Stephen Colbert takes on HBGary’s Anonymous problem


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If it wasn’t enough for HBGary Federal to be targeted by “hacktivist” organization Anonymous, on Thursday night the Web security firm found itself in Stephen Colbert’s cross hairs.

On ‘The Colbert Report,’ the television host tackled the convoluted association of HBGary’s chief executive Aaron Barr with the loose network of hacker activists.


In what Colbert called a “ripping yarn,” he said that Barr had boasted that he was a “master of counter-hacking” who could take down WikiLeaks and its “albino matchstick” leader Julian Assange.

Colbert said that when Anonymous, which often comes to WikiLeaks’ defense, got wind of Barr’s plan to expose the identities of some of the group’s members, they struck back. The “global hacker nerd brigade” -- his words -- published Barr’s e-mails, wreaked havoc on his Twitter account, remotely wiped his iPad and revealed his World of Warcraft handle.

Now some are wondering whether Colbert -- who asked “how afraid should we be of these Anonymous people ... how powerful are they?” -- is himself a member of the “hornets’ nest.”

About three minutes into the clip below, eagle-eyed viewers noticed a flash over Colbert’s face. Upon further examination, it turned out to be the Guy Fawkes mask, the symbol used by Anonymous.


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-- Tiffany Hsu [follow]