Cyber activists associated with Anonymous have accelerated the pace of their hack and extract operations against various corporate and government targets.
Over the past few days, members of the collective managed to access the bank data of 96,000 Austrians, extract 50MB data from Walmart (not yet released), lift customer info from A. Rifkin and hack CNAIPIC, the Italian cybercrime unit.
The 8GB of data taken from CNAIPIC apparently includes information from or about various countries, including Egypt (Ministry of Transport), Australia (MoD), Russia (Atomstroyexport, Diaskan, Sibneft, Gazprom) and the United States (Exxon Mobil, Department of Agriculture).
"If it's true that security at CNAIPIC has been breached by hackers, [this] would be a genuine concern as the group works with intelligence agencies around the world," opined Sophos security expert Graham Cluley.
The above-mentioned hack and extract operations were executed (or made public) just days after law enforcement officials detained a number of alleged Anonymous suspects across the United States, UK and the Netherlands.
Anonymous responded to the crackdown by issuing an official communiqué emphasizing the futility of trying to arrest an idea.
"We are not scared any more. Your threats to arrest us are meaningless to us [because] you cannot arrest an idea. Any attempt to do so will make your citizens more angry until they will roar in one gigantic choir.
"It is our mission to help these people and there is nothing - absolutely nothing - you can possibly do to make us stop. We're back - and we're not going anywhere. Expect us."