Anonymous & LulzSec
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LONDON, UK—The four British Lulzsec hackers—Mustafa "tflow" al-Bassam, Ryan "kayla" Ackroyd, Jake "topiary" Davis, and Ryan "ViraL" Cleary—were sentenced today to between 20 and 32 months in jail for crimes committed during Lulzsec's 50 day hacking spree in 2011. Prosecutors described the men as being at the "cutting edge of contemporary and emerging criminal offending known as cybercrime" and as "latter-day pirates." At previous hearings, al-Bassam, 18, of Peckham, London, and Davis, 20, of the Shetland Islands, entered guilty pleas to charges of conspiracy to commit DDoS attacks against targets including Westboro Baptist Church, Sony, Bethesda, and EVE Online . They also pled to conspiracy to hack targets including Nintendo , Sony (again), PBS , and HBGary . Ackroyd, 26, of Yorkshire, pled guilty only to the hacking charge. For these crimes, al-Bassam was sentenced to 20 months, suspended for two years and received 300 hours of community service.
On Monday February 27th, 2012, WikiLeaks began publishing The Global Intelligence Files , over five million e-mails from the Texas headquartered "global intelligence" company Stratfor. The e-mails date between July 2004 and late December 2011. They reveal the inner workings of a company that fronts as an intelligence publisher, but provides confidential intelligence services to large corporations, such as Bhopal's Dow Chemical Co., Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon and government agencies, including the US Department of Homeland Security, the US Marines and the US Defence Intelligence Agency. The emails show Stratfor's web of informers, pay-off structure, payment laundering techniques and psychological methods.
Aaron Barr believed he had penetrated Anonymous. The loose hacker collective had been responsible for everything from anti-Scientology protests to pro-Wikileaks attacks on MasterCard and Visa, and the FBI was now after them. But matching their online identities to real-world names and locations proved daunting. Barr found a way to crack the code.
Hassan Chakrani, Yazan al-Saadi In his most recent op-ed in the New York Times, Nicholas D. Kristof called talk about a military strike on Iran a consensus rather than a debate,... Read more |
It has been an embarrassing week for security firm HBGary and its HBGary Federal offshoot. HBGary Federal CEO Aaron Barr thought he had unmasked the hacker hordes of Anonymous and was preparing to name and shame those responsible for co-ordinating the group's actions, including the denial-of-service attacks that hit MasterCard, Visa, and other perceived enemies of WikiLeaks late last year. When Barr told one of those he believed to be an Anonymous ringleader about his forthcoming exposé, the Anonymous response was swift and humiliating.
The emails, dated 2 May 2007, show discussions between Fred Burton, Stratfor’s vice-president of counter-terrorism, and analysts in regards to the alleged secret Saudi-Israeli intelligence alliance. The email exchange also shows that Stratfor execs considered pursuing their own business relationship with the Saudi monarchy or, as Burton called them, “sleezy arsehole ragheads.” Burton forwarded a short message to the general analyst email list which recounted HUMINT (human intelligence) on the alleged secret deal.
The Indian arm of a hacker group 'Anonymous' - called Anonymous Operation India - has been removed from Facebook and Twitter. Both the 'Operation India' Facebook page and '@operationindia' Twitter handle are no more accessible. 'Anonymous' is a 'hacktivist' group that has been linked to the recent attack on Sony as well as against the governments of Iran, Spain, New Zealand and Colombia. Their operations started in India recently and came into the limelight when they claimed to have hacked the National Informatics Centre website and the Indian Army website last week . The NIC site on the URL http://informatics.nic.in/oldnewsonline/abc.html was defaced with graffiti that said: "We exist without nationality.
"I'm pissed off," the notorious hacker Sabu told me on the phone last September, lamenting the latest arrests in a worldwide crackdown on the hacking collective Anonymous. "I'm getting real sad, with all the bullshit. It's all media hunger on the side of the FBI, my nigga." I learned today that when Sabu said all this during an unexpected phone conversation last fall, he was also on the side of the FBI as an informant. 28-year-old Hector Monsegur—a.k.a. "Sabu"—was arrested last June. He pleaded guilty to 12 hacking charges in August and turned informant, helping feds take down members of LulzSec, the Anonymous off-shoot he had once led.
Lt Col John Dorrian, public affairs officer for the Air Force, said that "for obvious reasons" the Air Force doesn't discuss specific vulnerabilities, threats or responses to them. "The Air Force will continue to monitor the situation and, as always, take appropriate action as necessary to protect Air Force networks and information," he said in an email. Miami Police Department spokesman Sgt Freddie Cruz junior said that he could not confirm that the agency was a client of Stratfor, and he said he had not received any information about any security breach involving the police department.
EXCLUSIVE: Law enforcement agents on two continents swooped in on top members of the infamous computer hacking group LulzSec early this morning, and acting largely on evidence gathered by the organization’s brazen leader -- who sources say has been secretly working for the government for months -- arrested three and charged two more with conspiracy. Charges against four of the five were based on a conspiracy case filed in New York federal court, FoxNews.com has learned. An indictment charging the suspects, who include two men from Great Britain , two from Ireland and an American in Chicago, is expected to be unsealed Tuesday morning in the Southern District of New York.
On December 6, 2011, a hacker using the handle "sup_g" private-messaged Hector Xavier Monsegur, otherwise known as "Sabu," on Anonymous's IRC server to tell him of a server he had gained access to. But "sup_g"—alleged by the government to be Jeremy Hammond—didn't know that the whole conversation was being logged by the FBI, and that Monsegur had turned confidential informant . "Yo, you round? working on this new target." The target was the server of Stratfor, the Austin-based global intelligence company that would soon become synonymous with the hacker phrase, "pwned." Over the course of the Anonymous cell Antisec's hacking and exploiting of the company's IT infrastructure, the group of hackers would expose credit card and other personal information of over 60,000 Stratfor customers and a vast archive of e-mail correspondence between the company's employees and customers in the private and government sectors.
The leak of over five million emails from the US-based intelligence firm Stratfor, including information about credit card details, passwords, and the identities of sources, sheds new light on the rapidly changing world of intelligence gathering and exposes those behind it. Al-Akhbar gained access to the data obtained and published by WikiLeaks, including sensitive material pertaining to the Middle East. ◙ Browse through emails referenced in this article The Strategic Forecasting Inc., commonly known as Stratfor, is a private firm dealing in the lucrative business of intelligence gathering and assessment. Founded in 1996, the company gained global prominence during the NATO bombing of Kosovo in 1999 when its seemingly cutting-edge analysis was publicized by various news agencies.
When the FBI arrested LulzSec leader Hector "Sabu" Monsegur , they did so in a hurry—hours before the arrest, Sabu was doxed , his identity posted to the Internet. With his name public, federal agents feared that he would start destroying evidence to protect himself, so they ended their covert surveillance and moved in, according to Fox News . Efforts to name and shame the LulzSec crew during its 50-day rampage were common . Many of these doxings were inaccurate, a result of faulty inferences or deliberate attempts to mislead on the part of the LulzSec hackers. But not all were wrong. In fact, the game of doxing Sabu was over before it had even started.
Hacking has been around for a long time, but now with social networking, publicized hacking groups with quirky personalities, and the increasing importance of the internet, we’ve been hearing a lot more about it recently. Hackers hacking this organization, threatening that organization, taunting each other, opening or closing up shop. As interesting as it is, it’s all a bit much to follow and sometimes it’s not even clear who’s who.
It appears UK police have been deceived by LulzSec. (Source: Warner Brothers) The man they believed to be a member of LulzSec was reportedly a famous internet troll, whom a LulzSec member "stole" the name of. This could prove the latest embarasment for UK police.