Anonymous has struck again. The Twitter handle @OpLastResort which claims to be affiliated with the famous hacktivst group posted hundreds of email addresses and passwords of current and former Hill Staffers late last night. According to The Hill, OpLastResort “warned Congress in a tweet that it’s closely watching how lawmakers respond to the revelations over a pair of controversial National Security Agency surveillance programs.”
The tweet included the hashtags #Congress #Senate #FISA and #PRISM, as well as a link to a website that had the email addresses and passwords of both current and previous staffers. Apparently the order for this personal information was shuffled to give some semblance of privacy for the staffers targeted. The hackers did however write that they were “being way too generous” and made clear that they “reserve the right to spontaneously decide this restraint was unjustified.”
The House Security Offices have tracked the leaks to the iConstituent newsletter product, which is used by press and communications staff members to reach out to constituents. In an internal email, House leadership urged staffers to change their passwords immediately to preserve their privacy and bounce back from the hack as quickly as possible.
Perhaps as a counterbalance to the online war being waged by Anonymous, it turns out the United States government has their own team of Twitter trolls to keep track of such users as @OpLastResort . The Department of Homeland Security National Operations Center apparently has an alternate Twitter account under the name @DHSNOCMMC1 which is used solely to monitor social media threats.
According to Muck Rock News, the DHS uses keywords and search terms to monitor potential threats and viruses on Twitter. Clearly however, this small federal effort has proved no match for the larger power that is Anonymous.