Anonymous Takes Down Security Firm's Website, Vows to Fight on After Arrests

Hackers claiming to belong to the Anonymous hacking collective early Wednesday defaced Panda Security's PandaLabs website in apparent response to the arrests of five hackers Tuesday in the U.K. and the U.S.

In a characteristically defiant message posted on Panda's hacked homepage, Anonymous taunted the former LulzSec leader Sabu for helping the FBI nab the hackers, and vowed to carry on its hactivist campaign regardless of the setback.

"We are Antisec we'll fight till the end," the message noted. "To FBI and other s.... come at us bros we are waiting for you," it noted. The message was preceded by a seven-minute video clip set to the tune of "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" that appeared to recap Anonymous' activities over the past year.

The attackers also posted what seemed to be the login credentials of numerous Panda Labs employees on the defaced homepage. They noted that the attack on the security firm's site was in retaliation for Panda's alleged role in helping law enforcement crack down on members of the hacking collective.

"They helped to jail 25 anonymous in different countries and they were actively participating in our IRC channels trying to dox many others," the attackers said in apparent reference to a series of arrests of Anonymous members last year. "Yep we know about you. How does it feels being the spied one?" the message asked.

Prior to the attack, PandaLabs technical director Luis Corrons had posted a blog titled "Where is the Lulz Now" praising Tuesday's arrests.

The attack on Panda Labs comes less than 24 hours after the U.S. Attorney's office for the Southern District of New York said it had arrested five prominent members of Anonymous and a splinter group LulzSec in raids in the U.K. and in Chicago. Among those arrested was an individual who is alleged to have been responsible for the Christmas Day hacks against security intelligence firm Strategic Forecasting (Stratfor).

Each of the individuals was indicted on computer hacking charges and faces a maximum of 20 to 30 years in prison if convicted.

The arrests were made with the help of Hector Monsegur, a New York native who was the leader of LulzSec before being arrested last year. Monsegur, who also used the handle "Sabu," pleaded guilty in August to 12 hacking charges and faces up to 124 years in prison. After his arrest, Sabu agreed to help the FBI go after other members of LulzSec and Anonymous in the hopes of receiving a reduced sentence.

The attackers of Panda's website this morning chided Monsegur for being a snitch. "Traison (sic) is something we don't forgive," the message noted. "Yeah Yeah we know...Sabu snitched on us. As usually happens FBI menaced him to take his sons away we understood."

The attackers noted that the arrests might well mean the end of LulzSec, but not of Anonymous. "Anonymous existed before LulzSec and will continue existing," the message read.

Analysts lauded the FBI's efforts in nabbing the alleged Anonymous hackers but had expressed doubt over the long-term impact it would have on the group's activities.

The arrests show that it is going to be increasingly hard for Anonymous to act with the kind impunity they have shown in the past, Rich Mogull, an analyst with Securois, had said. "But there's no way to predict where this will go," he noted.

Jaikumar Vijayan covers data security and privacy issues, financial services security and e-voting for Computerworld. Follow Jaikumar on Twitter at @jaivijayan or subscribe to Jaikumar's RSS feed . His e-mail address is jvijayan@computerworld.com .

See more by Jaikumar Vijayan on Computerworld.com .

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