A leaked FBI memo has linked breaches against thousands of US Government computers running vulnerable installs of Adobe software to members of the Anonymous collective.
The hackers launched a "rash of electronic break-ins” from December facilitated with backdoors planted on government machines.
In October, two unnamed Australian hackers were accused of breaking into scores of US Federal Government agencies stealing thousands of personal records and causing millions of dollars in damages.
The crackers, including one from NSW and arrested British man Lauri Love, broke into networks run by the US Army, the Pentagon's US Missile Defense Agency, NASA and the Environmental Protection Agency among others, according to a US grand jury indictment.
Reuters obtained a leaked FBI memo that indicated the attacks were carried out by Love who the agency thought affiliated with Anonymous.
Indeed several factors including the attack method used, the victims of the campaign, and the timing of the incidents appeared to coincide with exploits described in the ongoing case against love and the unnamed Australians.
Love allegedly exploited vulnerabilities in Adobe ColdFusion and carried out SQL injection attacks to hack government databases with unnamed co-conspirators in Australia and Sweden.
The group is also suspected of planting malware on their targets' systems so they could maintain backdoor access to compromised networks, court documents said.
The FBI refused to comment on the publicised memo and suspected connection between Love and Anonymous.
According to reports, an Adobe ColdFusion flaw was also used to leverage attacks in the newly revealed campaign being linked to Anonymous.
With their access, attackers were able to steal the personal information of more than 100,000 DOE employees, contractors, family members and others associated with the agency, as well as data on nearly 2,000 bank accounts, Reuters said.
The outlet obtained an internal email from a high-ranking energy official, Kevin Knobloch, chief of staff to Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, which said on Oct. 11 that the stolen financial data had officials “very concerned” about the potential of fraud.