Seems like the sudden suicide of 26-year old Reddit co-founder Aaron Swartz stirred hacktivist group, Anonymous. Last Friday, the group hacked a U.S. government website (namely USSC’s website) and threatened that the group will leak some confidential information of the government online if the justice system is not reformed.
Aaron Swartz had been accused of illegally downloading millions of journal articles from the MIT and JSTOR with the intention of posting them on a file-sharing site. He had been fighting to prove himself “innocent”. But he suddenly committed suicide on January 11. Swartz’s family mentioned that Swartz committed suicide because of “defamation.”. However, after his death, the U.S. Attorney office quietly dismissed all charges against him. Later Wikileaks revealed in its Twitter account that Aaron Swartz may have provided information to the group anonymously.
However, this sudden suicide of Aaron Swartz stirred the hacktivist group Anonymous. They hacked United States Sentencing Commission’s website, the caretaker of the guidelines for sentencing in U.S. federal courts. Anonymous hacked the website USSC last Friday and posted a message titled “Operation Last Resort” along with a set of downloadable encrypted files that contain sensitive information, and threatened that they would begin leaking confidential government documents if the justice system is not reformed.
Anonymous wrote, “The contents are various and we won’t ruin the speculation by revealing them. Suffice it to say, everyone has secrets, and some things are not meant to be public. At a regular interval commencing today, we will choose one media outlet and supply them with heavily redacted partial contents of the file.” Added to these, Anonymous also wrote, “Two weeks ago today, a line was crossed. Two weeks ago today, Aaron Swartz was killed. Killed because he faced an impossible choice. Killed because he was forced into playing a game he could not win — a twisted and distorted perversion of justice — a game where the only winning move was not to play.” Anonymous believe, the mid-1980s anti-hacking law entitling Computer Fraud and Abuse Act should be amended.
After hacking Anonymous encouraged its followers to download the files on the hacked site by saying, “Warhead-US-DOJ-LEA-2013.AEE256 is primed and armed. It has been quietly distributed to numerous mirrors over the last few days and is available for download from this website now. We encourage all Anonymous to syndicate this file as widely as possible.”
Here’s a list of files Anonymous is encouraging its followers to download.
Here’s the video that has been posted on the commission’s site.
We’ve seen Anonymous angry before, but the death of Swartz and the recent prosecution of some of their members seems to have pushed them over the edge. Big news may be coming very soon. So, stay tuned.