A group reportedly linked up with Anonymous has managed to reveal a Bank of America leak consisting of ‘spy’ data on private citizens, Occupy members, and others from an unsecured Israeli server.
The group extracted 16 gigabytes of information from an Israeli-based ‘unsecured’ Bank of American firm server that details an intricate system put in place by BoA to spy on and collect large amounts of information on Occupy Wall Street groups, private citizens, and Anonymous.
Known as Par:AnoIA, the group consists of internet activists that have ties to Anonymous (or, according to some reports, are actually the intelligence wing of Anonymous). Anonymous, of course, has previously taken down or extracted data from even larger organizations than Bank of America, tackling major United States government websites such as the Sentencing Commission in response to the death of the famous internet activist Aaron Swartz. Swartz, who was integral in creating the popular community website Reddit and was known to vocally question many actions of the US government, was reported to have committed suicide following an arrest and massive legal battle with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) over downloaded documents.
Anonymous has also taken down major websites like GoDaddy, the official website of the Pentagon, and has now successfully infiltrated Bank of America. The group (Par:AnoIA) also issued a press release regarding the details of the event, explaining some of the information found in the 16 gig leak. Currently, the link to the data itself reaches a 404 error, which indicates that the page was deleted. Whether or not the page was deleted by the group themselves or a third party source is not known.
Bank of America Leak Report: Personal Data Stored on Unsecured Israeli Servers
The press release reveals how Bank of America and others corporations have stored a colossal amount of data on private citizens, Anonymous members, Occupy Wall Street protesters, and others. Even stranger, all of these were hosted on a server in Israeli headed by a company known as ClearForest. The release reads:
“It shows that Bank of America and others are contracting other companies to spy and collect information on private citizens… Even more alarming, the data was retrieved from an Israeli server in Tel Aviv – while ClearForest is based in Tel Aviv it remains unclear why this huge amount of data was stored insecurely on an open server.”
The group goes on to state that the data appears to be misleading and contain pieces of data that are quite possibly made up. Apparent, Bank of America’s firm that did the research used a computer script to find all users on Twitter, chat programs, and other social media venues based on certain tags. These individuals were then placed into the online database according to their corresponding tags. Par:AnoIA described the research as sloppy. Nevertheless, it raises serious concerns regarding privacy and what kind of database Bank of America is amassing.
An extra 4.8 gigs were also retrieved containing the salary numbers and career history of key execs and employees alike. It’s not yet clear where this data comes from, as it contains word usage for both Bloomberg and Reuters.
The Anonymous-linked group hopes that the massive leak will alert citizens to their threatened privacy and highlight the outlandish nature of Bank of America hosting sensitive files on an Israeli server that contains the personal information of private citizens mined from social media worldwide.
Category: Internet Freedom