A number of hackers are targeting corporate and government organizations to steal corporate data, and some of those attacks have led to the theft of personal data, The Globe has learned.
While some have focused on breaking into the systems of big corporate giants, others have gone after smaller companies and individual people.
One of the most publicized hacks was in 2014, when the hacker group Anonymous stole the personal data of more than 40,000 employees of the U.S. Postal Service.
Hackers from the hacking collective have also taken advantage of the increasingly complex and lucrative data breaches at banks and government agencies.
Some of the data theft is linked to personal information, such as credit card numbers or addresses.
However, the hacks of private firms, including Target Corp., have drawn the attention of law enforcement officials.
Anonymous and other hackers have targeted large corporations, such the American Insurance Group and Verizon Communications Inc. The hacks have raised concerns that hackers will try to target larger companies and individuals.
The security firm FireEye estimates that hackers from Anonymous and others stole more than 100 million personal financial information from at least two dozen companies, including a large financial services firm, banks, government agencies and credit card companies.
The companies were targeted in what’s known as the Blacklisting operation.
In the case of Target, which has about 100 million members and is a major employer, the group sent out a phishing email that pretended to be from Target saying the credit card information was stolen.
Target didn’t respond to requests for comment.
In other cases, hackers have used phishing emails to lure people to their computers.
In February, the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security announced the launch of a “Blacklisting” campaign that aims to identify companies that are “associated with high risk of cybersecurity incidents, including cyber security threats, fraud, and money laundering.”
The government’s goal is to “close any vulnerabilities and expose all credit card data to the risk of fraud and cyber-crime,” said the FBI, which runs the campaign.
“Target has been one of the largest targets of Blacklistings and we’re committed to making our operations as safe as possible.”
In some cases, the hackers have stolen personal information that is not connected to any of the organizations targeted by the Blacklists.
In one case, hackers from a group called “Team Hackers” took credit cards from Target’s payment processing systems.
The company said the information was not connected with the breach.
“We have zero involvement in this attack and will not be taking any action whatsoever in response to it,” said Target spokeswoman Kelly O’Hara.
In another case, Target’s cybersecurity department identified a group of hackers that had targeted the company for several months, including on multiple occasions.
“They were not responsible for any of these breaches,” O’Mara said.
The hack of Target’s systems took place between December 2014 and June 2015.
The group used an Adobe Flash exploit to steal credit card and payment information from a number of Target systems, including its checkout system.
In May 2015, the Department for Homeland Security’s Cyber Threat Operations Center said the group targeted the Target payment processing system in a “large-scale data breach.”
“These intrusions are highly sophisticated and have not been previously known to be perpetrated by Anonymous or any other hacker group,” the department said in a statement.
The Department for National Security said it has identified a “cyber crime” ring that is targeting Target and others and has issued a “criminal threat” to the company.
The department said the “cyBERT” group “was involved in a number attacks” against the Target Payment Processing System, the Target Online Banking and Target Payday Cards and the Target Home Delivery.
The “cyNERD” group was involved in an “ongoing attack against the US government and a number other organizations,” the DHS said.
“This threat is consistent with previous cyber attacks.”
“CyBERT,” the Cyber Threat Operation Center’s name, is a reference to the cyber group Anonymous.
Anonymous, also known as LulzSec, has used the name since 2006.
Anonymous’ focus has been on infiltrating groups of people to steal personal information and then releasing it publicly online.
The groups use social media to distribute their hacking exploits and to gather intelligence.
A cybersecurity firm that tracks cyber attacks on governments and businesses has said that hackers have been using the name Anonymous to target government officials.
In 2015, a hacker group calling itself Anonymous hacked the Department Of Homeland Security website, and a hacker claiming to be affiliated with Anonymous released documents stolen from the Department.
“I don’t care if you’re a cop, a judge, a congressman, an employee of the Department, or even a family member, I will find a way to break into your systems and your emails,” the hacker said in the document.
“Just because you have the password doesn’t mean I have the key.”
In 2015 and 2016, the DHS used a different term for Anonymous, the “Anonymous Threat Team.”