Last week, the famous hacker organization, Anonymous, compromised databases used by the US Census Bureau in an attack, and subsequently leaked the stolen information online. According to Anonymous, the attack was a form of protest against the US government’s current negotiations involving the controversial TPO and TIPP trade agreements.
Anonymous only targeted and leaked information concerning government employees, as opposed to the more sensitive citizen data held by the Bureau. The details of the hack are as follows:
- Anonymous stole and leaked employee information including usernames, .gov emails, phone numbers and departmental information.
- The information concerned every one of the approximate 4,200 people working there.
- The attack was apparently symbolic in intent, showing that the truly sensitive census data collected by the Bureau every 10-years could have been compromised in the hack.
- Much of the leaked information was legally available online prior to the attack, showing that the hack was more about the protest and Bureau’s poor security and less about the information that was leaked.
On July 23 the Bureau released a statement concerning the attack:
“The US Census Bureau is investigating an IT security incident relating to unauthorized access to non-confidential information on an external system that is not part of the Census Bureau internal network. Access to the external system has been restricted while our IT forensics team investigates.”
“Security and data stewardship are integral to the Census Bureau mission. We will remain vigilant in continuing to take every necessary precaution to protect all information.”