Hacktivist group Anonymous is claiming responsibility for an attack on the computer systems of the Syrian government and its evil overlord Bashar Assad thanks to which over two million emails ended up in the hands of whistle-blowing site WikiLeaks.
As of last Thursday, the site began drip-feeding sections of the ‘Syria Files’ to its selected media partners, and given there are a total of 2.4m emails from 680 separate domains going all the way back to August 2006, it could take some time.
Anonymous revealed in a press release that its Op Syria team - comprising members of Anonymous Syria, AntiSec and sometime collaborator the Peoples Liberation Front - first breached multiple domains and servers in the war-torn country back in February.
“So large was the data available to be taken, and so great was the danger of detection (especially for the members of Anonymous Syria, many of whom are ‘in country’) that the downloading of this data took several additional weeks,” the release said.
Not knowing quite what to do with the huge treasure trove of information it had snarfed, the group handed it over to WikiLeaks, the organisation it had partnered with before in the hack of private intelligence firm Stratfor.
There were no details of exactly how the attack took place but given the usual MO of Anonymous, you can expect it took advantage of some pretty obvious web application vulnerabilities.
The hacktivist group was also keen to portray itself as a force for good offline as well as on, claiming six of its members carried medical supplies across the border and that it has been helping local activists and protesters avoid surveillance efforts by the Assad regime.
Anti-government activists in Syria have been targeted by phishing campaigns and spyware for months, most recently the BlackShades Trojan which spreads via compromised Skype accounts.