Anonymous Speaks: The Inside Story of the HBGary Hack

Wednesday Feb 16th 2011 by Staff

The content management system the security firm used was susceptible to a SQL injection attack.

Ars Technica: When the CEO of security firm HBGary Federal claimed to know the identities of some of the leaders of "Anonymous," the group responsible for multiple attacks in support of Wikileaks, the company found itself the target of multiple cyberattacks. According to a source who claims to be part of "Anonymous," the group was able to attack HBGary Federal's Web site because the security firm used a custom content management system that was susceptible to a SQL injection attack. The hackers were then able to access the user database for the content management system, which contained usernames, e-mail addresses, and passwords. Although the passwords were hashed, they weren't salted or iteratively hashed, and the attackers were able to use rainbow tables to read the passwords. In addition, some of the company employees, including the CEO, used simple passwords which were easier to crack.

To make matters worse, many HBGary employees reused the same passwords for multiple services. Once they learned the CMS passwords, the were also able to access e-mail accounts and other services.

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