The hacking group known as Anonymous has struck again, this time against the U.S. Census Bureau.
As reported by the International Business Times on Friday (July 24), the hackers have leaked bureau employee data in what has been deemed a protest against the TTIP agreement (or the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership).
That comes as the hacker group claimed responsibility for the attack, in which data compromised includes several thousand employee names, phone numbers, addresses and also their positions within the government. The information has been published online, according to the IBT and that also includes password hashes – which, as the article notes, are “difficult but not impossible to crack.”
The IBT said that the cyberattack stems from the TTIP, which along with the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which are trade agreements that seek to lower some trade barriers between countries tied specifically to intellectual property, among other initiatives. Also notable is the fact that the agreements look to open European health and other public services to companies based in the United States. IBT noted that Anonymous additionally opposes the secretive manner in which the agreements have been formed.
The volume of the attack seems slight relative to the severity of another hack that grabbed headlines recently – namely the huge breach that compromised the data of millions of current and past employees with the Office of Personnel Management. And even more concerning is the recent statements from the National Security Agency, which is of the opinion that the U.S. will fall victim to more massive cyberattacks.
IBT reported Friday that it had received confirmation of the U.S. Census Bureau hack and also some measures taken by the agency to stem damage. In a statement provided to the site, a spokesperson noted that the Bureau “is investigating an IT security incident relating to unauthorized access to non-confidential information on an external system that is not part of the Census Bureau internal network. Access to the external system has been restricted while our IT forensics team investigates," said the spokesperson.