Anonymous hacks Italy's cybercrime police

The hacker group claims it took more than 8 Gbytes of data

Italy's specialist police unit responsible for combating cybercrime suffered an embarrassing hack Monday by members of the loosely knit Anonymous hacktivist galaxy.

In a communique posted on Twitter, the hacker group claimed to have obtained more than 8 gigabytes of internal data from what it called the "Homeland Security Cyber Operation Unit in Europe" and said it would publish all the material it had obtained from its Italian branch.

The group said it had "owned" the server of the National Center for Computer Crime and the Protection of Critical Infrastructure (CNAIPIC) of the Italian police and would be publishing the material via the LulzSec and Anonymous communities under its #AntiSec campaign.

The hackers said the information came from computer hard drives seized in the course of police investigations. Rather than using it to facilitate the investigations, the hackers claimed, "this corrupt organization" had used the information illegally "to further the desire for power and money of various oligarchies."

"Many people are in prison awaiting trial while CNAIPIC used some of the data in the great game of international espionage," the hackers said.

The LulzSec statement said it had information on the Ministry of Transport in Egypt, the Ministry of Defense in Australia, and a number of companies in Russia including Atomstroyexport, Sibneft and Gazprom. It was not clear whether all the material originated with the CNAIPIC hack, however.

The group said it had commercial information on companies based in Gibraltar, Cyprus and the Cayman Islands, among them Line Holdings, Dugsberry Inc., Alpha Prime and Alpha Minerals.

U.S. entities identified included the Department of Justice and the Department of Agriculture as well as corporations and contractors "that were receiving public funding, though we can't understand why."

Other documents identified by the newspaper La Repubblica as having been hacked concerned the Madoff financial scandal in the U.S., Exxon Corp., the identity documents of Middle Eastern individuals and official documents written in Russian and Arabic.

There was even a chart showing CNAIPIC's telecom architecture and a photograph of uniformed officers who presumably work for the unit included in the hackers' information dump.

CNAIPIC's website says the unit is tasked with combating computer crime and protecting the nation's critical IT infrastructure. It employs highly specialized staff with experience in the sectors of cyberterrorism and industrial espionage, the site says.

Earlier this month police raided premises in Italy as part of an ongoing investigation into the activities of the Anonymous group and denounced three alleged members for possible prosecution, while in the U.S. the FBI arrested 14 of its alleged members for a series of DDoS (distributed denial-of-service) attacks against PayPal.

The latest hacking operation was pre-announced on Twitter on Friday: "The recent attacks by the international Anonymous and LulzSec movements are just a warning that this thought cannot be stopped. With this text we inform you that Opitaly is in a phase of renewal."

The Italian police said Monday it was investigating the scope of the alleged security breach. "Content has been published online that appears to come from the Communication Police's CNAIPIC unit and inquiries are under way into its authenticity," the police statement said.

A police spokeswoman said it was "only human" for the police to feel embarrassed over the affair.

The hacked servers are believed to belong to a company that provides CNAIPIC with technical assistance, La Repubblica reported.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags governmentintrusion

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Philip Willan

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?