Anonymous forces HBGary Federal CEO to step down

Hacker activist group wins skirmish with the network security firm whose emails were stolen and posted on the Internet

The hactivist group Anonymous has won for now its skirmish with the CEO of HBGary Federal, the network security firm whose emails were stolen and posted on the Internet, leaving the company red-faced over the content as well as the ease with which its network was hacked.

TIPS: 7 ways to avoid getting hacked by Anonymous 

[ Last month a hacked and vandalized HBGary pulled out of RSA. | Also on InfoWorld: Robert X. Cringely calls 2011 "The year hacking goes mainstream." | Master your security with InfoWorld's interactive Security iGuide. | Stay up to date on the latest security developments with InfoWorld's Security Central newsletter. ]

CEO Aaron Barr told Threatpost that he’s stepping down in order to help the company regain its reputation and to start improving his own.

Three weeks ago, his promise to expose the names of Anonymous members drew an attack that yielded more than 50,000 HBGary Federal emails that the group posted on the Internet.

The group also detailed publicly how it exploited weak passwords and unpatched servers to crack the network, then used information on passwords it gleaned to break into the company’s Gmail accounts.

Since then a string of stories about the content of the stolen emails has brought the company’s business practices into question.

"[G]iven that I’ve been the focus of much bad press, I hope that, by leaving, HBGary and HBGary Federal can get away from some of that. I’m confident they’ll be able to weather this storm," Barr says in an interview with Threatpost.

Read more about wide area networks in Network World's Wide Area Network section.

This story, "Anonymous forces HBGary Federal CEO to step down" was originally published by Network World.

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