Depending on your viewpoint, hacktivist group Anonymous continues to be a menace to society, or cyber-vigilantes you applaud. The group's latest stunt occurred on Sunday, when they breached the website of San Francisco's Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART), myBART.org, shutting it down, plastering Anonymous logos across the site, and releasing personal contact information for at least 2,400 of the site's users. Anonymous wrote, "We apologize to any citizen that has his information published, but you should go to BART and ask them why your information wasn't secure with them. Also, do not worry, probably the only information that will be abused from this database is that of BART employees."
The attack came in response to BART cutting off mobile-phone service to commuters on Thursday, fearing the coordination of a protest after a BART police officer fatally shot a homeless man in July. BART police also fatally shot another man in the back in 2009. Anonymous had been tweeting about their planned takedown under the hashtag #OpBART, and under an "OpBART" Twitter account.
According to Anonymous, the jargony reason they were able to penetrate and compromise the myBART database was because it was vulnerable to a hacking method known as an SQL injection attack. Anonymous will be holding a protest near San Francisco's City Hall today, insisting it will be peaceful and non-violent, and I expect those Guy Fawkes masks with the creepy perma-grins will be "legion."