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Anonymous, Fresh From Slaying the Evil Karl Rove, Takes on Israel

11:35 pm in Uncategorized by EdwardTeller

anonymous-mask

Anonymous has been claiming since shortly after the November 6th election that they foiled a nefarious plot by Karl Rove to steal enough of the electronic vote in key swing states to have given the presidency to George Mitt Romney.

Before the election, Anonymous warned Rove’s people:

After the election, they claim that they did act:

We began following the digital traffic of one Karl Rove, a disrespecter of the Rule of Law, knowing that he claimed to be Kingmaker while grifting vast wealth from barons who gladly handed him gold to anoint another king while looking the other way.

After a rather short time, we identified the digital structure of Karl’s operation and even that of his ORCA. This was an easy task in that barn doors were left open and his wind swept us inside.

We coded and created, what we call The Great Oz. A targeted password protected firewall that we tested and refined over the past weeks. We placed this code on more than one of the digital tunnels and their destination that Karl’s not so smart worker bees planned to use on election night. We noticed that these tunnels were strategically placed to allow tunnel rats to race to the server sewers from three different states.  Ah yes, Karl tried to make it look like there were more than three but we quickly saw the folly of his ploy.

We watched as Karl’s weak corrupters repeatedly tried to penetrate The Great Oz.  These children of his were at a loss-how many times and how many passwords did they try-exactly 105.

There have been several articles on the web about Anonymous’s claim.  I am not claiming that they actually did what they purport to having done.  However, Friday, I watched as Anonymous claimed to be bringing down one key Israeli web site after another.  Checking their work as it was announced and described on twitter, they appeared to be doing what they claimed:

As the conflict in Gaza escalated this week, hacker group Anonymous launched a series of attacks on websites owned by the Israeli military, government and other institutions within Israel.

Dubbed “OpIsrael,” the mass disruption began early Thursday with hundreds of distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, in which websites are flooded with traffic until they crash.

Since then, the scope of attacks has widened to include the deletion of government and financial databases, and the posting of more than 2,000 email addresses and passwords from an Israeli real estate website.

A series of tweets from @YourAnonNews, a Twitter account associated with the hacktivist group, claimed that databases belonging to Bank Jerusalem and the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs had been deleted.

Late Saturday, Anonymous appears to have upped the ante by posting this video:

I wrote earlier in the week about how the intensity of the cyber war aspects of the widening Gaza campaign appear to be a new element.  The implications of what this anonymous worldwide campaign against a state war machine may imply are somewhat stunning, especially if they can actually influence how the campaign develops in any meaningful way.  If Anonymous, in a matter of weeks, can change the outcome of the American presidential election and influence the conduct of a war a third of the way around the world, we are indeed in a new world.

Wikileaks and anonymous Team Up to Bust STRATFOR

11:34 pm in Uncategorized by EdwardTeller

Anonymous and Wikileaks appear to have teamed up in a move to release a helluva a lot of stuff hacked from STRATFOR:

Wikileaks dropped a bomb on Texas-based “global intelligence company” Stratfor late Sunday with “The Global Intelligence Files,” a dump of over 5 million hacked emails containing confidential information about Stratfor’s informers, psych ops, pay-offs and the methods they use to make the payments. Anonymous has proudly taken credit for the hack via @YourAnonNews.

Between Wikileaks and anonymous, twitter is getting swamped this evening, even as much of the twittersphere has been focused on the American Academy Awards, by little tweets linking to stuff that is getting flung out there in Monday’s big dump.

This is going to be very big.  Here’s STRATFOR’s statement, released just minutes ago:

In December, thieves compromised Stratfor’s data systems and stole a large number of company emails, along with other private information of Stratfor readers, subscribers and employees. Those stolen emails apparently will be published by Wikileaks. This is a deplorable, unfortunate — and illegal — breach of privacy.

Some of the emails may be forged or altered to include inaccuracies; some may be authentic. We will not validate either. Nor will we explain the thinking that went into them. Having had our property stolen, we will not be victimized twice by submitting to questioning about them.

For subscribers and friends of Stratfor, we stress that the disclosure of these emails does not mean that there has been another hack of Stratfor’s computer and data systems. Stratfor’s data systems, which we have worked hard to rebuild since the December hack, remain secure and protected.

As with last year’s hack, the release of these emails is a direct attack on Stratfor. This is another attempt to silence and intimidate the company, and one we reject. Under the continued leadership of founder and Chief Executive Officer George Friedman, Stratfor will not be silenced and will continue to publish the geopolitical analysis our friends and subscribers have come to rely upon.

As we have said before, Stratfor has worked to build good sources in many countries around the world, as any publisher of global geopolitical analysis would do. We have done so in a straightforward manner and we are committed to meeting the highest standards of professional conduct.

Stratfor is not a government organization, nor is it affiliated with any government. The emails are private property. Like all private emails, they were written casually, with no expectation anyone other than the sender and recipient would ever see them. They should be read as such.

Stratfor understands that this hack and the fallout from it, including the disclosures by Wikileaks, have created serious difficulties for our subscribers, friends and employees. We again apologize for any problems this incident has created, and we deeply appreciate the loyalty that has been shown to Stratfor since last year’s hack.

We want to assure everyone that Stratfor is committed to recovering from the hack and rebuilding trust with the public, and will continue to do what we do best: produce and publish industry-leading analysis of international affairs.

Good luck keeping your machine going, Stratfor.  You’re going to need it.   Here are the google entries for STRATFOR in the past hour.

I’ve been following the progress of hacking since 1971, when I participated in a radio interview with John T. Draper, then known as Cap’n Crunch.  He was one of the early hackers, previously known as “phone freax.”  I predict Monday’s dump will be one of the greatest accomplishments in the history of the “Hacker ethic.”

Here’s the hacker ethic, as described in 1984 by Steven Levy:

  1. Access to computers—and anything which might teach you something about the way the world works—should be unlimited and total. Always yield to the Hands-on Imperative!
  2. All information should be free.
  3. Mistrust authority—promote decentralization.
  4. Hackers should be judged by their hacking, not bogus criteria such as degrees, age, race or position.
  5. You can create art and beauty on a computer.
  6. Computers can change your life for the better.

That was 28 years ago.  We’ll see Monday how computers change life for the better for a fairly high number of powerful people.

Welcome to All-Out CyberWar – Updated

2:40 pm in Uncategorized by EdwardTeller

I. In response to the new charges against PFC Bradley Manning that could result in capital punishment should he be convicted, the internet collective, Anonymous, has declared war on the U.S. military:

The clandestine hacker group known as Anonymous has been quite busy lately.

Yesterday we discussed how the group’s myriad operations might be affecting its overall impact – something an alleged member quickly countered in the comment section. Now we’re hearing new reports that the secretive members are focusing on military personnel in addition to the corporate executives they’ve long battled.

The New York Daily News wrote about Anonymous’ renewed efforts, citing a post at DailyKos. The statement made by Barrett Brown read, “The decision to charge Bradley Manning with a capital offense in addition to other charges is a provocation, and Anonymous is set to respond accordingly.”

Bradley Manning is the U.S. Army soldier charged with passing on classified, top-secret information to whistleblower site, WikiLeaks. More charges were recently added, including “aiding the enemy.” Manning faces life in prison if convicted.

In the past, Anonymous stood up for the controversial site created by the controversial man Julian Assange, going so far as to launch DDoS attacks against companies fighting against it – such as MasterCard. While the hacker collective promised to continue fighting against “corporate execs involved in plots against WikiLeaks,” its threat against the U.S. military for arresting and jailing Manning is certainly a new wrinkle in the ongoing story.

What type of cyber attack will be launched, and against whom? The statement specifies “military officials,” which suggests officers and other high ranking members.

Considering Anonymous’ recent shutdown of HBGary, a security company which saw CEO Aaron Barr resign last week thanks to a truly bizarre saga, there are no doubts the group will follow through with its promise. Just how much chaos it will cause is unknown.

One might hope that, in spite of the allegation that PFC Manning had managed to collect, load and dump a quarter million documents from a secure location at a U.S. base in Iraq onto the web without detection for many months, the U.S. military is capable of defending itself from such a cyber attack. The stuxnet cyber attack on Iran last year supposedly devastated that country’s network of centrifuges engaged in uranium enrichment.

Could “anonymous” gain access to stuxnet? I suspect they already have it, perhaps the most recent version. We will probably know by the middle of next week how deeply “anonymous” is going to engage the U.S. military. My prediction is that the attacks will be directed against the careers of generals and colonels who have been big supporters of attacks on free speech, foreign reporters and such. A likely early target will be the intensely dishonest Pentagon spokesperson, Geoff Morrell. Hang onto your hat, Geoff. It’s likely going to be a wild ride.

II. Marcy Wheeler, at her blog, emptywheel, conjuring Walt Kelly, observed yesterday, “We Have Met the Enemy, and He Is Us.” Parsing the new Department of the Army charges against Manning, she speculated (as have many others):

While we can’t be sure, I suspect the reference in Charge II, Specification 3 is to this information about the surveillance of Assange.

If I’m right about that, then it means the government is charging Manning with providing WikiLeaks with information about the surveillance being conducted, in real time, on WikiLeaks. And it would make it easy to prove both that “the enemy” got the information and that Manning intended the “enemy” to get it.

So if the government maintains that, by virtue of being an intelligence target, WikLeaks qualifies as an “enemy,” then they can also argue that Manning intentionally gave WikiLeaks information about how the government was targeting the organization. Which would make their aiding the enemy charge easy to prove.

But I also think that opens up the government to charges that it is criminalizing democracy.

As I noted above, the government’s own report on WikiLeaks describes its purpose to be increasing the accountability of democratic or corrupt governments. The government, by its own acknowledgment, knows that WikiLeaks’ intent is to support democracy. Furthermore, while the intelligence report reviews the debate about whether WikiLeaks constitutes protected free speech or criminal behavior (without taking a side in that debate), in a discussion of WikiLeaks’ efforts to verify an NGIC report on the battle of Fallujah, the report acknowledges that WikiLeaks did the kind of thing journalists do.

Is “anonymous”‘ response to the new charges against Manning likely to become criminal conduct? Wheeler’s research partner, attorney Bmaz, writes “Anonymous does no one any favors with these stunts, and certainly not Bradley Manning or WikiLeaks; this is criminal activity and it should be condemned not celebrated.”

That may be true, but it appears also to be true that Manning violated articles of the Uniform Code of Military Justice in his release of classified documents to Wikileaks. I’ve compared Manning to World War II heroine Sophie Scholl. I’m not sure what or who to compare “anonymous” to, but one needs to remember that they (and we) are fighting people and organizations who themselves willfully operate beyond or above the rule of law.  With increasing impunity.

Update – Sunday 1:00 p.m. PST: Discussion in the comments below questions what “anonymous” stands for.  Commenter Kelly Canfield posted a link to their manifesto, and posted its concluding part:

Our method of choosing targets is simple:

We are against anyone who supports censorship, such as those who are responsible for the silencing of Wikileaks.

We are against any entity that work towards the defilement of free speech and/or the free flow of information.

Our request of you is simple.

We ask you to consider the value of your natural Freedoms.

We ask you to consider the value of free information for you and future generations.

We ask you to consider the implications of information censorship, be it through the Internet or physical speech.

We ask you to consider the future of your own human rights, as those who wish to take these rights from you now will not stop with this.

YesIllKeepMyDayJob notes:

To answer one question asked in the post, it does appear that Anonymous has posted a partially decompiled version of Stuxnet that they pilfered from the rootkit.com website where top security people discuss/analyze malware.

Here and here.

You can be sure that if anonymous could get past supposedly hot-shot security experts, they’ll be able to find some sleepy military outpost where they get access to serious military systems (see the ars technica webpage above to find out exactly how they did the HBGary take down – it’s a well-written thriller).
Anyway, to those who wrote the Stuxnet worm – nice job! who could a thunk it being made public to be unleashed upon the world, what with millions of computers still running Windows 98 and such.