HBGary goes after Anonymous – and loses
Security company HBGary Federal set off an ugly chain of events in February when CEO Aaron Barr threatened to expose organizers of online activist group Anonymous, which at that time was focused on defending Wikileaks, but later in the year branched out to defend numerous causes. Anonymous taught Barr a hard lesson by breaking into his company’s network, publishing thousands of its emails (including details about plans to create a new kind of
) and exposing personal data on Barr. Barr had initially planned to expose Anonymous at the Security B-Sides event in San Francisco, but wound up bailing out of that, and HBGary wound up pulling out of the RSA Conference running at the same time in San Francisco. Barr did resurface later in the year with a
different security company
. Anonymous continued its assault on foes throughout the year, threatening everyone from Facebook to a
Mexican drug cartel
. Anonymous wasn’t the only game in town either, with another group called LulzSec wreaking havoc in late spring/early summer via websites belonging to the CIA, Sony and others.