'Anonymous' hacks State of Alabama websites

By Matt Quillen -

(RNN) – The so-called "hacktivist" group Anonymous claimed responsibility for the attack on the state of Alabama computers Friday, in response to what it called the state's "racist" immigration law.

A person with the handle of "OpPiggyBank" posted a statement taking credit for hacking state computers. It claimed sensitive information from more than 46,000 Alabama residents had been stolen.

The information – obtained "because of your police being lazy when it comes to data security" – allegedly included social security numbers, license plate numbers, dates of birth and addresses.

"This was not our desire, or our goal," the person wrote. "Your police administrators have made a terrible mistake and put the lives of tens of thousands of people in jeopardy."

The group declared the data would be deleted. But to prove they had gotten the information, the statement showed edited examples from 500 of the names and information.

"The redacted data attached is unusable, and is only attached to prove our point," it stated. "We again want to assure you we do not intend to use this data, nor will we be saving any of it."

The hackers claimed they took the information to show how easy it could be stolen, and suggested spending state money on security instead of "the soon to be too big scale prison system."

The hackers said they believed the immigration law is too politicized and would harm natural-born citizens who were from a different ethnic group.

"The authorities in the state of Alabama are now able to question people suspected of being in the country illegally and hold them, and officials are able to check the immigration status of students in public schools," the statement read. "We will not idly stand by as this happens."

RELATED: Anonymous takes down DOJ, FBI sites

Anonymous is a worldwide group of self-described hackers who have targeted the websites of businesses or organizations.

The group previously shut down websites for Bank of America, MasterCard, and PayPal because those companies would not process donations to WikiLeaks. In January, it claimed credit for the shutdown of the FBI and Department of Justice sites.

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley signed the illegal immigrant enforcement bill in June 2011. It has been called the nation's toughest immigration legislation.

The DOJ and multiple groups filed challenges to the controversial law.

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