WASHINGTON (MorichesDaily) — The hacker group Anonymous threatened early Saturday to release sensitive information pertaining to the U.S. Department of Justice after it gained access to the website of the U.S. government agency responsible for federal sentencing.
After taking over the website ussc.gov, Anonymous posted a message, in which they demand that the United States reform its justice system or face the release of “warheads” of incriminating information.
Anonymous is believed to be the loosely defined collective of so-called “hacktivists” who oppose attempts to limit Internet freedoms and stand behind the economic freedoms action group “Occupy Wall Street”.
There was a long threat note and a YouTube video (see above) and a list of files named after U.S. Supreme Court justices posted up on the website early Saturday morning.
The threat note said anger over the death of Internet activist Aaron Swartz, who committed suicide on January 11, triggered the posting.
Swartz, 26, was facing federal computer fraud charges and could have faced 35 years in prison.
Anonymous blames the Justice department for terrorizing Aaron Swartz, by threatening him with millions of dollars in fines, and 35 years or more in prison, for allegedly hacking Jstor, a subscription-only website for distributing scientific and literary journals.
Despite the fact that Swartz had an account to use the website and download articles, the Federal prosecutor, according to Aaron’s friends and supporters, was out for blood.
By 6am EST the ussc.gov was completely down (it has since been dropped from the DNS), yet as of this writing the IP address (18.104.22.168) still returns the defaced site’s contents.
It appears that via the U.S. government website, Anonymous had distributed encrypted government files and left a statement on the website that de-encryption keys would be publicly released (thus releasing the as-yet unkonwn information held on the stolen files) if the U.S. government did not comply with Anonymous’ ultimatum demands for legal reform.
— Anonymous (@YourAnonNews) January 26, 2013
The U.S. Sentencing Commission sets guidelines for sentencing in United States Federal courts, and on the defaced ussc.gov website Anonymous cited the recent suicide of hacktivist Aaron Swartz as a “line that has been crossed.”
Anonymous has not specified exactly what files they have obtained. The various files were named after Supreme Court judges.