In an apparent breach of U.S. House and Senate email servers, an activist expressing opposition to surveillance work of the National Security Agency has posted hundreds of email addresses and passwords of Congressional staffers, demanding change on internet privacy.
"We mean it. This is a pivotal moment for America," the activist known as "OpLastResort" on Twitter, which drew support from the group "Anonymous," a loosely knit group of hackers.
The emails and passwords of Congressional staffers included current and former workers on Capitol Hill; it wasn't immediately clear what files had been accessed by hackers.
The list of emails also included several press secretaries in both the House and Senate; one told me at least her password wasn't posted online.
Email addresses were found from both Senators in Georgia with nine from Sen. Saxby Chambliss' office and three from Sen. Johnny Isakson; 22 were from the office of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, 7 from Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) and 11 from former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, who left after the 2006 elections.
House email addresses are not as easy to immediately figure out what office the employee works in.
The hackers were a bit charitable, as they mixed up the list of emails and passwords, and posted this note (in all caps):
"NOTE: FOR THE PURPOSES OF BEING FAR TOO GENEROUS WITH YOU GUYS, WE HAVE REMOVED SOME OF THE PASSWORDS AND SHUFFLED THE ORDER OF THE REMAINING ONES.
THESE ARE ALL CURRENT, VALID CREDENTIALS BUT THEY ARE NOT IN THE ORIGINAL PAIRINGS. WE RESERVE THE RIGHT TO SPONTANEOUSLY DECIDE THIS RESTRAINT WAS UNJUSTIFIED."
"Beautiful action on the Capitol Hill passwords," said one hacker supporter.