In a string of attacks today, members of the digital activist group Anonymous apparently hacked into the Web site of defense lawyers for a U.S. Marine accused of leading a civilian massacre in Iraq, and have reportedly acquired e-mails exchanged by attorneys in the case.
They also reportedly: published the names, addresses and other information of more than 700 officers in Texas after compromising the Texas Police Association's Web site allegedly over a cop being investigated for child porn; attacked a Salt Lake City police Web site to protest an anti-graffiti bill; defaced a Boston police department site over alleged police brutality during Occupy Boston protests; and attacked the site of Greece's justice ministry over the country's bailout by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.
The Web site of the law firm Puckett & Faraj, which represented Marine Sgt. Frank Wuterich in his recent court martial, was inaccessible this morning. Wuterich allegedly led a group of Marines in shooting 24 unarmed Iraqi civilians in 2005. The original murder charges were reduced and ultimately dropped entirely as part of an agreement last week in which Wuterich pled guilty to one count of negligent dereliction of duty. He was demoted in rank to private and will have to forfeit some of his pay, but will serve no time.
"As part of our ongoing efforts to expose the corruption of the court systems and the brutality of US imperialism, we want to bring attention to USMC SSgt Frank Wuterich who along with his squad murdered dozens of unarmed civilians during the Iraqi Occupation," Russian news site RT.com reported, quoting from a message that appeared on the law firm's defaced Web site. "Can you believe this scumbag had his charges reduced to involuntary manslaughter and got away with only a pay cut?"
"Meanwhile, Bradley Manning who was brave enough to risk his life and freedom to expose the truth about government corruption is threatened with life imprisonment," the message said."When justice cannot be found within the confines of their crooked court systems, we must seek revenge on the streets and on the internet - and dealing out swift retaliation is something we are particularly good at. Worry not comrades, it's time to deliver some epic ownage."
The hackers also said they had nearly three gigabytes of e-mails from the law firm that they planned to leak to the public.
"How do you think the world will react when they find out Neal Puckett and his marine buddies have been making crude jokes about the incident where marines have been caught on video pissing on dead bodies in Afghanistan?" the message says. "We believe it is time to release all of their private information and court evidence to the world and conduct a People's trial of our own."
Anonymous has a history of hacks in support of WikiLeaks and Bradley Manning, the U.S. Army soldier arrested for leaking classified information to WikiLeaks, and often releases embarrassing data stolen from hacked law enforcement and police Web sites. Earlier today, members of the group created a stir with the release of a recording of a conference call between the FBI and U.K. law enforcement over Anonymous and affiliate hackers.Updated 2:05 p.m. PT with attacks on Texas, Salt Lake City and Boston police Web sites and Greece Justice Ministry site.