Vanguard Defense Industries suffers Anonymous hack attack

Filed Under: Data loss, Vulnerability

VanGuard's ShadowHawk helicopterAnonymous hackers working under the flag of AntiSec have targeted a US defense contractor, stealing and publishing thousands of emails and documents.

Vanguard Defense Industries (VDI) works closely with government agencies such as the Department of Homeland Security and FBI, developing the unmanned remote-controlled ShadowHawk helicopter which can be used for aerial surveillance and fly at up to 70mph, shooting grenades and shotgun rounds in combat situations.

Of course, real life battlefield technology like that is no protection against cybercriminals, who appear to have published emails and documents containing VDI meeting notes, contracts, schematics and other confidential information as part of the hackers' ongoing "F**k FBI Friday" campaign.

VanguardA statement from the hackers will remind readers of past hack attacks on Monsanto and Infragard, and makes clear that VDI's senior vice president Richard T. Garcia was being singled out for particular attention:

The emails belong to Senior Vice President of VDI Richard T. Garcia, who has previously worked as Assistant Director to the Los Angeles FBI office as well as the Global Security Manager for Shell Oil Corporation. This leak contains internal meeting notes and contracts, schematics, non-disclosure agreements, personal information about other VDI employees, and several dozen "counter-terrorism" documents classified as "law enforcement sensitive" and "for official use only".

Richard T. Garcia is also an executive board member of InfraGard, a sinister alliance of law enforcement, military, and private security contractors dedicated to protecting the infrastructure of the very systems we aim to destroy. It is our pleasure to make a mockery of InfraGard for the third time, once again dumping their internal meeting notes, membership rosters, and other private business matters.

AnonymousThe hackers seemed keen to underline that they weren't planning to cease their activities anytime soon:

We are doing this not only to cause embarrassment and disruption to Vanguard Defense Industries, but to send a strong message to the hacker community. White hat sellouts, law enforcement collaborators, and military contractors beware: we're coming for your mail spools, bash history files, and confidential documents.

Operation AntiSec is the name that has been given to a series of hacking attacks, born out of the activities of Anonymous and the burning embers (or should that be watery grave?) of LulzSec.

Past victims have included US government security contractor ManTech and DHS contractor Booz Allen Hamilton.

Once again, a defense contractor is learning a lesson the hard way about the importance of strong computer security.

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10 Responses to Vanguard Defense Industries suffers Anonymous hack attack

  1. HomerBufflekill · 1470 days ago

    This is tragic. Kids will ruin their lives.

  2. Cindy · 1470 days ago

    is there any hope in preventing these attacks? Feeling hopeless.

  3. guest · 1470 days ago

    Hmm. Perhaps it is time to go back to old fashioned paper and physical vaults and locks for sensitive information.

  4. david · 1470 days ago

    Love all the hacks, but there needs to be more of a message sent from them so people can put things into context and really question government.

  5. Icarus · 1470 days ago

    Goodie let the corruption be shown.

  6. deephavoc · 1469 days ago

    Sorry to say but this "Vanguard Defense Industries Hack" was BS. The FBI and Interpol's Cyber Crime Centre used Vanguard to bait groups out especially AntiSec. Our first clue was that the hack claimed to get into "sensitive files" but it was restricted to Gmail and addresses. First off, defense contractors in the U.S. are prohibited from using gmail as a corporate governance issue due to the lack of security protocols. Secondly, we checked out email and that is a "" hosted platform. Once again prohibited from use by defense contractors. I read some of the emails and they look more like press releases and the "schematics" are also BS. Those are specification sheets which have been on their website since early 2010. Honestly, I'm not sure at all at this was AntiSec to begin with but it sure drew a lot of mates out into the open via IP addresses. Lesson learned, If it seems too good to be true then it probably is!

    • Broski · 1465 days ago

      Yep. What the script kiddies are doing is exactly what is expected. Anonymous is being trapped and they dont even see it happening. Honeypot and caging has always worked and always will.

  7. Jay · 1469 days ago

    Keep up the good work Anonymous.......You are our eyes behind closed door government and big business meetings that affect all Americans.

    • Broski · 1465 days ago

      Like I said before, these guys are being trapped one low level wannabe "hack" at a time.

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About the author

Graham Cluley runs his own award-winning computer security blog at, and is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and gives computer security presentations. Follow him on Twitter at @gcluley