In what would reveal sensitive information about over 600,000 Australian Internet subscribers, a cell of the hactivist collective has revealed that they’re about to expose a leak of 40GB of data taken from an ISP Down Under. The news comes from an article penned in The Register, and even speculates that the likely victim is one of Australia’s largest ISPs.
The rumors of this event are being driven along by messages posted to the @Op_Australia (“OperationAustralia”) Twitter account; but so far nothing has been released. Just leading tweets that read “Be Prepared #Australia! Something #BIG is heading your way! #anonymous #OpAustralia,” “Almost there #Australia………,” and “Getting closer….and closer….and closer….SOOO CLOSE!”
This behavior has led to some speculation, but previous messages to media outlets suggest that it is indeed about a leak of a great deal of data, according to The Register,
The @Op_australia Twitter feed recently promised it is “almost there” on “something big”. Comments on an Anonymnous-aligned IRC channel offered the mention of 600,000 customers and references to the sample leak
The 600,000 figure means the data almost certainly comes from one of Australia’s largest ISPs. Telstra and Optus are both known to have millions of subscribers, while iiNet has stated it has 1.3 million.
In the past, Anonymous cells have often cited human rights violations, censorship, and the regulation of speech as motivations for their hactivist activity and in the cast of Australia, this derives from a protest over a draft about Internet data retention policies. From the document it suggests that these regulations would cause ISPs, social networks, and others to retain data for up to two years and permit access by the government to that private information.
This is further exacerbated by an old draft bill of an Internet filter. The filter drew massive protests in 2010; although that has been in legislative limbo, without Parliament even winking at it for quite some time.
With a history of seeking to violate the Internet freedoms of the citizens of their state, Australia has made themselves a very bright target to hactivists like Anonymous.
Only a few days ago, the same cell took credit for defacing government websites belonging to the Australian state of Queensland. These credit claims are connected to the same #OperationAustralia.