You are hereSacramento Bee: Cybersecurity CEO resigns after plot allegations

Sacramento Bee: Cybersecurity CEO resigns after plot allegations


March 1, 2011- The head of a cybersecurity firm resigned Monday following a computer hacking scandal that has created big headaches for its sister company in Sacramento.

Aaron Barr's departure as CEO of HBGary Federal represented the latest twist for the company and its Sacramento affiliate, HBGary Inc. A spokeswoman for the Sacramento company confirmed the resignation.

According to numerous reports, Barr's company, which is based in Colorado and Washington, D.C., proposed conducting a disinformation campaign against critics of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The plan was presented to the chamber's law firm, but the chamber says it wasn't aware of it.

The plan was aborted after the hacker group Anonymous stole tens of thousands of e-mails from both HBGary and HBGary Federal – and posted many of the messages on the Web.

The Sacramento company has insisted it wasn't aware of what Barr was doing – even though HBGary owns 15 percent of the sister company. HBGary's president, Penny Leavy-Hoglund, is a part owner as well.

In any event, the case has become a big problem for the Sacramento company, which employs 40 workers. It withdrew from a major San Francisco trade show after receiving threats. It told clients it stepped up its computer defenses against hackers.

Barr, in an interview with the website Threatpost, said he resigned to spare HBGary and HBGary Federal more negative publicity.

"I'm confident they'll be able to weather this storm," he said.

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