From Anonymous to Hackerazzi: The year in security mischief-making

It wasn't a good security year from RSA break-in to hacks on Sony, Google and Facebook.

These days barely a day goes by where there isn’t some sort of network security breach or hack or malfunction of some sort. This year too we had the rise of groups such as Anonymous and Lulz that sought out attention for their activities. Here we take a look at the year in pictures of some of the key security problems that grabbed our attention.

Also: 2011's biggest security snafus

Here we have a picture of FBI Cyber Supervisor Agent Cameron Malin (L) describing the anatomy of a computer hack as U.S. Attorney Andre Birotte Jr. (C) and Assistant Director in Charge of FBI's Los Angeles Field Office Steven Martinez (R) look on. The scene played out after the arrest of Christopher Chaney, 35, of Jacksonville, Fla., in operation "Hackerazzi" for targeting celebrities with computer intrusion, wiretapping and identity theft.

Sonic the Hedgehog character is seen behind a video game screen showing a Sega logo at a game arcade in Tokyo. Japanese video game developer Sega Corp said in June that information belonging to 1.3 million customers has been stolen from its database, making a mockery of the security at the video game company.

Here we see a message from the Lulz Security hacking group regarding the hack of the Senate website in a screen grab from the Lulzsecurity.com website taken June 14, 2011. The U.S. Sergeant at Arms Office confirmed that the Senate's website had been hacked by Lulz Security and that it has ordered a review of all Senate computer sites.

RSA SecureID electronic keys are pictured in a photo illustration taken in Singapore. This may go down as the year of the hack, with Sony and Amazon among the targets. But the compromising of information on almost 40 million RSA security tokens, which protect sensitive military and financial networks, may turn out to be the most serious hit.

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) researchers use advanced modeling and simulation equipment as they work on the DHS Control Systems Security Program (CSSP) in this April photo from the Idaho National Laboratory in Idaho Falls, Idaho. At the time the Pentagon was detailing its expanded effort to safeguard contractors from hackers and said it was building a virtual firing range in cyberspace to test new technologies. The twin efforts show how President Barack Obama's administration is racing on multiple fronts to plug the holes in U.S. cyber defenses, Reuters said.

Sony's Executive Deputy President Kazuo Hirai sits in front of a screen showing how their data was hacked at a news conference to apologize for a massive security breach of its PlayStation Network in May. Hirai apologized for a security breach that allowed hackers to gain access to personal information on 77 million accounts for its PlayStation Network service.

Richard "Dickie" George, technical director of NSA's Information Assurance Directorate, is pictured in his NSA office in Fort Meade, Maryland. The NSA issued a challenge for hackers who think they're hot stuff: prove it by working on the "hardest problems on Earth." Computer hacker skills are in great demand in the U.S. government to fight the cyber wars that pose a growing national security threat -- and they are in short supply, Reuters said.

Here we see in June an employee walk past the logo of Google in front of its former headquarters. Hackers who broke into Google's Gmail system had access to some accounts for many months and could have been planning a more serious attack, said the cyber-security expert who first publicly revealed the incident.

People walk past a branch of agricultural banking cooperative Nonghyup in Seoul in May where North Korean computer hackers were responsible for bringing down the bank. The attack was the latest of a string of cyber-attacks thought to have originated from the South Korea’s Northern foe.

The feeling is mutual. In January hackers attacked North Korea's official Youtube and Twitter accounts, posting a cartoon showing Kim Jong-il's heir apparent (his son Kim Jong-un) driving a sports car into a crowd of starving countrymen. Several people on a South Korean Internet forum, Dcinside, claimed responsibility for the attack.

A protester uses a mobile phone during a demonstration at the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) Civic Center Station in San Francisco in August. Protesters demonstrated against the subway system after BART turned off cell phone service in stations to foil a protest over a police shooting, adding to the security mess.

Ryan Cleary, who was arrested in June as part of a joint investigation between London police and the U.S. FBI into recent attacks on high-profile websites, leaves after being freed on bail in London.

A sign at security vendor HBGary's RSA Conference booth in San Francisco. HBGary pulled out of the conference after the company was hacked and then threatened by members of Anonymous.

Pwned by CarShark at 140 mph. Researchers were able to hack into the dashboard and add their own text. They could also make the system give false speedometer readings.

Here a complaint from Tecmo alleges that the defendants were responsible for creating, hosting and contributing content to an Internet message board dedicated to hacking into some of Tecmo's most highly regarded and popular video games, including its highly acclaimed action title Ninja Gaiden for the Xbox video game console.

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