WASHINGTON – The dark-side of the Internet erupted Tuesday with an announcement by a hacker group called TeamGhostshell that it had hacked servers at NASA, the Pentagon, the Federal Reserve, General Dynamics, the European Space Agency and many others. The group says it released 1.6 million hacked usernames and passwords from the organization’s employees.
Taunting the agencies, they released the following self-described rant:
“‘Kay, let’s get this party started! ESA, NASA, Pentagon, Federal Reserve, Interpol, FBI try to keep up from here on out because it’s about to get interesting. Since it’s our final stand this year, we’ve made the call to invite you guys to our event as well. How? Well, how about by starting with the fact that anti-terror agencies have been keeping an eye on us from the beginning. GlobalTerrorAlert you and the rest thought were invisible just because your own websites were set to ‘hidden’? Silly kids, if you’re on the net, then you can be sure that someone is watching you, no matter how hard you try to hide.”
A derivative of the Anonymous hacktivist group, TeamGhosthell indicated on Twitter and in its own blog the information came from insecure government databases. The organization claims it hacked the sites and posted the information to protest a U.N.-sponsored discussion in Dubai this week aimed at seizing more control of the Internet.
Russian and Chinese officials argued at the meeting that greater control over Internet content is necessary, but a U.S. delegation, ironically argued the same position that TeamGhostshell is taking; that those nations which already exercise tight controls would abuse more control.
TeamGhostshell claimed in its tirade that it emailed several agencies warning that “another 150 vulnerable servers from the Pentagon, NASA, DHS, Federal Reserve, Intelligence firms, L-3 CyberSecurity, JAXA, etc. consider it an early Christmas present from us.”
None of the U.S. government agencies or firms I contacted would comment, but one cyber-security expert characterized the breaches as “significant.”