NATO Threatens Anonymous; Kicks Off Weekend-Long Hackathon

from the hornets'-nests-all-the-way-down dept

Following in the footsteps of Obama's promise to fight hackers with guns, General Rapporteur Lord Jopling has issued a long and sternly-worded statement to NATO, warning them of the threat hackers pose to the security of the allied nations. The draft details Anonymous' involvement with both Wikileaks and HBGary along with with a rundown of recent hacktivist activity in the Middle East and Africa.

Jopling's paper is thorough and fairly well-balanced, although it includes some troubling statements about governmental transparency:

[T]he Rapporteur believes that even if one is in favour of transparency, military and intelligence operations simply cannot be planned and consulted with the public. Transparency cannot exist without control. The government, and especially its security agencies, must have the right to limit access to information in order to govern and to protect. This is based on the premise that states and corporations have the right to privacy as much as individuals do and that secrecy is required for efficient management of the state institutions and organizations.

In addition, transparency can be misused on several levels – by providing unprofessional or poor-quality interpretation of information or documents, by conducting superficial or biased analysis, by lack of experience on the topic or by pursuing a political agenda. Thus, not everything carried out under the “transparency label” is necessarily good for the government and its people.

While he makes a good point that full transparency can often lead to faulty conclusions, the fact is that this sort of thing (poor-quality interpretations of information, biased analysis, pursuit of political agendas) is happening already, and increased compartmentalization and secrecy will only exacerbate the problem. The information will still get out somehow, but at this point, nearly every government in the world is showing an unhealthy distrust of its citizens. Rather than working towards more transparency and openness, they seem to be looking to lock up as much information as possible

Not only that, but the claim that "states and corporations have the right to privacy as much as individuals do" is flat-out laughable. If this were true, these states and corporations would be an open-book, especially here in the U.S. where warrantless wiretaps and searches have become just another ho-hum tool of the FBI and local law enforcement. On one hand, the government is pressuring Google and Apple to protect the privacy of their users, while on the other hand, it's demanding that said private information be harvested and retained indefinitely.

But this is merely retreading arguments long-familiar with Techdirt readers. It's the point where NATO explicitly calls out Anonymous that it gets interesting. While acknowledging Anonymous' positive "hacktivism" efforts in aid of foreign rebellions, the draft also explicitly warns the group that NATO is willing to take them on and prosecute if necessary:

Today, the ad hoc international group of hackers and activists is said to have thousands of operatives and has no set rules or membership.[36] It remains to be seen how much time Anonymous has for pursuing such paths. The longer these attacks persist the more likely countermeasures will be developed, implemented, the groups will be infiltrated and perpetrators persecuted.

It didn't take long for Anonymous to respond. Or rather, Anonymous would have responded if they weren't already tied up disrupting services in Iran, harvesting thousands of government emails and publishing Iran embassy email account information. LulzSec (whose week has already been busy, what with hacking PBS and Sony Pictures), took it upon themselves to go head-to-head with both the FBI and NATO:

It has come to our unfortunate attention that NATO and our good friend Barrack Osama-Llama 24th-century Obama have recently upped the stakes with regard to hacking. They now treat hacking as an act of war. So, we just hacked an FBI affiliated website (Infragard, specifically the Atlanta chapter) and leaked its user base.

In addition to taking Infragard offline (it was still down as of 7PM Sunday), LulzSec acquired the gmail address of Karim Hijazi, who runs Unveillance, a "white hat" company specializing in data breaches and botnets. Hijazi released a statement on Friday confirming their attacks. His post also included an IRC chat transcript of a conversation with members of LulzSec, in which they claim they are after his money:

(KARIM) So did we wrong you in some way, let’s get to the point?
(LULZ) <@Ninetales> If you wronged us, all of your affiliates would be crushed. Don’t worry, you’re in the good books. The point is a very crude word: extortion.
(LULZ) <@Ninetales> And what we’re both willing to agree upon that you sacrifice in return for our silence.
(LULZ) <@Ninetales> While I do get great enjoyment from obliterating whitehats from cyberspace, I can save this pleasure for other targets. Let’s just simplify: you have lots of money, we want more money.

Hijazi claims to have protected any sensitive client data from LulzSec and states that he "refuses to comply with their requests." However, LulzSec's statement claims that they're not interested in Hijazi's money, but simply wish to expose his company's involvement with U.S. attacks on Libya's communication systems:

We call upon journalists and other writers to delve through the emails carefully, as we have uncovered an operation orchestrated by Unveillance and others to control and assess Libyan cyberspace through malicious means: the U.S. government is funding the CSFI to attack Libya's cyber infrastructure.

Further twists developed Saturday when a post appeared on Pastebin from someone claiming to have infiltrated LulzSec. According to the anonymous (but not Anonymous) poster, an IRC chat had led to a postive ID of four LulzSec members, naming Adrian Lamo of 2600.com as the registrar of lulzsecurity.com. A rebuttal of sorts followed shortly thereafter, claiming these supposed "unmaskings" to be nothing more than names thrown into the IRC-mix for trolling purposes:

sabu, avunti, topiary, kayla, tflow, entropy, marduk and joepie91
these are some of the lulzsec guys, distanced from anonops, keeping the heat low
sailing the lulzyboat

if you are lucky enough to be invited to their private channel
be aware it is one of many for trolling the trolls :)

yo dawg we herd j00 leik lulzsecs so we put an adrian lamos and kevin mitnicks in your lulzsecs
so you can lulz while you lulz

So, where does that leave everything? Who knows? LulzSec apparently took a joyride through Nintendo's servers, prying free a server configuration file but leaving everything else untouched, out of love for Nintendo according to their tweet:

Re: Nintendo, we just got a config file and made it clear that we didn't mean any harm. Nintendo had already fixed it anyway. <3 them!

With both the U.S. and NATO pledging to fight back against cyberattacks, it remains to be seen how much collateral damage will be needed to justify the use of something stronger than sternly worded statements. LulzSec has made it clear that others are willing to step in for Anonymous proper, if it/they are otherwise detained. While it's certainly conceivable that anti-Anonymous actions are going on behind the scenes, the events of this weekend wouldn't seem to bode well for governmental agencies worldwide.



Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 6th, 2011 @ 4:09pm

    "states and corporations have the right to privacy as much as individuals do"

    This is not true. Individuals fund states and so we have a right to know what the states are doing much more than the states have a right to invade our personal privacy.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    icon
    Tom Landry (profile), Jun 6th, 2011 @ 4:14pm

    The fact that NATO had to resort to such threats speaks volumes about their state of readiness to take on the ANON crowd. They're unsure, they're fearful.....its exactly what Anon loves in their targets.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 6th, 2011 @ 4:21pm

    Re:

    Also, corporations shouldn't have the same rights to privacy that individuals do.

    For one thing, publicly funded corporations must make public their financial statements.

    For another thing, corporations benefit from limited liability. Individuals do not. When corporations get caught committing a tort, corporate individuals aren't often personally punished. This limits their liability. If an individual commits a tort and gets caught, that person is personally liable and that person doesn't benefit from the same limited liability that corporations benefit from, so the potential damages against individuals aren't as limited.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    icon
    crade (profile), Jun 6th, 2011 @ 4:23pm

    Re:

    You're allowed to vote, but you're not allowed to be informed.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    icon
    el_segfaulto (profile), Jun 6th, 2011 @ 4:28pm

    If I were a few years younger and not needing to maintain a security clearance (low-level as it may be) I would love to lend a hand to hacktivists. I'm not sure anon and their brethren always have the public's best interest at heart, but I still trust them more than any corporation or even my own government.

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    6, Jun 6th, 2011 @ 4:40pm

    Next thing you know you'll see NATO kicking a bee hive. I just don't know how successful that will be.

     

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  7.  
    icon
    The Groove Tiger (profile), Jun 6th, 2011 @ 4:41pm

    Somehow I read it as "LulzSec acquired the gmail address of Karim Hijazi, who runs Unveillance, a hat company specializing in breeches and bonnets."

     

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  8.  
    icon
    Steven (profile), Jun 6th, 2011 @ 4:43pm

    Re:

    If I wasn't responsible for a family I would certainly 'throw my hat in the ring' as it were. The current level of government tyranny has not quite reached the 'put my family in danger' stage, but it is certainly in the 'throughly disturbing and worth supporting opposition' stage.

    As it is, it seems worthwhile to broaden and sharpen my skills. Just in case...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    Darryl, Jun 6th, 2011 @ 4:51pm

    hackers with guns !

    Now that IS a scary thought !!!!

    what laws do people break, that does not mean the police use 'arms' in their duties.

    you might as well have stated that the Obama Gov is willing to fight speeding in your car 'with arms'.

    That is a surprise to anyone ? (except Mike?) :)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    icon
    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Jun 6th, 2011 @ 4:54pm

    Re: Re:

    Not to mention that corporations are effectively immortal, which gives them quite a leg up over the long run.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    danR, Jun 6th, 2011 @ 5:01pm

    Attacking weakly-defended affiliates...

    ...is what sophisticated opponents are good at. If Lulz can morph and splinter into unconnectable cells, then NATO, the Pentagon and the FBI, et al, will have a really big fight on their hands.

    They can easily defend their servers and air-gaps. But their affiliates, not to mention the whole global raft of Fortune 500 companies may be in for an expensive security upgrade, and one they will have to put in place in a matter of months, not years.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    That Anonymous Coward, Jun 6th, 2011 @ 5:10pm

    Odd as Karim Hijazi was making his claims that LulzSec was just trying to extort him, LulzSec was posting a chat log showing that Karim was trying to get LulzSec to take out the competition for him.

    While one should take LulzSec's version with a grain of salt, they have more believability than a "security" professional who used the same password for everything.

    "In addition, transparency can be misused on several levels"
    And thanks to Wikileaks and allegedly Manning, we can see that it is not a one sided issue. That it is not merely the public who will misuse the data to advance a political agenda. Do as we say, not as we do is becoming harder for the people to willingly turn a blind eye to.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    icon
    Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile), Jun 6th, 2011 @ 5:24pm

    Re:

    An internet hat company? Now I've heard everything!

    [Shakes head in confounded bemusement.]

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 6th, 2011 @ 5:28pm

    Re:

    Yet those who claim to shine the light in the dark corner, like Wikileaks, have as many dark corners in their own operations and own personal lives.

    Who watches the watchers?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    icon
    freak (profile), Jun 6th, 2011 @ 5:37pm

    Re: Re:

    We create a federation of watchers, none of whom are ultimately in charge.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    John Doe, Jun 6th, 2011 @ 6:23pm

    Forgot who said it, but....

    ...that government that cannot trust the people cannot itself be trusted. It is ridiculous, especially in the US, for the government not to trust the people considering that the government is supposed to be of the people, by the people, for the people.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 6th, 2011 @ 6:54pm

    "military and intelligence operations simply cannot be planned and consulted with the public. Transparency cannot exist without control. The government, and especially its security agencies, must have the right to limit access to information in order to govern and to protect"

    The great cry of every "Authoritarian Regime" in history.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 6th, 2011 @ 6:56pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Who each in turn protect each others secrets, at least until one of them posts his weiner on tweeter. They are called government.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 6th, 2011 @ 8:27pm

    Re: hackers with guns !

    Aww Darryl, you were so close to being coherent. Keep trying, you'll reach the writing level of an elementary school student eventually. I know you can do it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 6th, 2011 @ 10:38pm

    Power is only given, never had. Some people in the world are beginning to realize that in ever more clarity and rising up against those who would abuse it. I can only dream the westernized world will do the same before it is too late. Then again, perhaps it already is - time will tell, let's accelerate the process I say.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    icon
    The eejit (profile), Jun 6th, 2011 @ 11:10pm

    Re: Re:

    I do. And who watches me? I do that, too. All the time.

    Oh, don't misunderstand, I'm not here to keep the darkness out. I'm here to keep it in. Imagine how strong I must be. You can call me...the Guarding Dark. Now get oput of town.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    identicon
    Nicedoggy, Jun 7th, 2011 @ 12:24am

    Others are catching up to the power of information.

    Organic Spies Find Lies

    Quote:
    Why The Organic Trade Association and Corporate Organic Food Brands do NOT want Labeling of Genetically Engineered and Genetically Modified Foods

    This Video provides financial evidence that the President of the Board of Directors at the Organic Trade Association, Julia Sabin, individually profits off of Genetically engineered foods as a VP and General Manager at Smuckers.


    It will get increasingly difficult to dupe the public.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    icon
    grumpy (profile), Jun 7th, 2011 @ 1:03am

    "In addition, transparency can be misused on several levels by providing unprofessional or poor-quality interpretation of information or documents, by conducting superficial or biased analysis, by lack of experience on the topic or by pursuing a political agenda."

    Yeah, that's called "journalism". Nasty stuff, that. Can take your peace-of-mind clean off.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 7th, 2011 @ 1:32am

    States and Individuals Have the Same Rights?

    This is based on the premise that states and corporations have the right to privacy as much as individuals do...

    Based on the premise that states and individuals have the same rights, then individuals also have the right to make laws, enforce them, conduct trials, and punish, even execute, those they deem individually deem deserving of such punishment.

    What a crock.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 7th, 2011 @ 5:24am

    No one finds the use of "extortion" to be a sign of something going wrong with Lulzsec?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    icon
    chris (profile), Jun 7th, 2011 @ 6:14am

    Re: Re:

    An internet hat company? Now I've heard everything!

    i think he's talking about mann co. i get all my internet hats from mann co.

    http://www.teamfortress.com/mannconomy/

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 7th, 2011 @ 6:38am

    protip to us govt

    stop pissing off anon. it's like feeding the trolls, only worse. the rest of us learned this long ago. I know this net thing is shiny and new, but the lesson is pretty simple.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
    icon
    Chris Rhodes (profile), Jun 7th, 2011 @ 7:47am

    If You Want to Retain Credibility, Explain, Don't Threaten

    In addition, transparency can be misused on several levels by providing unprofessional or poor-quality interpretation of information or documents, by conducting superficial or biased analysis, by lack of experience on the topic or by pursuing a political agenda.

    The counter to superficial, erroneous, or just plain bad speech is not censorship; it's more speech.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
    identicon
    HothMonster, Jun 7th, 2011 @ 7:55am

    Re: Re:

    Rorschach?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
    identicon
    ac, Jun 7th, 2011 @ 8:01am

    Re:

    it has some truth.
    example.

    what if pakistan WAS hiding bin laden.
    We had to sneak in there and kill him secretly.
    so he couldnt be alerted and moved.

    In this scenario secrecy is important to carry out a military operation.

    but dont blame hackers if the information is leaked. because if they can get to it to begin with. who else is looking?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
    icon
    Hephaestus (profile), Jun 7th, 2011 @ 9:14am

    Re:

    "The fact that NATO had to resort to such threats speaks volumes about their state of readiness to take on the ANON crowd. "

    NATO, the US government, the EU will never be able to take on ANONONYMOUS, LULZSEC, etc. The reasons being, you are dealing with something far worse than radical fundamentalists. You are dealing with chronic do gooders, with a love of fighting for the underdog, and a never ending supply on new hacktivists wishing to join the ranks.

    In the end its about people who know right verses wrong, fighting against people who do wrong.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
    identicon
    dwg, Jun 7th, 2011 @ 9:48am

    I especially love...

    "Transparency requires control." I wonder if ANYONE involved in government messaging has read 1984. This is some of the best double-speak I've ever seen.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 7th, 2011 @ 10:17am

    Re:

    "No one finds the use of "extortion" to be a sign of something going wrong with Lulzsec"

    this poster here is why the government thinks it can get away with anything it wants. because some people read a single (badly written) article and without doing any further research into the matter immediately side with one group or another.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 7th, 2011 @ 10:24am

    Re: I especially love...

    Well, of course they have. 1984 is their instruction manual.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
    identicon
    dwg, Jun 7th, 2011 @ 11:12am

    Re: Re: I especially love...

    I guess the only thing funny is that it was taught to me as fiction in high school.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 7th, 2011 @ 4:15pm

    fuck the Illuminati

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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