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Anonymous collective begins leaking Bank of America emails

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Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Hackers affiliated with Anonymous have begun releasing emails that claim to show evidence of misconduct at Bank of America (BofA).

The documents released so far suggest workers at BoA subsidiary Balboa Insurance were planning to get rid of potentially sensitive documents referring to loans, without explaining why. More specifically, the emails purported to relate to the previous falsification of loan numbers on documents.

The emails were released without much context and it's difficult to view them as, by themselves, proving anything much.

Maybe more damning documents will follow but there is nothing so far to justify pre-release hype that the files would provide evidence of criminality.

Bank of America has denied any "wrongdoing" and described claims to the contrary as "extravagant".

Since last December, WikiLeaks – in part as a response to criticism that all it had up its sleeve was leaked US government-related information – said it was sitting on a cache of damning documents related to a major US bank (presumed to be Bank of America). WikiLeaks's figurehead, Julian Assange, has been otherwise engaged over recent weeks, so it has fallen to hackers affiliated with Anonymous to release the documents, published through links advertised in a new Twitter account (OperationLeakS).

The emails were initially released via a newly established site, bankofamericasuck.com, before the site became swamped with demand and secondary websites were established to take up the strain.

Members of Anonymous found common purpose with WikLeaks after financial service firms suspended accounts maintained by the whistle-blowing website. Denial of service attacks against PayPal, Mastercard and Swedish prosecutors seeking the extradition of Assange to Sweden over sexual assault allegations have been followed by plans to disrupt the systems of the military units incarcerating Bradley Manning – the junior military intelligence officer allegedly responsible for leaking war logs from the Iraq and Afghan conflicts as well as US diplomatic cables to WikiLeaks.

All the latter material went through journalistic filtering before being released to the public in digestible chunks, unlike the BofA documents, which is perhaps part of the reason why very little of interest has so far shipped up. Anonymous is still basking in the after-glow of its hack against HBGary Federal, the small security consultancy that attempted to out its senior members. Anonymous turned the tables on HBGary, hacked its website and released its email database as a torrent. These emails appeared to suggest HBGary had been hired by BofA to plan a disinformation campaign against WikiLeaks ahead of the expected released of damaging documents.

On the basis of what's been released so far, via OperationLeakS, Bank of America needn't have worried. ®

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