HBGary CEO steps down after Anonymous breach

Data theft

HBGary chief executive (CEO) Aaron Barr has decided to step down following the Anonymous attacks on the company.

Barr said he wanted the company to be able to move on following its data breach, after which the 'hacktivists' leaked tens of thousands of HBGary emails.

Anonymous also defaced HBGary's website and gained control over Rootkit.com, a site launched by HBGary founder Greg Hoglund.

The security firm recently pulled out of the US RSA Conference, claiming it had received threats of violence from Anonymous members.

"I need to focus on taking care of my family and rebuilding my reputation," Barr told Kaspersky Lab's Threatpost.

"It's been a challenge to do that and run a company. And, given that I've been the focus of much of bad press, I hope that, by leaving, HBGary and HBGary Federal can get away from some of that."

Barr was confident HBGary would be able to weather the storm it was currently under.

The spat between Anonymous and HBGary started when Barr told the Financial Times he had discovered the identities of senior members of the hacktivist group.

The group responded instantly, infiltrating HBGary's network and website, as well as Barr's Twitter account.

Anonymous was also angered by Hoglund, who was acting as chief operating officer of HBGary but now appears to be CEO, according to the company's site. There is no mention of Barr on the site either.

Hoglund had reportedly been pushing legal action against Anonymous.

Tom Brewster

Tom Brewster is currently an associate editor at Forbes and an award-winning journalist who covers cyber security, surveillance, and privacy. Starting his career at ITPro as a staff writer and working up to a senior staff writer role, Tom has been covering the tech industry for more than ten years and is considered one of the leading journalists in his specialism.

He is a proud alum of the University of Sheffield where he secured an undergraduate degree in English Literature before undertaking a certification from General Assembly in web development.