Security Firm CEO Quits Due to Anonymous Attack

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Security Firm CEO Quits Due to Anonymous Attack

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Three weeks after the hacker group Anonymous brought down HBGary's website and published thousands of company emails, the internet security firm CEO has now resigned.

Aaron Barr has had a bad month. On February 6th, Anonymous breached the website and internal servers of HBGary, posted an image with a press release, and then published tens of thousands of the company's emails on WikiLeaks. Not only that, but the hacker group singled out CEO Aaron Barr by hacking his Twitter account to broadcast his home address, cell phone number and social security number. After the content of the exposed emails were examined, HBGary was implicated in a proposal to discredit WikiLeaks and independent journalist Glenn Greenwald from Salon on behalf of a major American bank (read: Bank of America). The whole ordeal has proven too much for Aaron Barr, who tendered his resignation as CEO of HBGary today in direct response to the attacks.

"I need to focus on taking care of my family and rebuilding my reputation," Barr said today. "It's been a challenge to do that and run a company. And, given that I've been the focus of much of bad press, I hope that, by leaving, HBGary and HBGary Federal can get away from some of that. I'm confident they'll be able to weather this storm."

Given that it was Barr's comments appearing in an article in the Financial Times that spurred Anonymous' attack, it seems apropos that he is the one to take the fall. Barr said that he had collected the real names and locations of the upper echelon of Anonymous' management. The problem, as Barr soon found out, is Anonymous calls themselves that for a reason: they will protect their identities viciously. You mess with the bull, you get the horns.

Or as Stephen Colbert put it, Aaron Barr put his penis into a hornet's nest. Of course, Colbert's researchers also dug up the fact that Barr plays WoW and has a level 80 Night Elf Druid named Sevyrnsten on the Velen server. Knowing that Barr is a fellow gamer does make me a little sad that his life was ruined by Anonymous.

But only a little bit.

Source: Threat Post

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It should be obvious poking a hornet's nest is not smart. This is the fallout.

Internet Freedom Win?

Or

Troll's Yet Again Prove Online Dominance?

I like to think it's the first one, but either way I'm happy.

To everyone who says that Anonymous can't actually do anything: YES THEY CAN. That is all.

Hold it. "upper echelon of Anonymous' management"? They don't have management, upper echelons or anything that even resembles organization to the best of my knowledge. I mean... isn't that the whole GD point?

The guy tried to make money playing on other people's fears, selling a product he couldn't deliver, then he tried to make money by running smear campaigns.

He picked on a big fish, it bit his hand off. Funny, hearing that his career is in tatters doesn't give me the slightest negative twinge. I wish things like this happened far, far more often to people like him, he's scum.

Get these hornets off my penis, indeed.

I'm sure someone has already posted something about this, but if he says he has information about "the upper management of Anonymous" then he is talking out of his (now presumably unemployed) ass.

I'm wonder how much pressure he was under from people not involved in his degradation to quit.

Can't look good for the shareholders when the head of your security company just has his penis stung.

Greg Tito:
"I need to focus on taking care of my family and rebuilding my reputation,"

Did the Colbert Report also show an email that Anonymous uncovered where his wife threatened to file for divorce?

This man is waging war on all fronts...

Nimbus:
Hold it. "upper echelon of Anonymous' management"? They don't have management, upper echelons or anything that even resembles organization to the best of my knowledge. I mean... isn't that the whole GD point?

Yes it is the whole point and I love that Anon is now so relevant even the Colbert Report talks about them. We are in the age of Anon.

Lol. He brought this upon himself. Go Anonymous ^^
Still, he's under a lot of pressure right now as it is, so I do kind of feel sorry for him, but on the other hand it was pretty obvious this would happen. It wouldn't be the first time, he could have read the signs pretty damn easy. Again, he brought it upon himself.

Nimbus:
Hold it. "upper echelon of Anonymous' management"? They don't have management, upper echelons or anything that even resembles organization to the best of my knowledge. I mean... isn't that the whole GD point?

I'd say the companies shareholders are less informed on the subject than him, press release bullshit to save face.

On the count of him being a "fellow gamer" I'm willing to bet as a CEO he was always an asshole first so I find myself lacking in sympathy.

Nahahahaha Stuuupid. Now what did we learn?

One thing I've learned. Don't store sensitive information on emails, and if you need to store it, don't store sensitive information on a computer that has access to the internet.

Makes it harder to get to if there is no internet.

Xan Krieger:

Nimbus:
Hold it. "upper echelon of Anonymous' management"? They don't have management, upper echelons or anything that even resembles organization to the best of my knowledge. I mean... isn't that the whole GD point?

Yes it is the whole point and I love that Anon is now so relevant even the Colbert Report talks about them. We are in the age of Anon.

No, we're in the age of cyber terrorism. A while back on the news here in the UK there was a report by some official, might have been a military type guy, saying how cyber terrorism is the next big thing we all need to watch out for, because there's not much you can do to stop it. Anonymous might be an idealistic group of 'radicals', but just wait until the real radicals and terrorists start using cyberspace for major operations and sabotage. Anonymous is just a sign of the times; you don't need to be a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.

Not sure if this has been posted or not but, here's an article that goes into how the whole thing went down in great detail.

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2011/02/how-one-security-firm-tracked-anonymousand-paid-a-heavy-price.ars

Lol. Colbert you troll. :p


The upper echelon has spoken. Hornet's nest not gentle.

On the one hand, I have no sympathy for this man. He brought every bit of this on himself. On the other hand, this sets a rather dangerous precedent. If this can be done to the CEO of a major security firm, there's really nothing stopping the A(nonymous)-Team from ruining the career of anyone they choose to target, to include purely political targets.

Now so far I have more or less agreed with Anonymous' stated ideals and most of their actions, but I hope that they don't make this the new standard tactic. If this sort of action were taken on a US senator, for example, I would be getting very mixed feelings about the issue. I get that my government is corrupt, possibly irredeemably. But putting this sort of power in the hands of an unknown body that answers to no one is not necessarily a better situation.

Still... no sympathy for Aaron Barr.

This really isn't 'cyber terrorism'. Sure it does fall under the catagory of KBW, but pinpoint attacks are hard to do, and secondly they are very rare. If you take a look at the stuxnet worm used against the iranians, thats a ton of resources and zero-day exploits used against a spesific target, with massive support, that still only slowed down the program. Most infrastructure is not connected to the internet to begin with, so similar attacks would have to be used, and likewise as the iranian attack will not have catastrophic results.

Huh. Scalp claimed, haft notched.

I'm guessing there are some very happy hackers out there right now. Anon just earned themselves some serious publicity.

Ok maybe a bit over kill ruining this guys life like that. But whatever you dont mess with those people.

Barr said that he had collected the real names and locations of the upper echelon of Anonymous' management.

Anonymous has management/structure? :P

Eri:
It should be obvious poking a hornet's nest is not smart. This is the fallout.

Indeed. Well deserved as well. Same like the WBC. That stuff was Legendary. Live-footage hacking.

Voodoomancer:

Barr said that he had collected the real names and locations of the upper echelon of Anonymous' management.

Anonymous has management/structure? :P

I sort of hope they do cause if not who is going to tell them if and when they have gone to far?
Did anyone see the stuff about hacking that whakos church website?
I think they might be setting them up for a fall.

See kids?

The system does work.

Probably the best example of the lesser of two evils winning.

I sometimes wonder what would happen if we put Anonymous in charge of the country.

Again, I come on this site for gaming related escapism, and I'm brought back crashing down to Earth with something that belongs on a general news site. Seriously, why can't the Escapist go back to just specialising in something rather than clawing at anything remotely technology related to get in page views?

I'm no fan of Jim Sterling's on Destructoid, but this video of his says it all

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QjGK037KOKo

Greg Tito:
Of course, Colbert's researchers also dug up the fact that Barr plays WoW and has a level 80 Night Elf Druid named Sevyrnsten on the Velen server. Knowing that Barr is a fellow gamer does make me a little sad that his life was ruined by Anonymous.

But only a little bit.

Given he was, in WoW terms, riding into the Horde Stronghold saying "Alliance Rules"; you'd have thought he'd know what ganking was.

jebussaves88:

I'm no fan of Jim Sterling's on Destructoid, but this video of his says it all

Thank you for pointing this bloated bigot out to me, so I can steadfastly ignore anything he ever does. Perhaps if he recognised his own hypocrisy, it would be a start?

Anyone that is afriald of anonymous or even hackers, is you are nobody, there is no prize in hacking jo-shmo's computer to see his porn collection. On another note, i wonder if he still played wow?

Scars Unseen:
If this can be done to the CEO of a major security firm, there's really nothing stopping the A(nonymous)-Team from ruining the career of anyone they choose to target, to include purely political targets.

Yes there is...it's called integrity. If the CEO's and politicians had any then there would be nothing embarrassing for Anonymous to expose.

I believe I speak for most of us here when I say:

Traun:
I sometimes wonder what would happen if we put Anonymous in charge of the country.

Punchlines:
1) You mean they aren't?
2) Exactly the same with different names.
3) Boxxy replaces Miley Cyrus.
4) Every advert break would start with a Rick Roll.
5) They never leave their parent's house so how would they know.
6) ????
7) PROFIT!

The_root_of_all_evil:
Snip

I am aware, of course, he is a bit of a prat to say the least. But even a hypocrite can raise a valid point, even if they don't see the error as something they're guilty of too. I can kinda understand movie news, what with MovieBob here now, but seriously, I hate to sound like one of those people who wistfully daydream of days gone by, but this site has really gone down hill in terms of its consistency in subject matter, and the quality of its output. I even read Destructoid more than this site now, because at least they're consistant. Have you any idea how much I hate myself because of that? DO YOU!?

hansari:

Greg Tito:
"I need to focus on taking care of my family and rebuilding my reputation,"

Did the Colbert Report also show an email that Anonymous uncovered where his wife threatened to file for divorce?

This man is waging war on all fronts...

I believe they did actually along with all that blackmail stuff and of course the WOW account.

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