Anonymous hackers have started to release 8 GBs of classified documents lifted from a previous hack against a division of the Italian government dedicated to fighting cybercrime.
The hacked Italian government cybercrime division, known as the Italian CNAIPI C— translated from Italian as the National Computer Crime Center for Critical Infrastructure Protection -- provides cyber defenses and oversees the security of the country’s networks and online critical infrastructure.
Anonymous hackers announced the CNAIPIC attack via Twitter, alleging they were provided by an unnamed “source.” “AntiSec strikes at Italy Government. Silent no more,’ the Anonymous tweet said.
As usual, Anonymous members posted links to the stolen files on the pastebin Web site, coupled with a letter, claiming that they pilfered the CNAIPIC files stored on the agency’s servers .
“This is a prerelease of a series we are going to make to reveal the biggest in history of European LE cyber operation Evidence exploitation and abuse. Thing’s gonna get published and twittered all over anonymous and lulzsec community,” the Anonymous letter said. “Today we were granted with the Italian law enforcement Pandora box, we really think it shall be a new era of ‘regreeasissance’ to the almighty Homeland Security Cyber Operation Unit in EU. So we decided to leak everything they got since they were established as a full scale cyber taskforce named CNAIPIC.”
Among other things, the slew of stolen documents contained information regarding numerous government offices, including Australia’s Ministry of Defense, the US Department of Agriculture, Egypt’s Ministry of Transport and Communication and Nepal’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in addition to information on commercial organizations such as Gazprom and Exxon Mobil and a myriad of U.S. Department of Justice contractors.
The stolen files also include classified data from the CNAIPIC related to investigations as well as documents and photographs of the agency’s administration.
This most recent attack against the CNAIPIC is thought to be in retaliation for numerous arrests of alleged Anonymous members in Italy earlier this month.
“This corrupted organization gathered all the evidence from the seized property of suspected computer professional entertainers and utilized it over many years to conduct illegal operations with foreign intelligence agencies and oligarchy to facilitate their lust for power and money, they never used obtained evidence to really support ongoing investigations,” Anonymous said in its letter.
The CNAIPIC launched a comprehensive sting against suspected Anonymous members in July, resulting in the arrest of three individuals.
The assault against the Italian cybercrime division is just one more in a string of attacks perpetrated by members of Anonymous and LulzSec in a concerted cyber effort known as AntiSec, involving politically motivated attacks against “corrupt organizations” and governments.
International forces have started cracking down on Anonymous and LulzSec over the last few months, which have served to raise the groups' ire and ignite a firestorm of cyber retaliatory cyber assaults.
Last month, Turkish officials arrested 32 individuals suspected of affilliation with Anonymous, after the hacking collective launched an attack against Turkey's government protesting a mandate requiring Internet filters.
Last week, Anonymous hackers also said they broke into NATO servers and released a gigabyte of data , citing as reason the international organization’s pledges to target its members in a global campaign against cybercrime.