Former HB Gary Federal CEO Aaron Barr has been terminated by his employer Sayres and Associates for pursuing his apparent obsession with the rogue hacktivist group Anonymous, according to reports.
"When I hired Aaron about eight months ago, it was under the perception that we were going to be able to help the NSA with some things relating to national security, not with Anonymous and social groups," John Sayres, the company's founder, told The Huffington Post.
Potentially adding to the dissatisfaction with his job performance was Barr's undercover "drop-in" at last year's Occupy Wall Street rally - complete with dyed-blue hair - and a presentation at a recent FBI-sponsored conference titled “How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Social Media."
"When I brought him on I said, hey, we'll give him six months and see how he can help our company -- and I saw no help, all I saw was things I didn't want to see... He was kind of like a cowboy, off on his own and doing his own thing, and that's not how I run the company," Sayres said.
In the spring of 2011, Barr had resigned from HBGary Federal in the wake of a devastating network breach at the hands of Anonymous movement sympathizers and subsequent criticism regarding some of the company's business practices.
The HBGary Federal breach had led to the release of tens-of-thousands of company emails which revealed multiple instances of ethically questionable covert operations involving the security company.
The leaked emails showed that HBGary Federal, Palantir Technologies and Berico Technologies were involved in developing WikiLeaks counter-operations strategies for Bank of America which proposed disinformation campaigns, cyber attacks against privately-owned network systems, and strong-arming journalists.
Other information released in the breach showed the companies were engaged in developing strategies to infiltrate other activist groups, as well as plans to use social media for distributing government propaganda.
There was also evidence that HBGary Federal was involved in developing an undetectable, full command-and-control cyber offensive weapon called Magenta.
In July 2011, Barr withdrew from participation in a panel discussion on hacktivism titled “‘Whoever Fights Monsters...' Aaron Barr, Anonymous, and Ourselves" that was slated for the DEFCON security conference in Las Vegas.
SC Magazine reported Barr's decision was hastened by the threat of legal action by HBGary Federal for a potential breach of his separation agreement with the company.