Anonymous targeting Federal Reserve in next attack

The hacker group says it's planning an attack on the Federal Reserve tomorrow over monetary policies, most likely with a DDoS attack designed to shut down the agency's Web site.

Elinor Mills
Elinor Mills Former Staff Writer
Elinor Mills covers Internet security and privacy. She joined CNET News in 2005 after working as a foreign correspondent for Reuters in Portugal and writing for The Industry Standard, the IDG News Service and the Associated Press.
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Anonymous warns about attack on Federal Reserve in a YouTube video.
Anonymous warns about attack on Federal Reserve in a YouTube video. Anonymous

The Anonymous hacker group says it plans to target the Federal Reserve starting tomorrow, most likely with a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack designed to shut down the agency's Web site.

In a YouTube video, the group is calling for public protests until Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke steps down. The campaign, dubbed Operation Empire State Rebellion, is timed to coincide with Flag Day in the U.S., which is June 14 and commemorates the adoption of the national flag in 1777.

The group, which has made a name for itself organizing random anonymous Internet users and getting them to turn their computers against targets in DoS attacks, is critical of the Federal Reserve's involvement in the global financial crisis and what it says is the politicization of the global banking industry.

A spokesperson from the Federal Reserve in Washington, D.C., did not immediately provide comment today.

This weekend, Anonymous took down the site of the Spanish national police in retaliation for the arrest last week of three people allegedly connected with the group. Last week, Anonymous also hit a Turkish government site.

Other Anonymous official targets have been Iran and Egypt, but the group is probably best known for its DDoS attack on Sony in early April and attacks against PayPal, Visa and MasterCard sites last year after those companies stopped allowing WikiLeaks to receive contributions through their sites.

Meanwhile, someone broke into the network of the International Monetary Fund recently and stole data, although Anonymous is not believed to be responsible for that attack. It's possible that the IMF breach was a result of an employee getting infected by a malicious e-mail, since the agency reportedly is now warning employees not to open e-mails and video links without first authenticating the source.

Separately, the LulzSec group was busy posting what it said was source code and passwords it got from hacking Bethesda Softworks, a subsidiary of gaming company ZeniMax Media, as well as data that appeared to come from a U.S. Senate database.

Updated at 4:13 p.m. PT with LulzSec activity.

Update June 14 at 5:25 p.m. PT: A source close to Anonymous said the group was planning both online and offline protests in its campaign against the Federal Reserve that started on Tuesday with street demonstrations in various U.S. cities and that online activities could start any day.