Anonymous victim bolts from RSA conference

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Anonymous victim bolts from RSA conference

HBGary alleges threats of physical violence.

HBGary Federal, the information security company hacked by Anonymous, has cancelled its booth and speaking spots at the annual RSA conference, citing threats of physical violence.

"HBGary individuals have received numerous threats of violence including threats at our tradeshow booth," the company said in a statement.

Computerworld's Robert McMillan captured a photo of the company's RSA booth at which a message, purportedly from Anonymous, was scrawled: "Anon... IN IT 4 THE LULZ."

Trouble for the company began immediately after its CEO Aaron Barr bragged to media that he knew key Anonymous supporters' identities.

Since then over 50,000 of HB Gary's emails have been leaked via torrents onto the web. A string of emails contained a proposal revealing a nefarious plan pitched to to Bank of America's law firm, Hunton and Williams, to deal with Wikileaks [pdf].

The proposal included "proactive" steps such as forcing journalists such as's Glenn Greenwald to choose their careers over support for Wikileaks and launching offensive cyber attacks on WikiLeaks' infrastructure.

The cyber attacks that HB Gary would conduct would aim "to get data on document submitters. This would kill the project."

Another idea was to "submit fake documents and then call out the error".

Since the release, companies associated with the document have sought, with mixed results, to distance themselves from HB Gary.

A Bank of America spokesman told USA Today after the proposal was discovered that it had "never seen the presentation, never evaluated it, and have no interest in it."

However, the bank had reportedly corralled an internal response unit to manage the effects of an upcoming WikiLeaks release that concerned the activities of a major US bank.

Two other data intelligence companies whose names were on the proposal, Berico Technologies and Palantir Technologies, have since claimed to have cut ties with HB Gary.

"Our leadership does not condone or support any effort that proactively targets American firms, organisations or individuals," Berico chief Guy Fillipelli said in a statement [pdf].

"We find such actions reprehensible ... Therefore, we have discontinued all ties with HBGary Federal."

In a statement to Greenwald [pdf], Palantir's chief executive officer Alex Karp denied his company's involvement in the more aggressive parts of the proposal, as well as having any "offensive cyber capabilities".

It too "directed the company to sever any and all contacts with HB Gary."

But Anonymous' new Anonleaks site has revealed contradictory evidence that a Palantir staffer did sign off on the page.

Palantir then blamed its involvement on a 26-year old engineer whose name was on the leaked email.

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