HBGary, the IT security company that had highly sensitive internal emails splashed across the internet by hacktivist group Anonymous, is to be sold off to federal security rival ManTech International.
The acquisition marks the final ignominy for a firm that once threatened to lift the curtain on Anonymous by revealing the apparent identify of some of its most senior members.
Those threats, made by Arron Barr, then-chief executive of HBGary Federal, prompted Anonymous to launch attacks on HBGary's systems and pilfer thousands of company emails, which were leaked online.
The acquisition by ManTech, has been “structured as an asset purchase”, which ensures that ManTech is able to control which liabilities are being assumed – so that if there was any subsequent fallout from the Anonymous attack, ManTech may not have to foot the bill.
“The combination of ManTech and HBGary will create a broader cyber security solution capability for both our commercial and government customers,” said William Verner, chief operating officer of ManTech's cyber and technology solutions group.
The emails leaked in the wake of the Anonymous attacks apparently detailed HBGary's involvement in plans to destroy WikiLeaks, discredit journalists and also detailed how a number of high profile firms, including Morgan Stanley, had been infected by the infamous Operation Aurora.
At the time, HBGary warned that the content of the published emails was not reliable.
Nevertheless, the fact that Anonymous was able to bypass its security systems with ease and publish sensitive company documents, was a big blow to the company's credibility.
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