Anonymous Takes Credit for Shutting Down CIA Website

Hacker group hits the CIA and Oakland in one week.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Scoopt/Getty Images
    Members of the "hacktivist" group Anonymous demonstrate with masks.

    After releasing the personal information of Oakland city officials earlier this week, the infamous hacker group Anonymous took credit Friday for crashing the CIA's website.

    "CIA TANGO DOWN: https://www.cia.gov/," @YourAnonNews tweeted around 1 p.m.

    The site was indeed down for hours, and we were unable to access the site after multiple attempts.

    If Anonymous was responsible -- there's no official confirmation -- it most likely used distributed denial of services attacks, or DDoS, Gizmodo reported. Basically, this type of attack overloads servers until they crash.

    Anonymous has gained notoriety in the Bay Area after multiple recent incidents.

    Earlier this week, Anonymous published personal contact information of Oakland city officials in response to the city's handling of the Occupy Oakland protests.

    "Anonymous has been watching," the hacker group wrote on its website. "Since the inception of Occupy Oakland, we have been actively monitoring your behavior, and exposing the identities and sensitive information of officers of the Oakland Police Department; as they have continued to act in an unprofessional and violent manner."

    And last August, BART turned off cell phone service at several San Francisco stations to limit communication between people protesting the July 3 shooting death of Charles Hill. Hill was a homeless man BART officers said had a knife.

    The move sparked free speech protests, organized by Anonymous, that interrupted train service for weeks. After all the negative attention, BART ended up adopting a new cell phone policy.

    Some alleged Anonymous members started getting arrested in September, including one man in San Francisco suspected of attacking Santa Cruz County government websites.

    Last week, Anonymous took credit for briefly shutting down websites of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the FBI, but the CIA seems to be a popular target. A group affiliated with Anonymous also went after cia.gov, shutting the site down for a few hours last June.