British legal firm ACS:Law – known as the scourge of file-sharers for sending out aggressive fine letters to people they thought had been sharing files – was hacked by what is believed to be members from 4chan.
A Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) strike.attack took down the ACS site (it’s still down) leaving lists of personal data revealed, and now republished in many places online. The attack was co-ordinated by 4chan members as part of a sting called “Operation: Payback Is A Bitch” which also targeted music and film industry sites citing revenge for ACS’s attack on internet pirates as their motivation, according to the Register.
The problem for ACS:Law is not just that the site is down, but that they have now been accused of storing that data illegally and are now being taken to court for privacy breaches by non-profit organisation Privacy International.
According to TorrentFreak – the retaliation also took a more personal twist when ACS owner Andrew Crossley was harrassed by prank phone calls to his home number in the middle of the night.
Of course the lost data isn’t just a problem for ACS:Law, it’s also a problem for the people on the list whose data (names, addresses and credit card details) is now floating around the internet ripe for cyber criminals. In one list in particular ACS had been storing up data on users they thought might be sharing porn – that list is now public.[via Computerworld]
UPDATED: 19:06 27/9/10