WASHINGTON, Feb 3, (AFP) - Hacker group Anonymous, in an embarrassment for law enforcement, released a recording Friday of a conference call between the FBI and Scotland Yard discussing operations against the hacking collective.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation confirmed the authenticity of the nearly 17-minute recording posted on YouTube and other sites and said it was “intended for law enforcement officers only and was illegally obtained.”
|A protester wearing a Guy Fawkes mask, symbolic of the hacktivist group “Anonymous”, takes part in a protest in central Brussels last week. Reuters
“A criminal investigation is under way to identify and hold accountable those responsible,” the FBI said in a statement.
The release of the audio recording was one in a series of attacks Friday by the shadowy loose-knit group of international hackers.
Members of Anonymous also attacked the website of the Greek justice ministry in a protest against the country's tough fiscal reforms and a site operated by the Boston Police Department.
In addition, members of the hacker group claimed to have briefly knocked Citibank offline and defaced the website of the law firm that defended a US Marine charged in connection with the 2005 killing of 24 Iraqi civilians.
Anonymous, in a statement on the website of the law firm of Puckett and Faraj, also claimed to have published online three gigabytes of private email messages of attorneys Neal Puckett and Haytham Faraj.
Puckett served as a lawyer for Staff Sergeant Frank Wuterich, who faced a court martial last month in connection with the killings in the Iraqi town of Haditha.
Wuterich, 31, admitted one count of negligent dereliction of duty but manslaughter charges were dropped as part of a plea deal with prosecutors and he is not serving any jail time.
Along with the FBI-Scotland Yard recording, Anonymous posted online the email invitation from an FBI agent setting up the call for January 17.
The email invites members of European law enforcement agencies to take part in a call “to discuss the on-going investigations related to Anonymous, Lulzsec, Antisec, and other associated splinter groups.”
The email was sent to law enforcement officials in Britain, France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands and Sweden but the only people who identify themselves on the call are from the FBI and Scotland Yard.