In what seems to be the most recent attention-grabbing stunt by the hactivist collective Anonymous is the announcement of the leak of 1.7 GB of data from a U.S. government entity whose job it is to inform the public of crime statistics. The United States Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) is a lesser-known department of the Department of Justice and it’s their job to collect, collate, and publish information on crime statistics gathered from agencies within the U.S. justice system.
Almost ironically, one of the statistics that the USBJS tracks and publishes information about is cybersecurity and hacking.
According to rumors about the leak, it includes not just data internal to the department but potentially also e-mails, memos, and other communication. The file has been uploaded to The Pirate Bay and is available for download, however few people have received it so far in order to sift through its contents and verify what it contains.
Alongside the leak, Anonymous released one of their commonly stunning—and often surreal—videos to commemorate the event.
Here’s a transcript of the English-portion of the video:
We are Anonymous.
Today we are releasing 1.7GB of data that used to belong to the United States Bureau of Justice, until now.
Within the booty you may find lots of shiny things such as internal emails, and the entire database dump.
We Lulzed as they took the website down after being owned, clearly showing they were scared of what inevitably happened.
We do not stand for any government or parties; we stand for freedom of people, freedom of speech and freedom of information.
We are releasing data to spread information, to allow the people to be heard and to know the corruption in their government. We are releasing it to end the corruption that exists, and truly make those who are being oppressed free.
The price we pay very often is our own freedom. The price governments pay is the exposure of their corruption and the truth being revealed, for the truth will set us free in the end.
So once more we call on you. Hackers, activists, and freedom fighters; join us in our struggle against these corporate.
Dispatches from Anonymous collective sources also claim that the USBJS shut down their public website in order to stop the attack but there’s no evidence that this happened.
In a statement released yesterday, the USBJS responded to ZDnet with the following statement:
“The department is looking into the unauthorized access of a website server operated by the Bureau of Justice Statistics that contained data from their public website. The Bureau of Justice Statistics website has remained operational throughout this time. The department’s main website, justice.gov, was not affected.”