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Anonymous Hacks Booz Allen Hamilton: Leaks 90,000 Military Email Accounts


According to Anonymous, in what the hacker group is calling, “Military Meltdown Monday,” they have acquired and released to the public, a list of approximately 90,000 military emails and Base64 password hashes, after hacking into systems from Booz Allen Hamilton, the large government contractor that works closely with many defense, intelligence, and civil sectors on cyber security. (Anonymous originally stated the passwords were MD5, non-salted hashes)


According to Anonymous, in what the hacker group is calling, “Military Meltdown Monday,” they have acquired and released to the public, a list of approximately 90,000 military emails and Base64 password hashes, after hacking into systems from Booz Allen Hamilton, the large government contractor that works closely with many defense, intelligence, and civil sectors on cyber security. (Anonymous originally stated the passwords were MD5, non-salted hashes)

90,000 Email Accounts

According to a statement released today by the infamous hacker group, “We infiltrated a server on their network that basically had no security measures in place. We were able to run our own application, which turned out to be a shell and began plundering some booty.”

While many of the accounts exposed are likely protected via two-factor authentication methods, which could mean the hackers didn’t necessarily have access to data in the accounts, they did make note that they found other information of interest. “We found maps and keys for various other treasure chests buried on the islands of government agencies, federal contractors and shady whitehat companies,” they wrote in the statement, indications that they may have some useful information that could potentially help them attack other government and military targets.

Booz Allen Hamilton said multiple times via Twitter, “As security policy, we generally do not comment on specific threats or actions taken against our systems.”

Anonymous responded, taking a jab at the large contractor via Twitter, saying: “@BoozAllen you have a security policy? We’re nonplussed, really, cause we never noticed.”

Headquartered in McLean, Virginia, Booz Allen Hamilton employs more than 25,000 people.

The hack was part of “AntiSec”, the “Anti Security Movement” with the mission to steal and leak any classified government information, including email spools and documentation. The movement has banks and other high-ranking establishments as its prime targets. 

The full statement from Anonymous, along with their typical humorous commentary is below.
    _  _                   __   __      
   __| || |__ _____    _____/  |_|__| ______ ____   ____        #antisec   
      __   / __    /       __  |/  ___// __ _/ ___       #anonops     
    |  ||  |   / __ |   |    | |  |___   ___/  ___       #laughing        
   /_  ~~  _ (____  /___|  /__| |__/____  ___  ___  |      #at_your       
     |_||_|        /     /             /     /     /       #security

Hello Thar!

Today we want to turn our attention to Booz Allen Hamilton, whose core business 
is contractual work completed on behalf of the US federal government, foremost 
on defense and homeland security matters, and limited engagements of foreign 
governments specific to U.S. military assistance programs.

So in this line of work you'd expect them to sail the seven proxseas with a 
state- of-the-art battleship, right? Well you may be as surprised as we were 
when we found their vessel being a puny wooden barge.

We infiltrated a server on their network that basically had no security 
measures in place. We were able to run our own application, which turned out to 
be a shell and began plundering some booty. Most shiny is probably a list of 
roughly 90,000 military emails and password hashes (md5, non-salted of course!).
We also added the complete sqldump, compressed ~50mb, for a good measure.

We also were able to access their svn, grabbing 4gb of source code. But this 
was deemed insignificant and a waste of valuable space, so we merely grabbed 
it, and wiped it from their system.

Additionally we found some related datas on different servers we got access to 
after finding credentials in the Booz Allen System. We added anything which 
could be interesting.

And last but not least we found maps and keys for various other treasure chests 
buried on the islands of government agencies, federal contractors and shady 
whitehat companies. This material surely will keep our blackhat friends busy 
for a while.

A shoutout to all friendly vessels: Always remember, let it flow!

***                BONUS ROUND: BOOZ ALLEN HAMILTON KEY FACTS                *** 

For the Lazy we have assembled some facts about Booz Allen. First let's take a 
quick look of who these guys are. Some key personnel:

* John Michael "Mike" McConnell, Executive Vice President of Booz Allen and 
former Director of the National Security Agency (NSA) and former Director of 
National Intelligence.

* James R. Clapper, Jr., current Director of National Intelligence, former 
Director of Defense Intelligence.

* Robert James Woolsey Jr, former Director of National Intelligence and head
of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

* Melissa Hathaway, Current Acting Senior Director for Cyberspace for the 
National Security and Homeland Security Councils

Now let's check out what these guys have been doing:

* Questionable involvement in the U.S. government's SWIFT surveillance program; 
acting as auditors of a government program, when that contractor is heavily 
involved with those same agencies on other contracts. Beyond that, the 
implication was also made that Booz Allen may be complicit in a program 
(electronic surveillance of SWIFT) that may be deemed illegal by the EC.
* Through investigation of Booz Allen employees, Tim Shorrock of Democracy Now! 
asserts that there is a sort of revolving-door conflict of interest between 
Booz Allen and the U.S. government, and between multiple other contractors and 
the U.S. government in general. Regarding Booz Allen, Shorrock referred to such 
people as John M. McConnell, R. James Woolsey, Jr., and James R. Clapper, all 
of whom have gone back and forth between government and industry (Booz Allen in 
particular), and who may present the appearance that certain government 
contractors receive undue or unlawful business from the government, and that 
certain government contractors may exert undue or unlawful influence on 
government. Shorrock further relates that Booz Allen was a sub-contractor with 
two programs at the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA), called Trailblazer and 
Pioneer Groundbreaker.

If you haven't heard about Pioneer Groundbreaker, we recommend the following 
Wikipedia article:

"The NSA warrantless surveillance controversy (AKA "Warrantless Wiretapping") 
concerns surveillance of persons within the United States during the collection 
of foreign intelligence by the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) as part of 
the war on terror."

* A June 28, 2007 Washington Post article related how a U.S. Department of 
Homeland Security contract with Booz Allen increased from $2 million to more 
than $70 million through two no-bid contracts, one occurring after the DHS's 
legal office had advised DHS not to continue the contract until after a review. 
A Government Accountability Office (GAO) report on the contract characterized 
it as not well-planned and lacking any measure for assuring valuable work to be 
* Known as PISCES (Personal Identification Secure Comparison and Evaluation 
System), the ΓΓé¼┼ôterrorist interdiction systemΓΓé¼┬¥ matches passengers inbound for the 
United States against facial images, fingerprints and biographical information 
at airports in high-risk countries. A high-speed data network permits U.S. 
authorities to be informed of problems with inbound passengers. Although PISCES 
was operational in the months prior to September 11, it apparently failed to 
detect any of the terrorists involved in the attack.

Privacy advocates have alleged that the PISCES system is deployed in various 
countries that are known for human rights abuses (ie Pakistan and Iraq) and 
that facilitating them with an advanced database system capable of storing 
biometric details of travelers (often without consent of their own nationals) 
poses a danger to human rights activists and government opponents.

***                   BONUS ROUND TWO: ANONYMOUS INTERESTS                   *** 

Back in February, as many may recall, Anonymous was challenged by security 
company HBGary. One month later - after many grandiose claims and several pages 
of dox on "members" of Anonymous which were factually accurate in no way 
whatsoever - HBGary and its leadership were busy ruing the day they ever 
tangled with Anonymous, and Anonymous was busy toasting another epic trolling. 
And there was much rejoicing. However, celebration soon gave way to 
fascination, followed by horror, as scandal after scandal radiated from the 
company's internal files, scandals spanning the government, corporate and 
financial spheres. This was no mere trolling. Anonymous had uncovered a 

One of the more interesting, and sadly overlooked, stories to emerge from 
HBGary's email server (a fine example to its customers of how NOT to secure 
their own email systems) was a military project - dubbed Operation Metal Gear 
by Anonymous for lack of an official title - designed to manipulate social 
media. The main aims of the project were two fold: Firstly, to allow a lone 
operator to control multiple false virtual identities, or "sockpuppets". This 
would allow them to infiltrate discussions groups, online polls, activist 
forums, etc and attempt to influence discussions or paint a false 
representation of public opinion using the highly sophisticated sockpuppet 
software. The second aspect of the project was to destroy the concept of online 
anonymity, essentially attempting to match various personas and accounts to a 
single person through recognition shared of writing styles, timing of online 
posts, and other factors. This, again, would be used presumably against any 
perceived online opponent or activist. 

HBGary Federal was just one of several companies involved in proposing software 
solutions for this project. Another company involved was Booz Allen Hamilton. 
Anonymous has been investigating them for some time, and has uncovered all 
sorts of other shady practices by the company, including potentially illegal 
surveillance systems, corruption between company and government officials, 
warrantless wiretapping, and several other questionable surveillance projects. 
All of this, of course, taking place behind closed doors, free from any public 
knowledge or scrutiny.

You would think the words "Expect Us" would have been enough to prevent another 
epic security fail, wouldn't you? 

Well, you'd be wrong. And thanks to the gross incompetence at Booz Allen 
Hamilton probably all military mersonnel of the U.S. will now have to change 
their passwords. 

Let it flow!

***                                 INVOICE                                  *** 

Enclosed is the invoice for our audit of your security systems, as well as the 
auditor's conclusion.

4 hours of man power: $40.00
Network auditing: $35.00
Web-app auditing: $35.00
Network infiltration*: $0.00
Password and SQL dumping**: $200.00
Decryption of data***: $0.00
Media and press****: $0.00

Total bill: $310.00

*Price is based on the amount of effort required. 
**Price is based on the amount of badly secured data to be dumped, which in 
this case was a substantial figure. 
***No security in place, no effort for intrusion needed. 
****Trolling is our specialty, we provide this service free of charge.

Auditor's closing remarks: Pwned. U mad, bro?

We are Anonymous.
We are Legion.
We are Antisec.
We do not forgive.
We do not forget.
Expect us.

Written By

For more than 10 years, Mike Lennon has been closely monitoring the threat landscape and analyzing trends in the National Security and enterprise cybersecurity space. In his role at SecurityWeek, he oversees the editorial direction of the publication and is the Director of several leading security industry conferences around the world.

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