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Anonymous targets Monsanto, oil firms

Hacking group says it attacked Monsanto and announces campaign against oil companies; meanwhile, Booz Allen confirms it, too, was attacked.

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.
Elinor Mills
3 min read
This tweet and a separate statement indicate hackers are planning a campaign against Exxon.
This tweet and a separate statement indicate hackers are planning a campaign against Exxon.

Military contractor Booz Allen Hamilton today confirmed that it was the victim of an "illegal attack," one day after hackers posted what they said were about 90,000 military e-mail addresses purloined from a server of the consulting firm. Hackers also today said they were targeting Monsanto and oil companies in their protests.

"Booz Allen Hamilton has confirmed today that the posting of certain data files on the Internet yesterday was the result of an illegal attack. We are conducting a full review of the nature and extent of the attack. At this time, we do not believe that the attack extended beyond data pertaining to a learning management system for a government agency," the company said in a statement after refusing to comment yesterday.

"Our policy and security practice is generally not to comment on such matters; however, given the publicity about this event, we believe it is important to set out our preliminary understanding of the facts," the company added. "We are communicating with our clients and analyzing the nature of this attack and the data files affected. We maintain our commitment to protect our clients and our firm from illegal thefts of information."

Meanwhile, the Anonymous online activist collective, which is part of the AntiSec campaign that claimed it had attacked Booz Allen Hamilton, said today that it had attacked Web servers of Monsanto and released data on employees to protest the company's lawsuits against organic dairy farmers for stating on labels that their products don't contain growth hormones.

"Over the last 2 months we have pushed the exposure of hundreds of pages of articles detailing Monsanto's corrupt, unethical, and downright evil business practices," Anonymous said in a statement on the Pastebin site. "We blasted their Web infrastructure to **** for two days straight, crippling all three of their mail servers as well as taking down their main Web sites worldwide. We dropped dox [released information] on 2,500+ employees and associates, including full names, addresses, phone numbers, and exactly where they work. We are also in the process of setting up a wiki, to try and get all collected information in a more centralized and stable environment."

A list of more than 2,550 names, addresses, and e-mail addresses--many that appeared related to Monsanto--were posted to the Pastee.org Web site.

Spokespeople for Monsanto, which is based in St. Louis, did not immediately respond to a phone call and e-mail seeking comment late today.

Anonymous also announced "Operation Green Rights/Project Tarmaggedon," against Exxon Mobil, ConocoPhillips, Canada Oil Sands, Imperial Oil, the Royal Bank of Scotland, and others.

"This week, activists are gathering along U.S. Highway 12 in Montana to protest the transformation of a serene wilderness into an industrial shipping route, bringing 'megaloads' of refinery equipment to the Alberta Tar Sands in Canada," the group said in a statement. "Anonymous will not stand by idly and let these environmental atrocities continue. This is not the clean energy of the future that we are being promised."

The group promised to "use the powers we possess to spread news about this scenario and the corporations involved" and said it was "seeking leaks" on the matter.