Hackers attack Foxconn for the laughs

Editor’s Note: The following article is reprinted from the Today @ PC World blog at PCWorld.com.

Hacker mischiefs calling themselves SwaggSec penetrated the computers at Foxconn, which assembles about 40 percent of the consumer electronics products in the world, and stole data that it posted to the Internet — apparently just for laughs.

The user names and passwords clipped from Foxconn on Wednesday can be used to place fraudulent orders from the company’s clients, the hackers said in a statement accompanying a torrent file containing the stolen data. Foxconn has taken its services site offline.

“We enjoy exposing governments and corporations, but the more prominent reason, is the hilarity that ensues when compromising and destroying an infrastructure,” the hackers stated.

The data dump reportedly contained contact details of a number of Foxconn’s global sales managers, user names, IP addresses, ID and a list of the company’s email users and clients’ purchases.

On the hacktivist spectrum, SwaggSec appears to be closer to the now defunct LulzSec than to Anonymous, although SwagSec claims that hacktivists with higher social goals have more in common with cyber anarchists than they’d like to admit.

“We know those who claim to be ‘hacktivists’ that inside of you, a suppressed part of you, enjoys playing a part in the anarchist event of hacking of an infrastructure,” they wrote in their PasteBin statement.

LulzSec went on a 50-day hacking rampage last year before dissolving itself in the face of intense law enforcement scrutiny. During its salad days, the hackers broke into the servers of a variety of organizations from Sony to PBS.

Foxconn declined to comment on the intrusion in a public statement.

Just 12 days ago the New York Times published a lengthy story about the abuse of workers at Foxconn. But SwaggSec said that although the group is disappointed in the conditions at Foxconn, it is not “hacking a corporation for such a reason.”

Worker safety and mental health have been chronic problems with the manufacturer. A string of suicides in 2010 cast working conditions at the company in an ugly light and last year an explosion at one of the manufacturer’s factories killed three workers and injured more than a dozen others.

This article replaces an earlier story from IDG News Service with a more accurate account of the reasons behind the reported attack.

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