Anonymous is having a busy weekend.
The loose-knit hacking collective, which last week scored a coup against the FBI, claimed yesterday to have taken down the CIA's Web site, in what appeared to be a distributed denial of service attack (one of the group's specialties, such relatively unsophisticated attacks paralyze Web servers with waves of data requests).
The group also posted information it said was pilfered from police and government servers in Alabama, and, as blog RT reported, took down the Mexican Senate and Interior Ministry Web sites. It also said it had exposed e-mail addresses from the Mexican Mining Chamber, aka "Camimex."
Contacted by CNN last night, a CIA representative would say only, "We are aware of the problems accessing our Web site, and are working to resolve them." The site was back online Saturday.
In a Pastebin document posted Friday, Anonymous addressed the citizens of Alabama and said that "because of your police being lazy when it comes to data security," operatives for the group had managed to lift information on 46,000 Alabama residents, including their names, Social Security numbers, dates of birth, criminal records, and license plate numbers.
The group said its efforts were in protest of Alabama's House Bill 56, controversial immigration legislation that became law in the state last year. But the individuals responsible for the Pastebin post seemed to be aware that Anonymous' past leaking of personal information may not always have served its reputation and causes very well.
The document included heavily censored information on 500 people and said all of the stolen data had ultimately been erased.
"Attached to this press release are redacted versions of a VERY SMALL amount of data that we have actually acquired...," the post reads. "This release is only meant to show the Citizens of the state of Alabama the amount of incompetence that is taking place within the state government...We mean no harm by releasing this redacted information. This data was not securely segregated from the Internet, nor was it properly encrypted."
Meanwhile, the Mexico-related attacks were in response to, on the one hand, alleged exploitative labor conditions and business practices at Camimex, and on the other, according to RT, a proposed law that some are calling the Mexican version of the Stop Online Piracy Act, the outcry-inducing antipiracy proposal that recently grabbed headlines in the U.S. The Mexican proposal, RT reported, would allow for fines of 1 million pesos (more than $100,000) against online pirates.
RT reported that Mexico's Interior secretary, Alejandro Poire, said during a news conference that the Interior Ministry's Web site had been blocked for less than five minutes Friday morning, that no data was compromised, and that officials were investigating.
Anonymous embarrassed the FBI a week ago Friday by posting on YouTube a recording of a conference call between the bureau and U.K. law enforcement over Anonymous and other online activist groups.
The group makes a habit of targeting law enforcement and related agencies on Fridays. The same day as the FBI post, Anonymous claimed to have hacked into police sites in Texas, Boston, and Salt Lake City, as well as the site of defense lawyers for a U.S. Marine accused of leading a civilian massacre in Iraq. (This hacker chart lists much of Anonymous' activity since last year.)