While many celebrated Valentine’s Day on Tuesday, hackers celebrated a different holiday: the one-year anniversary of the uprising in Bahrain, sometimes called the February 14 Revolution. They attacked Combined Systems, a company based in Jamestown, Pa., saying that the attack was in retaliation for sales by the company of chemical weapons “to repress our revolutionary movements.”
On Monday night, hackers who say they are members of the collective known as Anonymous claimed responsibility on Twitter for taking down the Web site of Combined Systems. They also claimed to have stolen employee names, e-mails, addresses, passwords and client lists, and threatened the site’s administrators that if they helped Combined Systems rebuild its Web site, they would expose those companies’ client lists and e-mails as well.
The hackers claimed to have been inside the company’s network for some time but said they were forced to take down the site after Google alerted the company that a hacker had broken into its Web hosts. The hackers posted some of the stolen e-mails on the online bulletin board site Pastebin, including one e-mail, dated Feb. 10, from a Combined Systems Web developer who wrote, “Looks like our Web hosts got hacked.”
“It’s clear the hackers did their research,” said Jerry Irvine, a member of the National Cyber Security Task Force and chief information officer at Prescient Solutions. “They had been grabbing information for a long time. I’m sure this company spends millions of dollars a year on security, protecting their manufacturing facilities so people can’t come in and steal their product, but they let people come in and steal their e-mails and intellectual property. They need to spend as much protecting their I.T. parameters as they do their physical parameters.”
Combined Systems did not respond to requests for comment. The company, which counts the Carlyle Group as an investor, describes itself as a “tactical weapons company” and has been accused by journalists and human rights groups of selling tear gas canisters and grenades to Arab governments.
Last year, Amnesty International said Combined Systems had shipped a total of 46 tons of ammunition, including “chemical irritants and riot control agents such as tear gas” to Egyptian security forces.
The attack on Combined Systems is part of a much broader campaign Anonymous has conducted recently against federal agencies and security groups. Last Friday, the group knocked the C.I.A. Web site offline. A week earlier, the group intercepted a conference call between the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Scotland Yard and released a 16-minute recording of the call. Hours after that attack, the hackers took down the Web site and stole the e-mail of the law firm that had represented Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich, the soldier accused of killing 24 unarmed civilians in Haditha, Iraq, in 2005.
As of Tuesday afternoon, the Combined Systems site was still down.
And once again the response to the incident has been more moralizing on the 'bad' Anon has done, rather than how these companies have been utterly unable to defend themselves against anon. I imagine though some of those victims of police brutality in Egypt are pleased with this.
Once again, for the record, I dont consider tear gas a lethal weapon.
That said US cyber security sucks.
Anon seems to be getting more aggressive lately. Behaving more like Lulzsec, but with more of a reason than for the lulz. It's just appears that they've been upping their game. To be honest, with the new amount of intrusiveness they've been attaining, I'm a little nervous about what the future holds for this group :/
Anlushac11;5611072Once again, for the record, I dont consider tear gas a lethal weapon.
That said US cyber security sucks.
The company produced tear gas along with all sorts of things covered under 'crowd control', the same material that caused those weeks in Egypt to have hundreds killed along with informal channels utilized with the government. There is a degree of lethality in the way this is done, and is continuing to be done, because of the continued contracts between the state and these firms.
Then again, I guess those 900+ dead Egyptians and thousands maimed and injured just tripped down some stairs or something, nothing to do with the 'crowd control' and 'non-lethal' guarantees.
It is interesting though that here the coverage mainly focuses on 'tear gas' rather than the lethal aspects of this industry, but criticize the same relation with Russian firms in Syria. This sort of profiting on these industries is what the point of these attacks are.
A nightstick is not a lethal weapon. The way the club is wielded determines its lethality. Just because someone CAN beat a person to death with one does not make it a violent weapon.
Teargas is a non violent weapon. How it is used typically is still non lethal, unless fired point blank through a door into the chest of an Arab standing on other side of the door. Teargas is considered a non violent method of dispersing crowds or for forcing people to leave an area.
Teargas is not anymore lethal to people protesting in USA and western countries than it is to people in Middle East.
Dropping Phosgene gas on people rebelling in Southern Iraq is a violent method.