Political hackers

Far from slowing down, people in several hacking groups waged protests by going after the Web sites of government bodies around the world.

A protest in SF organized by Anonymous.
A protest in San Francisco organized by Anonymous. James Martin/CNET

Hackers had a busy year. People identifying themselves with Anonymous launched a massive hacking campaign against Israel in protest of attacks against Gaza; conducted a DDoS attack against the U.K. Department of Justice in apparent protest over charges against Julian Assange; claimed to have stolen 1.7GB of data from the U.S. Justice Department; defaced hundreds of government and commercial Web sites in China ; and targeted Syrian government Web sites -- just to name a few. AntiSec claimed to have stolen millions of Apple device IDs from the FBI, a claim the FBI disputed. And a group named Parastoo gained access to one of the servers of the United Nation's International Atomic Energy Agency.

In the dance with authorities, the police got in a few good moves too. A video showing one Anonymous hacker being arrested in his home circulated in September. Former LulzSec hacker "Sabu" was outed as an FBI informant . And a man from Texas was arrested when a picture he posted of his girlfriend gave police clues to his whereabouts.

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