After being stung by the controversy regarding the hack by "Anonymous," HBGary has pulled out of the RSA Conference in San Francisco.
The decision followed controversy that erupted last week when hacktivists in Anonymous swiped thousands of e-mails belonging to HBGary Federal and posted them on the Web. The e-mails uncovered a plot aimed at toppling support for WikiLeaks, a whistle-blower site that has been under heavy scrutiny since it began posting thousands of leaked U.S. diplomatic cables online in November.
Anonymous targeted HBGary Federal after the company's CEO, Aaron Barr, claimed publicly to have infiltrated the group. HBGary, which owns part of HBGary Federal, issued this statement today to explain the company's decision:
"A group of aggressive hackers known as 'Anonymous' illegally broke into computer systems and stole proprietary and confidential information from HBGary, Inc. This breach was in violation of federal and state laws, and stolen information was publicly released without our consent. In addition to the data theft, HBGary individuals have received numerous threats of violence including threats at our tradeshow booth. In an effort to protect our employees, customers and the RSA Conference community, HBGary has decided to remove our booth and cancel all talks. HBGary is continuing to work intensely with law enforcement on this matter and hopes to bring those responsible to justice. Thank you to all of our employees, our customers and the security community for your continued support."