Anonymous, a group of online hackers that frequently takes up politically charged causes such as bringing down the websites for Visa and other credit card companies, has released a massive batch of internal Bank of America emails.
It looks like the hacker group, which frequents online message board 4chan, made good on a promise Wikileaks founder Julian Assange made several months ago. Assange and Wikileaks indicated that they planned to publish the documents in December. But that was before Assange was arrested on suspicion of sexual offenses in December.
The leaked Bank of America emails indicate that Bank of America improperly foreclosed on several homes during the height of the financial crisis in 2008 that began one of the worst recessions since the great depression. The report came from a former employee with Balboa Insurance — a risk management and insurance firm. The employee reportedly corresponded with Bank of America employees and was told to falsify loan numbers on documents to force Bank of America to foreclose on homeowners.
Anonymous’ host site for the internal Bank of America emails has received enough traffic to bring it to its knees. VentureBeat reporters were unable to access the site shortly after the documents were posted. Errors indicated that the site had crashed due to a traffic overload — which is kind of ironic after Anonymous coordinated massive distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks on other sites that are designed to send inordinate amounts of traffic and overload servers.
Anonymous sided with Wikileaks’ Assange when several sites and services like PayPal cut ties with him amid concerns about the legality of his site.
Wikileaks began making headlines after it released 251,000 secret U.S. state department documents. The site created a stir among world governments, who have denounced its actions. In response, the site’s domain name service provider EveryDNS canceled its service, and other service providers, including Amazon (Wikileaks had an account with Amazon’s S3 and EC2 online cloud hosting services) and PayPal shut out the organization too.