Last week, the loose-knit hacking collective Anonymous stole over 50,000 emails from security researcher Aaron Barr. Now they're launching the Wikileaks-style Anonleaks.ru, to make it easy for anyone to browse Barr and his colleagues' private emails. Want to read the excruciating love letter a security company executive sent her husband?
Anonymous attacked Barr and the security company he worked for, HBGary Federal, on Sunday after he (wrongly) boasted to a reporter about having identified Anonymous' "leaders." In just a few minutes, Anonymous broke into HBGary's computers, then posted an archive of HBGary corporate emails on The Pirate Bay. The embarrassing revelations are flowing: emails indicated Barr was planning on meeting with the FBI to snitch on Anonymous members; a PowerPoint presentation showed HBGary was pitching a law firm employed by Bank of America with plans for a sleazy smear campaign against Wikileaks founder Julian Assange—including planting false documents to discredit Wikileaks. (It's largely believed Wikileaks is planning to release documents about Bank of America soon.) HBGary is screwed: Former business partners are scampering away, and it's unlikely anyone will trust their computer security with them again.
But that's not enough for Anonymous. In an effort to more systematically humiliate HBGary, and to figure out what else they've been up to, Anonymous is launching Anonleaks.ru. It will feature an easy-to-use web viewer for 27,000 previously-unreleased emails belonging to HBGary CEO Greg Hoglund. We're told the site oficially launches on Monday, but already nine "teaser" emails have been posted, and they are pretty embarrassing! (And very personal.) In one, Hoglund spitballs with a coworker about a lame sci-fi story he's been working on: "Jack is part of Operation-Teal-Mercury - an effort to steal one of the most power and sought-after exploits on the Internet."
Then there's the lovelorn email Hoglund's wife and business partner, Penny Leavy, sent one sleepless night: "I love when you wear your fuzzy socks with your jammies. I love kissing you (we keep saying we should do that more, we should, make it a rule)." Oy. Leavy had previously pleaded with Anonymous members in a chatroom not to release the emails. Guess it didn't work.
Anonleaks introduces a terrifying new model for privacy violation on the Internet: The Wikileaks-style document dump. Previously, these emails might have been circulated in samizdat among snickering hackers, or been leaked to journalists in the hopes of generating bad press. Now they're uploaded like so many classified State Department cables. Imagine your inbox ripped open for the whole world to search.