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How one man tracked down Anonymous

How one man tracked down Anonymous
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. In a private e-mail to a colleague at his security firm HBGary Federal, which sells digital tools to the US government, the CEO bragged about his research project. "They think I have nothing but a heirarchy based on IRC [Internet Relay Chat] aliases!" But had he? "We are kind of pissed at him right now" Barr's "pwning" meant finding out the names and addresses of the top Anonymous leadership. "At any given time there are probably no more than 20-40 people active, accept during hightened points of activity like Egypt and Tunisia where the numbers swell but mostly by trolls," he wrote in an internal e-mail. Indeed, publicity was the plan.

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2011/02/how-one-security-firm-tracked-anonymousand-paid-a-heavy-price.ars

Related:  Anonymous & LulzSec

Anonymous speaks: the inside story of the HBGary hack 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. HBGary's servers were broken into, its e-mails pillaged and published to the world, its data destroyed, and its website defaced. As an added bonus, a second site owned and operated by Greg Hoglund, owner of HBGary, was taken offline and the user registration database published. Anonymous: more than kids

Anonymous on the ropes This blog set to diaplay 20 days of posts. Sorry Blogspot only shows 3 days, waiting for a Google fix, G Prologue: Anonymous has no idea of the shit storm headed their way. uTorrent & BitTorrent Sites Hacked, Spread Security Shield Malware ~ THN : The Hacker News uTorrent & BitTorrent Sites Hacked, Spread Security Shield Malware Once installed, Security Shield delivers false reports that a computer is infected with multiple pieces of malware and prompts the user for payment before claiming to disinfect the machine. The attack affected only users who downloaded and installed software from bittorrent.com and utorrent.com during the hour-and-fifty-minute window that the sites were compromised. Those who installed software previously are unaffected.

TASC - Echelon 2 TASC, Inc. describes itself as "a renowned provider of advanced systems engineering, integration and decision–support services across the intelligence, defense, homeland security and federal markets." It's also a major target of our investigation due to correspondence discovered between HBGary Federal CEO Aaron Barr and TASC executives Al Pisani and John Lovegrove regarding their collaborative pursuit of the Romas/COIN contract, which was then held by Northrop Grumman . Throughout 2010, Barr exchanged dozens of e-mails with TASC executives as the two parties collaborated on building a team capable of winning the Romas/COIN contract away from Northrop; to a lesser extent, Mantech CEO Robert Frisbie was also involved in this effort, mostly in communication with Barr. The full report on Romas/COIN may be found at its page; below is a sampling of e-mails from the period. From: Aaron Barr <aaron@hbgary.com> To: Pisani, Albert A. Al, I met with Bob Frisbie the other day to catch up.

The nightmarish hybrid taxidermy that could land 'Franken-artist' in jail By Daily Mail Reporter Updated: 06:44 GMT, 19 December 2011 Like a modern day Dr Frankenstein, Enrique Gomez De Molina creates hauntingly stunning hybrid sculptures made from the stuffed parts of dead animals. But it is his beloved mythical creatures that could land the Miami artist in jail for up to five years and see him forking out $250,000 in fines. De Molina uses the parts of once-living animals and merges them together to create strange beings, one example features the head of two swans on the body of a goat and another shows the head of a squirrel meshed with a crab. Mythical: The surreal sculptures feature a doubles head swan on the body of what appears to be a goat Creepy: This otherworldly piece is created with the head of a screaming squirrel and the body of crab

Everything Anonymous Open Letter to Al Jazeera To Whom It May Concern: Thank you, Al Jazeera, for your outstanding coverage in the streets of Egypt. Your constant reporting and unbiased journalism has helped unite the revolutionaries, and the world. We stand with the people, waiting for Hosni Mubarak to relinquish the presidency and restore power to the people of Egypt. Anonymous Hacks Security Company HBGary, Dumps 50,000 Emails Online A security company that's been working with the government to track down the cyber-activists involved with Anonymous has now become the target of that very group. HBGary's website has been defaced and its CEO Aaron Barr has had his social media accounts hijacked and his personal information leaked online - all in retribution for his claims that he had infiltrated Anonymous, the loosely-affiliated collective of hacktivists. The actions by Anonymous follow a recent story in The Financial Times in which Barr claimed that he had "penetrated Anonymous as part of a project to demonstrate the security risks to organisations from social media and networking." In the article, Barr identified people he said were key members of the Anonymous "hierarchy," including a co-founder in the U.S. and leaders in Britain, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy and Australia. Barr claimed he had discovered these individuals' identities via Facebook and Internet Relay Chat (IRC).

A Peek Inside Web Malware Exploitation Kits With web malware exploitation kits, continuing to represent the attack method of choice for the majority of cybercriminals thanks to the overall susceptibility of end and enterprise users to client-side exploitation attacks, it's always worth taking a peek inside them from the perspective of the malicious attacker. In this post, we'll take a peek inside three web malware exploitation kits, and discuss what makes them think in terms of infected OSs, browser plugins and client-side exploits. _Dragon Pack Web Malware Exploitation Kit

How Aaron Barr Infiltrated Anonymous, and Why He Decided to Do It Ars Technica's Nate Anderson has put together a long and fascinating report on the tumultuous recent history of Aaron Barr -- the security expert who successfully infiltrated Anonymous, and then got burned, after running to the FBI with his findings. Based on e-mails he sent before beginning his mission, it's clear that Barr's motives, from the very beginning, were profit-driven. A social media fanatic, Barr firmly believed that he could use data from sites like Facebook and LinkedIn to identify any hacker in the world, including members of Anonymous. "Hackers may not list the data, but hackers are people too so they associate with friends and family," Barr wrote in an e-mail to a colleague at HBGary Federal. "Those friends and family can provide key indicators on the hacker without them releasing it...."

New music: Disclosure – Carnival Band of brothers ... Howard and Guy Lawrence, aka Disclosure. Photograph: Michaela Letang. Disclosure hail from south London and are brothers Guy and Howard Lawrence. They make the kind of music that's influenced by dance genres they're probably too young to have experienced first time round (one of them is 16 and the other is 19).

Indian hacker group kicked-out by Facebook 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 .

Anonymous: US security firms 'planned to attack WikiLeaks' The hacker collective Anonymous claims to have unearthed proposals by a consortium of US security firms to attack WikiLeaks, ahead of reportedly planned disclosures about the Bank of America. Leaked emails apparently suggest that three private security firms – HBGary Federal, Palantir Technologies and Berico Technologies – pitched a plan to undermine the whistleblowers' site to a law firm which has represented the Bank of America. BoA, the largest US bank, is thought to be the next target of WikiLeaks releases. Anonymous began releasing tens of thousands of emails sent by HBGary Federal late last week, after the loose-knit "hacktivist" group attacked the security firm's computer systems. Aaron Barr, the company's chief executive, was targeted by Anonymous following a newspaper interview in which he claimed to be able to expose senior members of the shadowy internet collective.

Most advanced and dangerous malware for Apple products - why you should be concerned ! ~ THN : The Hacker News Most advanced and dangerous malware for Apple products - Why you should be concerned ! Indian security researcher from MalCon has created an advanced and dangerous malware for Apple products which can not only compromize your privacy but also steal important data and let hackers control your device by simple text messages. If you are using any Apple product such as iPhone, iPad or iPod, then you shuuld be concerned. Indian security researcher from MalCon, Atul Alex has created an advanced malware for the Apple products which can not only intercept calls of users, steal data, but also provide a reverse VNC to see remotely all the actions of the victim.

A sinister cyber-surveillance scheme exposed When President Eisenhower left office in 1960, he provided the American people with a warning. "In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist." Sixty years later, the military-industrial complex has been joined by another unprecedented centre of what has increasingly proven to be "misplaced power": the dozens of secretive firms known collectively as the intelligence contracting industry. Last February, three of these firms – HBGary Federal, Palantir and Berico, known collectively as Team Themis – were discovered to have conspired to hire out their information war capabilities to corporations which hoped to strike back at perceived enemies, including US activist groups, WikiLeaks and journalist Glenn Greenwald.

Related:  Domestic Surveillance