A hacktivist associated with Anonymous claims to have posted online thousands of email addresses and passwords for Capitol Hill staffers.
According to a Twitter account that posted a link to the hacked information, House and Senate staffers were targeted in protest of the National Security Agency’s domestic spying program.
“Dear #Congress: We are paying very, very close attention to how you handle #NSA #FISA & #PRISM Don’t.. Fuck.. Up….,” Twitter user OpLastResort wrote before posting a link to the email addresses and passwords.
PRISM is the government’s secret data mining program recently revealed by NSA leaker Edward Snowden. FISA refers to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act which deals with electronic surveillance.
At the top of the page, the Anonymous hacker claims the passwords and usernames are intentionally shuffled, meaning the password next to each email is not the correct one.
“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,” the statement reads. “THESE ARE ALL CURRENT, VALID CREDENTIALS BUT THEY ARE NOT IN THE ORIGINAL PAIRINGS.”
But the hacker made a threat to the staffers: “WE RESERVE THE RIGHT TO SPONTANEOUSLY DECIDE THIS RESTRAINT WAS UNJUSTIFIED.”
On Capitol Hill on Thursday, staffers tell The Daily Caller that some are already changing their passwords as word of the hack has spread. One staffer noted to TheDC that it appears many of the people on the list work in communications.
“It sets sort of a dangerous precedent,” the staffer said of the hack, though expressing doubt that it would ultimately be effective for the activists behind it.