For almost a year, Anonymous hackers accessed US government computers, the FBI revealed this week. The so-called "hacktivists" found a flaw in Adobe's ColdFusion website-building software that allowed them to get into machines at the US Army, Department of Energy, Department of Health and Human Services, and likely elsewhere. The hackers were able to install "back doors" that allowed them continued access to the machines; the hacking campaign started last December and the access continued until at least last month, Reuters reports.
The hackers stole sensitive information, the FBI warned; an internal email from the Energy Department says at least 104,000 employees, contractors, family members, and others linked to the department saw personal information stolen; information on thousands of bank accounts was also stolen. Officials say the case is linked to that of British resident Lauri Love, who is accused of hacking into US government websites. Anonymous had publicized the recent breaches, noting that "Operation Last Resort" was meant as a protest against the intense prosecution of hackers such as Aaron Swartz, but the FBI says "the majority of the intrusions have not yet been made publicly known." (Just yesterday, a US hacker associated with Anonymous was sentenced to 10 years in prison.)