contractors and others connected to the agency, but the collective wrote in a dispatch that it “purposefully redacted logins, passwords, SSNs and other details that might genuinely endanger the United States from this document. [O]ur intent is not to harm, merely to issue a firm warning.”

It's not clear whether Anonymous actually breached any servers, or if the information exposed was publicly available, but difficult to find.

In its explanation, Anonymous drew reference to Edward Snowden, the whistleblower who leaked top-secret National Security Agency documents that showed the spy agency is engaging in bulk and indiscriminate phone and internet data collection of Americans. Anonymous said it took issue with a cyber exercise that FEMA put on in 2012, something the hacker group said painted activist hackers as criminals and also served as justification for programs such as PRISM.

PRISM is data mining effort operated by the NSA and involves participating of leading technology companies.

A FEMA spokesperson could not immediately be reached.

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