The secret is out.
Hacker collective Anonymous is back with a 1.7 GB dump of data that they claim "used to belong to the United States Bureau of Justice Statistics, until now."
The file was uploaded to the Pirate Bay earlier today. Although its contents haven't yet been verified, an Anonymous press release claims it includes "lots of shiny things such as internal emails, and the entire database dump."
BJS hasn't issued a statement acknowledging the hack yet, but Anonymous claims that, "We Lulzed as they took the website down after being owned, clearly showing they were scared of what inevitably happened."
Members of hacker collective Anonymous took down two websites related to Pope Benedict XVI's planned trip to Mexico, claiming that the papal visit is a politically-motivated move to boost support for the conservative National Action Party in elections.
Anonymous said in a video that the Pope's visit is timed to coincide with the official start of the presidential campaign season in Mexico, and the money it cost could have been better spent to help the country's poor.
The websites taken down in the attack listed the Pope's schedule of activities in Mexico. A spokesman for the Mexican Episcopal Conference said the attack "does damage to the logistics" of the papal visit.
The official website of Guanajuato, the conservate-leaning Mexican state where the pope's visit is scheduled to start, was also down on Thursday, but that outage hasn't been confirmed as the work of Anonymous.
Although LulzSec leader Sabu has been exposed as an FBI informant and the entire existence of the group may have been a government operation, members of Anonymous have decided to take the Lulz Boat out for another spin, attaching the LulzSec name to a new set of planned operations.
Before that, though, Anonymous and the new LulzSec are aiming at security firm Imperva, which recently released a report claiming to reveal details of Anonymous' failed 2011 attack on the Vatican website.
Some members of Anonymous now believe that Operation AntiSec, the hacking movement started last summer with goal of hitting major government and corporate targets, was a trap created and supervised by the FBI and recently-outed informant Hector "Sabu" Monsegur.
YourAnonNews has created a detailed timeline to prove their point, but the key fact is that Sabu was arrested on June 6, 2011, and returned to the Internet weeks later to announce the formation of AntiSec, billed as a joint venture between Anonymous and Sabu's Lulz Security.
The timeline lists several AntiSec attacks that Sabu participated in or directly encouraged after he had signed a plea bargain promising to "commit no further crimes," and YourAnonNews's conclusion is that all of those attacks were carried out under FBI supervision.
Now that Sabu has been revealed as an informant, his repeated calls for fellow hackers to join the #AntiSec IRC channel now seem like attempts to lure them into an FBI-monitored trap.
Although the sequence of events may not be hard evidence that AntiSec was entirely an FBI invention, it's hard to imagine Sabu getting away with it post-arrest if he didn't have the approval of his federal handlers.
A Linux-based operating system with built-in hacking tools is being billed as the work of Anonymous, but representatives of the hacker group say that Anonymous-OS is not their work, and could even contain malware.
The custom Linux distro, based on Ubuntu 11, comes with dozens of preinstalled hacking and security apps, as well as notorious DDoS tools like slowloris and HOIC (High Orbit Ion Cannon).
According to the @AnonOps Twitter account, though, the OS -- which has now been downloaded over 20,000 times -- is "fake" and "wrapped in Trojans."
Its creator has denied those accusions, arguing that "in our world, in Linux and opensource world, there is not virus."
That's not exactly true, though. In fact, Anonymous' own slowloris DDoS tool was recently hit by the Zeus trojan.
For now, it looks like aspiring hackers would better off not downloading Anonymous-OS, and getting the security apps they need from a trusted source instead.
Hacker group Anonymous has taken down several Vatican websites, including the Catholic Church's main site at vatican.va. The group says the attacks were not against Catholics around the world, but against the "corrupt" Church.
"Anonymous decided today to besiege your site in response to the doctrine, to the liturgies, to the absurd and anachronistic concepts that your for-profit organisation spreads around the world," the hackers said in a statement posted to Pastebin.
Anonymous also accused the Church of executing its detractors throughout history, harboring Nazi war criminals, allowing child molestation, and interfering in the daily lives of Italians.
The hacker group tried and failed to attack the Vatican website last year, according to a new report called "The Anatomy of an Anonymous Attack," published just days ago by computer security company Imperva.
Today's attack comes one day after key members of Anonymous and LulzSec were indicted for conspiracy to commit computer hacking, and just hours after Anonymous hacked several websites belonging to Spanish computer security firm Panda Security.