Anonymous hacks FTC website OnGuardOnline.gov

The online collective Anonymous on Jan. 24 claimed credit for hacking a Federal Trade Commission website aimed at helping consumers with cybersecurity advice, OnGuardOnline.gov.

The website is managed by the FTC and hosted in partnership with several federal agencies. The consumer protection agency reported the hack publicly on Twitter and Facebook and has taken the website offline for assessment and repairs.

Early on Jan. 24, the hacking group initially replaced the OnGuardOnline website’s front page with its own logo, according to an article in TheNextWeb.com.


Related story:

Anonymous lures unwitting users into online campaign


“The front page of the site has been replaced by a screen featuring the now infamous Anonymous logo, a rap song and a message to politicians and US authorities, which warns of future attacks and action should SOPA, PIPA and ACTA be passed as laws,” the NextWeb.com article said.

News of the hack was first reported on Twitter by @YourAnonNews.

The FTC acknowledged the breach in a statement posted on OnGuardOnline’s Facebook page, adding that the affected website has been taken offline while the cybersecurity issues are addressed.

“The partnership site OnGuardOnline.gov run by the Federal Trade Commission was hacked earlier today,” said the statement released by Cecelia Prewett, director of the FTC Office of Public Affairs. “The FTC takes this malicious act seriously. The site has been taken down and will be brought back up when we’re satisfied that any vulnerability has been addressed.”

The attack is the latest in a series of actions taken by the Anonymous collection in apparent protest against recent federal activities to suspend and investigate the Web file-sharing service Megaupload.

Last week, Anonymous brought down the several websites operated by the Justice Department, including the FBI website.

There are rumors that Anonymous is targeting Facebook next, while some commentators and bloggers have sought to dispel those rumors.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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