Anonymous leaks BART data - prepares for a Bay of Rage

Protesting the actions taken by the operators of the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) system, Anonymous has kicked off Operation BART. The operation has three phases according to details sent to the press, but when DDoS failed, participants took to raiding databases and leaking the personal information of 2,000 people.

On Thursday, BART switched off access to voice and data services, from all of the major cellular carriers, including AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile. The shutdown was in response to plans to use mobile devices to coordinate protests during the evening commute.

“[The protest organizers]…stated they would use mobile devices to coordinate their disruptive activities and communicate about the location and number of BART Police….BART temporarily interrupted service at select BART stations as one of many tactics to ensure the safety of everyone on the platform,” a statement from BART said.

“Cell phone service was not interrupted outside BART stations. In addition, numerous BART Police officers and other BART personnel with radios were present during the planned protest, and train intercoms and white courtesy telephones remained available for customers seeking assistance or reporting suspicious activity.”

While that may be true, those outraged by BART’s actions were quick to note that it would have done little during the chaos of a major emergency. Moreover, cutting off carrier access not only prevented commuters from contacting emergency services on their own, but also loved ones, if such a need had been established.

However, to justify their actions, BART authorities noted that gatherings and protests can only to take place in designated areas, otherwise:

“No person shall conduct or participate in assemblies or demonstrations or engage in other expressive activities in the paid areas of BART stations, including BART cars and trains and BART station platforms.”

The protest that had BART concerned centered on the shooting death of 45-year-old Charles Blair Hill. The alleged homeless man is said to have thrown a vodka bottle at BART officers and charged at them with a knife. At this point, according the BART, deadly force was justified.

In 2009, BART also came under fire for the killing of an unarmed passenger. On New Year’s Eve day, BART officer Johannes Mehserle murdered Oscar Grant, after responding to reports of a fight in an Oakland BART station. Grant was being restrained by another officer when Mehserle shot him in the back.

Grant died the following morning. Later, Mehserle was convicted of involuntary manslaughter, sentenced to two years. He was released in July on parole.

“BART has proved multiple times that they have no problem exploiting and abusing the people...Under no circumstance, unless police are shot at, make police killings acceptable.(sic) Non-lethal weapons were available to use during both incidents, providing even that was necessary, but instead they shot to kill,” a statement from Anonymous said.

Anonymous’ Operation BART is protesting both the shootings and the cellular service shutdown. According to details provided to the media, the first phase of the operation includes email bombs and black faxes, in order to “fill every inbox and fax machine at BART with thousands of copies of our message that this outage was unacceptable.”

After that, there was a planned DDoS attack, set to remove from the Internet for a period of six hours on Sunday. The third phase of Operation BART is a live protest on Monday, at the Civic Center Bart Station.

At 5:00 p.m. Anonymous supporters are encouraged to wear “blood red” shirts as they protest, “for remembrance to the blood that is on the hands of the BART police.”

However, due to the distributed hosting used by BART, the DDoS part of the operation failed. “You can’t DDoS a Cloud Hosted Network,” one participant in the operation explained.

“Even if you did get [one server] down, it would pop to a new node, and you can continue until they run out. Even if that is the case, they will add more nodes. It’s like trying to drive to the end of the sea, it just won’t happen.”

In response to the failed DDoS, the domain was defaced by Operation BART’s participants, and personal information, including the names, some addresses and phone numbers, email addresses and passwords of 2,003 people, were leaked to the public.

“The data was stored and easily obtainable via basic SQLi. Any 8-year-old with an Internet connection could have done what we did to find it. On top of that none of the info, including the passwords, was encrypted…,” a statement with the released data explained.

“Thus below we are releasing the User Info Database of, to show that…the people will not allow you to kill us and censor us. This is but the one of many actions to come. We apologize to any citizen that has his information published, but you should go to BART and ask them why your information wasn't secure with them.”

In addition to the defacement of, a second site,, was also defaced.

Operation BART participants who plan to arrive at the Civic Center Bart Station on Monday were told to remember the phone number for the National Lawyers Guild, or write it in permanent marker on their arms.

Those planning to protest are well aware that they could be arrested, and others are split on whether they should wear their Guy Fawkes masks, something that is sure to draw attention. Moreover, they are being reminded to remain peaceful, and not to incite any trouble.

The ACLU weighed in on the BART protest as well, commenting on Friday that shutting down cellular access was a bad decision.

“All over the world people are using mobile devices to organize protests against repressive regimes, and we rightly criticize governments that respond by shutting down cell service, saying it’s anti democratic and a violation of the right to free expression and assembly. Are we really willing to tolerate the same silencing of protest here in the United States?”

Around the same time, the EFF compared BART’s actions to those of Mubarak in Egypt.

“…cutting off cell phone service in response to a planned protest is a shameful attack on free speech. BART officials are showing themselves to be of a mind with the former president of Egypt, Hosni Mubarak, who ordered the shutdown of cell phone service in Tahrir Square in response to peaceful, democratic protests earlier this year.”

“Cell phone service has not always been available in BART stations. The advent of reliable service inside of stations is relatively recent. But once BART made the service available, cutting it off in order to prevent the organization of a protest constitutes prior restrain on the free speech rights of every person in the station, whether they’re a protestor or a commuter. Freedom of expression is a fundamental human right. Censorship is not okay in Tahrir Square or Trafalgar Square, and it’s still not okay in Powell Street Station.”

We'll follow the protests, and update this story with new information as we get it.

Like this article? Please share on Facebook and give The Tech Herald a Like too!

From our Other Sites

Man Makes Tiny Edible Pancakes with Tiny Kitchen Tools (Video)

This Japanese guy cooks up some pancakes…nothing special there right? Well he uses tiny implements to do it and makes perfect little pancakes. Kinda cool and they look tasty!

What Color is this Dress?

White and Gold or Blue and Black?
Well this one has been trending all over the web, just what color is this dress? It all started in Scotland when the mother of a bride-to-be sent a picture to her daughter asking what she thought of the dress. The bride and groom each saw the image differently, this then got posted online and picked up by some viral sites. The lighting in photo is probably  causing different people to see it as either white and gold or blue and black. Prof Stephen Westland, chair of color science and technology at a University in the UK told the BBC that it was impossible to see what other people see but that it was most […]

McLaren 675LT Pictures

Some great shots of the forthcoming McLaren 675LT. This coupe will get you to 60mph in less than 2.9 second and go all the way to 205mph.

McLaren 675LT Details

McLaren’s 675LT will debut at this year’s Geneva show and promises some eye-popping performance. The coupe only 675LT has a 3.8 liter V8 that will get you from 0-60mph in less than 2.9 seconds and to 124mph in less than 7.9 secondsMore than a third of the parts have been changed compared with its stable mate […]

McLaren 675LT Wallpaper

Some cool McLaren 675LT Wallpaper. The McLaren 675LT is the latest coupe to come from the supercar maker and has a top speed of 205mph.Click on an image to open a page with multiple sizes that you can download to use as wallpaper for your mobile or desktop.More McLaren Wallpaper.

Octopus hunts on land, grabs crab (Video)

This crab is minding its own business searching the rock pools for food when suddenly an octopus leaps out of the water and grabs it. The amazing thing is that the octopus does not just jump on the crab it actually pulls it all the way back to the rock pool it came from. If you check the second video you will see it is not unknown for octopus to come out of the water and the one in the second video has a crab with it, though is not hunting one! Octopus Walks on Land at Fitzgerald Marine Reserve The video was taken by Porsche Indrisie in Yallingup, Western […]

Stunning Mars Rover Selfie

This image by the Curiosity Mars rover is not exactly your typical selfie. It is made up of a bunch of images taken by the rover during January 2015 by the Mars Hand Lens Imager. This (MAHLI) camera is at the end of the robot’s arm. For a sense of scale the rover’s wheels are about 20 inches diameter and 16 inches wide. Check the annotated image below for more information on the surroundings. Also if you really want to see some detail click this very large image, 36mb, at NASA.  

How the Sahara Helps Feed the Amazon (Video)

Sahara to Amazon
This cool video from NASA shows how dust is transferred across the Atlantic to the Amazon rainforest and helps nourish the plants growing there. For the first time scientists have measured the amount of dust and the amount of phosphorus in the dust. The later acts like a fertiliser and helps replenish the phosphorus the rainforest loses each year, around 22,000 tons. Amazing how something we perceive as being desolate like a desert actually has an important role in sustaining somewhere we see as teeming with life. Image and video from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.

Bouncing Laser Guided Bomb (Video)

This amazing video shows a laser guided bomb bouncing back up after hitting its target. We actually think this is a non-explosive bomb designed to test guidance systems but it is still pretty remarkable and somewhat scary.

South Koreans Swallowed by Sinkhole (Video)

Thankfully the couple survived their adventure.
This amazing footage taken from the CCTV on a passing bus shows the moment two pedestrians in South Korea fall down a sinkhole in the street! Rescue workers managed to save the pair, who were treated in a nearby hospital for minor injuries. According to reports the city authorities and the Korean Geotechnical Society are looking into the cause.