The well-known group of hackers exploited a flaw in Adobe Systems Inc’s software to get access to seret gata, leaing “back doors” so they were able to reach again many of the machines as recently as last month, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said in a memo.
The memo, that was distributed on Thursday, described the attacks as “a widespread problem that should be addressed.” It revealed that the breach had an impact on the U.S. Army, Department of Energy, Department of Health and Human Services, and perhaps many more agencies.
According to an email from Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz’ chief of staff, Kevin Knobloch, the stolen data included information on at least 104,000 employees, contractors and other people associated with the Department of Energy, as well as data on almost 2,0000 bank accounts.
The news comes the same time Anonymous hacktivist, Jeremy Hammond, was sentenced at federal court in Manhattan to the maximum 10 years in jail, plus three years supervised release.
In an interview with news agencies Hammond revealed that he was resigned to a long sentence which he sees as a conscious attempt by the US authorities to put a chill on political hacking, The Guardian writes.
The hacker, that was involved into Anonymous group, said he had no doubt that his sentence would be long, describing it as a “vengeful, spiteful act”.
He said of his prosecutors: “They have made it clear they are trying to send a message to others who come after me. A lot of it is because they got slapped around, they were embarrassed by Anonymous and they feel that they need to save face.”
He went on, suggesting that the FBI may have manipulated him so he would admit hacking attacks on “dozens” of foreign government websites.
“It is kind of funny that here they are sentencing me for hacking Stratfor, but at the same time as I was doing that an FBI informant was suggesting to me foreign targets to hit. So you have to wonder how much they really care about protecting the security of websites.”
Hammford appeared to be clear with his future prospects, saying: “I knew when I started out with Anonymous that being put in jail and having a lengthy sentence was a possibility. Given the nature of the targets I was going after I knew I would upset a lot of powerful people.”
He added that he plans to use his time in prison “reading, writing, working out and playing sports – training myself to become more disciplined so I can be more effective on my release”.
As far as his release goes, he said he cannot predict how he will be thinking when he emerges from jail, but doubts that he would go back to hacking. “I think my days of hacking are done. That’s a role for somebody else now,” he said.