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infosec-news: [ISN] HBGary Execs Run For Cover As Hacking Scanda

[ISN] HBGary Execs Run For Cover As Hacking Scandal Escalates

From: InfoSec News <alerts_at_nospam>
Date: Wed Feb 16 2011 - 08:47:32 GMT

By Andy Greenberg
The Firewall
Feb. 15, 2011

Rarely in the history of the cybersecurity industry has a company become
so toxic so quickly as HBGary Federal. Over the last week, many of the
firm’s closest partners and largest clients have cut ties with the
Sacramento startup. And now it’s cancelled all public appearances by its
executives at the industry’s biggest conference in the hopes of ducking
a scandal that seems to grow daily as more of its questionable practices
come to light.

Last week, the hacker group Anonymous released more than 40,000 of
HBGary Federal’s emails, followed by another 27,000 from its sister
company, HBGary, over the weekend. Those files, stolen in retaliation
for an attempt by HBGary Federal CEO Aaron Barr to penetrate Anonymous
and identify its members, revealed a long list of borderline illegal
tactics. Ars Technica has posted a well-constructed narrative of the
firm’s bad behavior. The short version: It proposed services to clients
like a law firm working with Bank of America and the U.S. Chamber of
Commerce that included cyberattacks and misinformation campaigns,
phishing emails and fake social networking profiles, pressuring
journalists and intimidating the financial donors to clients’ enemies
including WikiLeaks, unions and non-profits that opposed the Chamber.

HBGary responded Monday with a statement on its website that it’s
“continuing to work intensely with law enforcement on this matter and
hopes to bring those responsible to justice.” In the mean time, the firm
is canceling all its executives’ talks at the RSA conference, the
largest cybersecurity industry confab of the year, taking place this
week in San Francisco. HBGary chief executive Greg Hoglund had planned
to give two presentations at the conference. HBGary Federal CEO Barr
last week canceled his talk at the simultaneous B-Sides conference,
which would have focused on his expose on Anonymous. The company said in
its statement that it had been subject to numerous threats of violence,
including some received at its RSA marketing booth.


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