Operation Payback May Now Start Focusing On Actually Digging Through Wikileaks Leaks For Details

from the much-more-effective dept

While I find Operation Payback fascinating, from a sociological/cultural perspective, I’ve said from the very beginning that I thought their DDoS strategy to be a bad idea. I was happy, last month, when the folks behind it effectively had “called off” their attacks on copyright-related sites, and a bit disappointed (though, again, fascinated) by the more recent attacks in support of Wikileaks. However, there are now reports that the group has (as it did with the copyright issue) decided to back off the DDoS attacks, but instead, work towards helping to sift through all of the Wikileaks leaks to find the hidden gems of information that need more attention and exposure. As the plan says, “they don’t fear the LOIC (the tool used for the attacks), they fear exposure.” Could it be that out of what some consider “vandalism,” we may get journalism? Welcome to the new digital world…

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Comments on “Operation Payback May Now Start Focusing On Actually Digging Through Wikileaks Leaks For Details”

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30 Comments
Hephaestus (profile) says:

I have been discussing what can be done with Wikileaks documents

One of the concepts is to create a site to extend the abilities of WikiLeaks. Pull all the documents from wikileaks as they are posted and create a blog with commenting around the documents. Add the ability to link documents in chains so that a timeline can be created. Have the ability to upload new documents and files.

Basically create a resource for finding and centralizing data on a given document or document set.

Richard Kulawiec says:

Re: Re: I have been discussing what can be done with Wikileaks documents

Absolutely. The value of information increases as bits of it are linked together, placed in context, annotated, and visualized.

(For example, I’d like to see a topic map of all 250K cables as well as a network connectivity and flow diagram. The latter might look something like http://etherape.sourceforge.net/images/v0.9.3.png
which is a screenshot from a program called EtherApe and allows one to see, roughly, “who’s talking who and how much are they saying?”)

Revelati says:

I might be wrong on this, but from what I understand the full content of the leaks is not available to the general public, it is only being released piecemeal.

Anonymous and the people attacking right now are simply the zeitgeist of the internet, no one has any control over what they do. It makes a lot more sense to think about it on a macro scale, the internet is based on freedom of information, the governments that gave birth to the internet are now trying to reverse the fundamental principle on which it was created. The internet is angry, and it is letting the world know.

Same thing happened to Dr. Frankenstein’s monster , except I think the monster is just too big to be destroyed.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

“I might be wrong on this, but from what I understand the full content of the leaks is not available to the general public, it is only being released piecemeal.”

You are right. WikiLeaks felt that the past 2 giant dumps of data resulted in a lot of documents being overlooked, so this time around they’re spacing it out (not sure if the newspapers got it in bulk though, but from their side (the newspapers are the ones redacting names and ‘too sensitive’ information)it is probably a bit more manageable as well).

Richard Kulawiec says:

Re: Re: Re:

They released the entire data dump in an encoded form some time ago.

Incorrect. They released a file, period. Nobody, except whoever encrypted that file, knows what’s in it. (Some people may think they know, and they may be correct, but unless they conducted the encryption process, they can’t possibly know.)

I would imagine some anon got ahold of the password.

Extremely unlikely. It is far more likely that the password is only known to Assange (at present) and that it may be available at a future time to trusted associates, perhaps by utilizing a cryptographic key which has been divided among multiple people. (This prevents any one person from acting alone: cryptographic schemes exist which require 3 of 3 people or 4 of 4, or 3 of 5, or other combinations. This would allow Assange to instruct them to only release the key under circumstances, and would ensure that none of them could do so by acting alone.) Given Assange’s technical background and demonstrated expertise, it’s very unlikely he was careless with the password for it.

Anonymous Coward says:

It is sad to see that Anonymous is continuing the DDoS attacks. Since they are making such a public spectacle out of it, their heads will be on the chopping block. You can be sure that an all out effort is being made to locate the control mechanicism for the botnetwork.

You can expect if it continues that there will be announcements of arrests coming. As long as they push the attacks, they are exposing themselves to being found. That in turn will provide the bread and circus act to cover up the real reason for the malcontentment spreading through the ranks of the citizenship.

It is a shame that the effort being put into the attacks has not been redirected to exposing the gems contained within the leaks. In that method they would be far more effective and would not have the stigma that will be attached to Anonymous for attacking websites.

I can’t say that the sites targeted are any favorites of mine nor can I find it in my heart to totally denounce their efforts but it is the wrong direction to take aim at. It does nothing to bring the public to their cause. Without winning the hearts and minds of the public, the cause is lost as the governments involved will go on about business as usual if they don’t have to worry about public exposure.

It is only through the people the governments represent that effective change will come about. This is what they really fear is accountability by those that put them in power. If they are taken out of office, the power cord is substantially diminished.

Anonymous Coward says:

What is really funny in all of this is that the anons are changing their plan because, surprise, at least one of them got arrested. Suddenly, all these kids are freaking out, realizing that they could actually get in trouble for this stuff. I am sure that some of them have literally crapped their pants considering the implications of their acts.

It is very likely that the guy running one of the LOICs will end up in jail for a while. It is also very likely that the authorities will work to figure out who all else was involved in it, and work on prosecuting them as well.

One well publicized arrest, and the kids are cowering.

They have discovered that anon really isn’t all that anon. When you leave enough bread crumbs around, it is pretty easy to follow the trail back.

This event may actually drag down the whole anon movement, and may even take 4chan with it. Good riddance to bad rubbish.

RandomGuy (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Anyone stupid enough to use their own computer as a voluntary bot to connection request flood a site really shouldn’t be surprised when they get nabbed.

Frankly, I think this is a good development. DDOSing corporate and government websites accomplishes nothing, and in fact could easily be a justification for increased internet regulation.

This new campaign has the potential to be much more effective.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

I think that the new campaign will be no more effective that the DDoS. What I think will end up happening is that thousands of people will read the documents without proper context, and read into them all sorts of things that just are not there. Rather than extracting more information, they will instead create more noise, which will drown out what little real information can be gleaned from them.

In other words, they will end up doing an information DDoS.

If they are stupid enough to join a bot net, they are stupid enough to screw this up to. Anon isn’t brilliant, just dedicated. In this case, it probably won’t work.

your only vote is your money says:

To create a tool is the the answer

The only real vote any of us have is where we spend our money.

Thus they should look at a P2P tool so that the masses can inform others of the shockingly bad behaviour of who sells us the stuff we buy so other less-bad providers can get the business.

Via signed tokens each poster can trend towards anonymous, yet still obtain a reputation.

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