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IP addresses, chat logs and plain text passwords purporting to belong to members of Anonymous have been posted online.

The data, posted to paste2.org, appeared around the same time on Tuesday that a semi-official news outlet used by Anonymous (Anonops.net) was "hacked" to point at a site mocking the hacktivist collective (screenshot here). The data haul of around 650 addresses could not be immediately verified as genuine, but the timing of the supposed hacking follows credible reports of a split within the hacker group.

On Monday, the Financial Times reported that some senior members had hit its site with a denial of service attack. The split was ostensibly about the conduct of operations against Sony. It may be that a splinter group from Anonymous has gone much further than the initial denial of service attacks against the entertainment giant over its legal crusade against PS3 modders, such as George Holtz.

Taken at face value, it would appear that Anonymous was smacked by much the same attack that it infamously threw at HB Gary, or maybe that's how it is supposed to look. Anonymous – primarily, but not solely due to its support for WikiLeaks – has drawn up a varied roster of enemies over recent months, including but not limited to patriot hackers, Scientologists, the US intelligence community, the entertainment industry and Westboro Baptist Church. It is also quite possible the hack is part of some kind of black propaganda exercise.

Perhaps the purported hack is the work of the military-industrial-intelligence-entertainment industry. Or the Chinese, after all they usually get blamed for hacks... ®

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