Hacker group Anonymous announced on Wednesday that it gained access to the US State Department’s website, captured a database, and published it online, RT.com reported.
The group infiltrated the database in the name of the late Aaron Swartz, a computer programmer and internet activist who committed suicide on January 11. He was arrested in 2011 by federal authorities on hacking and fraud charges.
Anonymous continues to push the claim that Swartz only took his own life because of unrelenting pressure from US law enforcement authorities.
As a part of their attack on Wednesday, the hackers published the names and email addresses of State Department staff members on the ZeroBin website. In some cases, phone numbers and date of birth were also revealed.
According to RT.com, the hacks may also have been prompted by recent arrests of members of the Lulzsec group, another hacking group that has taken responsibility for many high profile hacks.
Anonymous stated, “Our reasons for this attack are very simple. You’ve imprisoned or either censored our people. We will not tolerate things as such. You don’t see us going around censoring everything that is inappropriate or we do not like. Basically, you tried to put an end to us and you got owned, there’s nothing more you can say or do.”
Furthermore, Anonymous warned that it is in possession of key codes to encrypted files which allegedly contain highly sensitive information about the US government. This is referred to as “round five” of “Operation Last Resort” in their statement.
The hackers recently made a failed attempt to interrupt the web broadcast of President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address last week.