Collateral Damage: In The Hunt For LulzSec, FBI Takes Down A Bunch Of Websites

from the making-omelets dept

As a bunch of folks have been sending in, the FBI raided a data center in Reston Virginia, seizing a bunch of servers and taking a bunch of sites offline (including some big names). This isn't -- as some suggested -- quite the same thing as the infamous ICE domain seizures. This sort of thing does happen from time to time, when law enforcement is seeking actual information on a server which is part of a larger criminal investigation. That said, it always amazes me how much collateral damage law enforcement does in these situations, when it seems like they could definitely be a lot more targeted. Even worse, the reports claim that the FBI is actually trying to chase down the loose hacker collective LulzSec, which seems like a waste of time. Frankly it seems like the FBI must have something more important to work on. That said, it does seem somewhat ironic that in trying to track down a group that has been taking down (somewhat random) websites, the FBI has also taken down a bunch of websites, including the popular blog network Curbed, and parts of the super popular utility Instapaper.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Jun 2011 @ 7:09am

    "Frankly it seems like the FBI must have something more important to work on"

    I don't know about that. Major hacks, international attacks aimed to steal millions of credit card numbers, to hack into secure systems, and cause millions of damages seems like a pretty good thing to be working on.

    Perhaps parts of the "popular blog network" were being used to guide the hackers. Do you know anything?

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 22 Jun 2011 @ 7:18am

      Re:

      Lulz sec is doesn't take credit card info. If it was credit card info that was stolen then it was from a different hacker group.

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

    • icon
      ComputerAddict (profile), 22 Jun 2011 @ 7:54am

      Re:

      "Perhaps parts of the 'popular blog network' were being used to guide the hackers." [citation needed]

      There fixed that for you.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 22 Jun 2011 @ 7:55am

        Re: Re:

        What part of the word "perhaps" are you not familiar with?

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        • icon
          ComputerAddict (profile), 22 Jun 2011 @ 8:10am

          Re: Re: Re:

          I was just trying to point out that much like the article in this case. What is being said is just wild speculation. We don't know if it was actually collateral damage until we find out what they were actually looking for.

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    • identicon
      Aerilus, 22 Jun 2011 @ 1:16pm

      Re:

      strange, every company they have hacked has vehemently denied that lulzsecurity obtained any credit card information.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 24 Jun 2011 @ 12:24am

      Re:

      You are such a tool.

      "aimed to steal millions of credit card numbers, to hack into secure systems, and cause millions of damages"

      They caused no damages. Would you rather they had sat on the credit card numbers and sold them rather than release them? At least the people had fair warning.

      'Perhaps parts of the "popular blog network" were being used to guide the hackers.'

      The stupidity of this sentence doesn't warrant an intelligent or direct response.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Jun 2011 @ 7:12am

    So the FBI shouldn't be worried about a hacker group that takes down websites, like cia.gov, and spreading thousands upon thousands of people's personal information across the internet, including credit card information? Please enlighten me..

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    • icon
      Chronno S. Trigger (profile), 22 Jun 2011 @ 7:14am

      Re:

      They could spent their time actually looking for the group instead of taking down quite a few unrelated websites. I don't know, it's just a thought.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 22 Jun 2011 @ 7:30am

        Re: Re:

        Um, they are spending their time looking for the group. Getting access to the websites to look for clues is just one of the ways. And along with the FBI, the UK police caught a person who they think is one of the ringleaders of the entire operation, Ryan Cleary. Now wether or not he is one of the members of the operation, it still shows that the FBI is actually interested in tracking down the group, and not just "taking down random websites".

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        • icon
          cc (profile), 22 Jun 2011 @ 8:17am

          Re: Re: Re:

          The thing is, they don't need to take down ANY websites to "look for clues". They could have imaged the servers and walked out, but noooo that would have been too easy.

          Also, the guy arrested in the UK is apparently just some kid that was running an IRC server that Lulzsec and Anonymous used from time to time. He was hardly a "ringleader" or even someone who would know the ringleaders.

          Tbh, I bet they are all hiding using Tor, so the only way to track these people down is if they slip up in a big way.. like brag about the hacks on their Twitter or give out their personal info on IRC or something.

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        • icon
          Gwiz (profile), 22 Jun 2011 @ 8:19am

          Re: Re: Re:

          And along with the FBI, the UK police caught a person who they think is one of the ringleaders of the entire operation, Ryan Cleary.

          Ringleader? I thought these groups are loosely organized without top down leadership. It may be a problem if law enforcement is looking for ringleaders where none exist.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 22 Jun 2011 @ 9:07am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Alleged ringleader, oh wait, I forgot, everyone is guilty.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 22 Jun 2011 @ 9:49am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            The reality is that groups like this are mostly one or two leaders trying to hide themselves in a crowd of willing script kiddies. They will claim to have no leadership, but it's always the same people leading the way or guiding the situation.

            When it gets out of hand, the brains leave to form a new group. That is why lulzsec is an offshoot of anonymous, which is an offshoot of 4chan. When the brains no longer control the masses of kiddies, they move on.

            This guy is probably pouring his guts out right now, crying like a little baby hoping that he doesn't spend 40 years in a federal butt slammin' prison.

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            • icon
              SomeGuy (profile), 22 Jun 2011 @ 10:13am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              That's been true in the past, and you're assuming it's still true in the present and future. I'm not sure that's a safe assumption. Some members may be more active or charismatic, but even that doesn't make them "leaders" in the traditional sense.

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            • icon
              Gwiz (profile), 22 Jun 2011 @ 10:54am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              The reality is that groups like this are mostly one or two leaders trying to hide themselves in a crowd of willing script kiddies. They will claim to have no leadership, but it's always the same people leading the way or guiding the situation.

              Really? That's not what I have read concerning these groups.

              Do you have some sort of citation for that or are you just going on the same assumptions of the government agencies who think all groups are organized in a top down fashion because they are incapable of thinking outside the box?

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 22 Jun 2011 @ 11:47am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                I think you are falling for the sort of cover they are looking for. Why does a celebration of a sporting team winnings (or losing for that matter) turn into a riot? A few people in the crowd came looking for the crowd to cover up for their activities. They encourage others, and you have a tipping point.

                lulzsec and anonymous and so on are really run by a very small group of people, with plenty of little splinter groups. The people at the top of the pile want the coverage that the masses of script kiddies offers to them. They can operate better when the police are spending their time tracking down 15 year olds running low orbit software.

                It's the nature of the game. Something like this doesn't just happen as the will of a crowd, we are not the borg. There is always someone or a group of someones leading the pack.

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                • identicon
                  MrWilson, 22 Jun 2011 @ 1:40pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  I'm still waiting for a citation. You're saying that this pattern is consistent in groups of disparate types, like sports hooligans and hacking groups. While crowd dynamics may tend to seem to work a certain way that you can observe, there's no definite paradigm for how each individual group will operate and there's little public evidence from which derive observations as to how Lulzsec operates or what kind of leadership hierarchy it might have, if any. You're trying to assert your observation as some sort of fact. The truth is, you don't know. And I don't know. And likely many people operating in Lulzsec or participating in a sports riot don't know how the group operates exactly or why the riot got started.

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

                • icon
                  Gwiz (profile), 22 Jun 2011 @ 1:49pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  It's the nature of the game. Something like this doesn't just happen as the will of a crowd, we are not the borg. There is always someone or a group of someones leading the pack.

                  I am still not convinced. Consensus of a group does not require leadership.

                  And why do you keep characterizing these groups as made up of mostly "15 year old script kiddies"? Personally, I'd think the demographic must be somewhat older than that. What 15 year old wants their their computer privileges taken away over a social issue they probably don't really care that much about?

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                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 22 Jun 2011 @ 8:59pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    The answer is "they think it's cool".

                    The last round of anonymous busts pretty much all came up with minors and college freshmen, most of the raids were on Mom's basement. It was absolutely hilarious.

                    Even in a group there are leaders and their are followers. It's human nature. We don't work well as groups of equals, we work better in a hierarchal setup, with leaders and followers. Even if it isn't out intention to end up that way, it is human nature.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 22 Jun 2011 @ 11:20am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Guilty people must be raped. For justice.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 22 Jun 2011 @ 8:39am

          Re: Re: Re:

          It was probably Cleary spilling his guts that got the FBI to where they are now.

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          • identicon
            MrWilson, 22 Jun 2011 @ 1:42pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            And if Lulzsec is correct in asserting that Cleary isn't really a member and knows nothing, they've just taken down a bunch of websites chasing a red herring.

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        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 23 Jun 2011 @ 12:46am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Ah, going to your own blind assertions rather than facts again, I see?

          "Getting access to the websites to look for clues is just one of the ways."

          Which doesn't require taking them down, especially not in the numbers being talked about here. From what I've read, they've taken down entire racks because a site they wish to access is located on one of them, taking down numerous sites that have had nothing to do with the group. According to the linked article, they did this even though they were informed exactly where to find the individual servers they suspected of being involved, they just took the lot down anyway.

          "the UK police caught a person who they think is one of the ringleaders of the entire operation, Ryan Cleary."

          So you don't believe in innocent until proven guilty, right? AFAIK, we won't know until this afternoon exactly what he's being charged with, but the group itself has issued statements saying that he's only involved so much as far as they use one of his sites along with many others.

          Far from a ringleader, he seems to be only tangentially affiliated with the group, and my personal suspicions are that the threat of prosecution is only being made to try and pressure him into giving up the identities of other members (which, of course, he may well not know). I await the facts with interest, but so far they don't seem to be pointing in the FBI's favour.

          All we have so far are allegations and suspicion, yet you treat those as fact. We'll see how far this goes and whether anybody else will be prosecuted, but this hardly justifies the collateral damage being done.

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    • icon
      ClarkeyBalboa (profile), 22 Jun 2011 @ 7:18am

      Re:

      I don't disagree that the FBI should be investigating these attacks, but it will be interesting to see if anything actually comes of it, not to mention finding out the collateral damage caused in the hunt for lulz.

      I would love to see groups like Anon and Lulz build an actual legal business around hacking. They are showing with amazing speed just how vulnerable and outdated alot of sites are, sites which collect enormous amounts of personal data from their customers. Exposing those vulnerabilities could be really good in the long term if it means that companies with a large internet presence / community are required to actually respect their clients information and be on constant vigil against attacks.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 22 Jun 2011 @ 7:57am

        Re: Re:

        Actually, it appears that all these script kiddies are doing is running against standard known holes of various operating systems and software packages, and using that to claim massive victory.

        The truth is they are dunderheads for going after high profile targets, it makes them look bad and makes them a high priority target for law enforcement.

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        • identicon
          Someantimalwareguy, 22 Jun 2011 @ 8:25am

          Re: Re: Re:

          The truth is they are dunderheads for going after high profile targets, it makes them look bad and makes them a high priority target for law enforcement.


          Actually, the truth is that Lulz and Anon are not the ones you should be worried about; it is the ones who you never see that should be keeping you up at night. Lulz and Anaon are attention seeking and narcissistic which will make it easier to round them all up eventually. The real hackers, who leave little if any trace while having extracted even greater amounts of information with completely opaque agendas should be the focus of LE's attention and priority.

          JMHO

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        • icon
          Jeremy7600 (profile), 22 Jun 2011 @ 8:31am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Duh. That is exactly the victory Lulzsec is interested in.

          The sites AREN'T SECURE. That's the entire point from day one. They are making it abundantly clear that the sites need to be hardened more than they think/assume they are. They are showing people that you shouldn't just trust a big name company with all of your info/data because if they don't execute due diligence your data is as good as open to everyone.

          It doesn't make them look bad, it makes the sites they've taken down look bad.

          Not to mention, they're doing it for the Lulz

          http://lulzsecurity.com/releases/1000th_tweet_press_release.txt

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 22 Jun 2011 @ 8:38am

          Re: Re: Re:

          You've reached the crux of the matter. Institutions that collect details of millions of people do not have any sort of competent security against simple SQL injection attacks. I would posit that many of these companies would have been attacked eventually by even less scrupulous people and we would have never heard about it. That situation is even worse than what LulzSec is doing.

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      • identicon
        Prisoner 201, 22 Jun 2011 @ 10:09am

        Re: Re:

        ClarkeyBalboa, Jun 22nd, 2011 @ 7:18am
        "...not to mention finding out the collateral damage [the FBI] caused in the hunt for lulz."

        And finally we have the answer, they are just doing it for the lulz.

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      • icon
        Jeni (profile), 23 Jun 2011 @ 6:07am

        Re: Re:

        Well said!

        As far as the info they're sharing - do I sense some are implying "3rd party responsibility" against Lulz here?

        Because just putting it out there to show security breaches does not give anyone the RIGHT to use it for any means whatsoever and a law abiding citizen knows this.

        Anyone who does misuse the info should, of course, be held accountable for THEIR misdeeds.

        Just for the record and the "love-to-spew-hate" perps, I do understand the shock and horror anyone feels at finding out their passwords have been exposed. I would feel the same way - but would be upset with the entity who allowed it to happen, not Lulz.

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    • icon
      The eejit (profile), 22 Jun 2011 @ 8:24am

      Re:

      ...and what about Sony? Or Dropbox? Or the CIA? Will anything happen to them over similar issues?

      How about Facebook?

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    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 22 Jun 2011 @ 10:05am

      Re:

      So the FBI shouldn't be worried about a hacker group that takes down websites, like cia.gov, and spreading thousands upon thousands of people's personal information across the internet, including credit card information? Please enlighten me..

      There are all sorts of very serious hacker teams with serious malicious intent to steal credit cards and make money. I have no problem with seeking those guys.

      LulzSec are making a statement. They're getting attention, but they're not really causing much harm. In the grand scheme of things, it seems like focusing on Lulz is missing the point in a big bad way.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 22 Jun 2011 @ 10:45am

        Re: Re:

        Missing the point indeed. The posts i've seen "They're making a point with YOUR information", "Most security analys companies follow a code.... once they find a security flaw, they let the company know first before they release it so the can fix the problem" Enough is enough. Lulzsec is showing you, me, and everyone how unsecure our data is. What would you rather have? A malicious hacker group breaking in and stealing all of your credit card data, and actually USING it in a bad way? Or a group like lulzsec doing it for the lulz and embarrassing these companies that need to take our data more seriously? Stop babying these companies that allow these flaws, crack down on them, and yes EMBARRASS them if you must to protect OUR data.

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    • identicon
      iBelieve, 23 Jun 2011 @ 8:01pm

      Re:

      Thank You.. I was wondering the same thing. Why anyone would be sympathetic to this lamesec in a time of war for being hostile and disruptive idiots is beyond me.

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  • icon
    ClarkeyBalboa (profile), 22 Jun 2011 @ 7:12am

    You know what they say...

    If you can't beat em, join em!

    Let's just hope they don't employ this tactic on terrorists...

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  • icon
    Spaceboy (profile), 22 Jun 2011 @ 7:19am

    Why?

    The FBI did it for the Lulz.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Jun 2011 @ 7:21am

    The problem is that Lulz has committed an unspeakable crime...

    ...they have embarrassed people in power. So even though in terms of the actual threat they pose, they're negligible (garden-variety spammers do far more damage every day than Lulz has combined, to date) they must be pursued with high priority in order to prevent the further discomfort of those holding the FBI's leash.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 22 Jun 2011 @ 7:32am

      Re: The problem is that Lulz has committed an unspeakable crime...

      This. One thousand times this. What lulzsec did was point and laugh at the US government, and that's something the power elite cannot abide.

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

    • icon
      senshikaze (profile), 22 Jun 2011 @ 7:32am

      Re: The problem is that Lulz has committed an unspeakable crime...

      yes. I really wish we could get rid of all spammers across the globe. I am fairly sure that it would speed up the internet in general. But we can't really do anything with this whole "free speech" and international treaties and such.

      Our business has over 20,000 dropped (spam) emails a day. over 120,000 a week (over the weekends, rates drop). Assuming the average size is 50KB (rather large), that is over 1GB of useless internet traffic hitting our router(and mail filter) a day. It is a shame.

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      • icon
        senshikaze (profile), 22 Jun 2011 @ 7:42am

        Re: Re: The problem is that Lulz has committed an unspeakable crime...

        I looked at our spam filter, and I was wrong about the numbers:
        We block over 30k a day, a little over 200k a week, and 800k a month.

        To put that in perspective: our spam firewall let only 35k messages through in the past 30 days. Out of 797k total messages incoming.

        Spam is a disease.

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        • identicon
          John Doe, 22 Jun 2011 @ 7:56am

          Re: Re: Re: The problem is that Lulz has committed an unspeakable crime...

          Spam is a disease.

          I couldn't agree more, but free speech and international treaties have nothing to do with it. It just isn't stoppable. Yea, filters are pretty good at stopping it now, but stopping it from ever being sent is near impossible.

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          • icon
            senshikaze (profile), 22 Jun 2011 @ 8:05am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: The problem is that Lulz has committed an unspeakable crime...

            more and better sanctions on ISPs would be a start. ISPs putting in filters for outgoing mail would help as well. (and it isn't even a privacy concern, ISPs can/do already read everything you do.)

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            • identicon
              John Doe, 22 Jun 2011 @ 8:07am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The problem is that Lulz has committed an unspeakable crime...

              So you are advocating 3rd party liability? How do they know it is spam vs a normal mailing list? I get valid email in my spam box, I would imagine an ISP would open a huge can of liability for blocking legit email.

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            • identicon
              Huph, 22 Jun 2011 @ 9:17am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The problem is that Lulz has committed an unspeakable crime...

              I have heard, though I don't know that there's any real substance to the claim, that charging a very small fee per email would put an end to most spammers. Something around hundredths of a cent which the average email user wouldn't notice, but enough that it would be unprofitable to send out hundreds of thousands (millions?) of emails each month.

              I've heard the return rate on spam is very very small, but enough that if you cast a big enough net you stand to profit. Screw spam filters, just make it unprofitable to cast a huge net.

              I'm not sure how that would apply to a service like Gmail, since those charges couldn't be rolled up into a monthly ISP bill. But this is all speculation on my part anyway.

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 22 Jun 2011 @ 9:37am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The problem is that Lulz has committed an unspeakable crime...

                Fee-based email as a possible spam solution has been completely, utterly discredited so many times that the best response to anyone raising it now is to instantly and permanently dismiss them from any further consideration.

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

            • identicon
              aerilus, 22 Jun 2011 @ 1:38pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The problem is that Lulz has committed an unspeakable crime...

              isp already do implement more than you know

              https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/E-mail_authentication

              the problem is that dns is trusting meanign that every little domain need to implement controls in order to not be subject to phishing attacks then massively sending spam one of the better solutions that is out there is https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Sender_Policy_Framework

              unfortunately or I guess in a larger since fortunately the internet is still a open space where everyone can participate meaning everyone can to damage. stopping spam is possible like stopping crime is possible by a police state

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 22 Jun 2011 @ 8:42am

          Re: Re: Re: The problem is that Lulz has committed an unspeakable crime...

          But, but free speech......

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 22 Jun 2011 @ 8:50am

          Re: Re: Re: The problem is that Lulz has committed an unspeakable crime...

          But, but free speech......

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 22 Jun 2011 @ 3:52pm

          Re: Re: Re: The problem is that Lulz has committed an unspeakable crime...

          "Spam is a disease."

          Along with trolling and stupid comments in general. They should all be banned and filtered at the ISP level.
          /s

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  • identicon
    dj haras, 22 Jun 2011 @ 7:26am

    You all are goofy

    Credit card info, addresses, e-mail, Social Security number, so what? I'm not a hacker and even I can get that info rather easily. Do you know who you can thank for that? Google because it's all there. As for CC info, it's all fiat currency. IT HAS NO VALUE albeit may damage your credit score (OOOOOOH, SPOOKY!!!). You can all have my SS# 619-31-0922 since SS won't be around when I get older. aMErican need to grow a pair and take a damn chance at regaining our country back from these corporate-bought gov't lackeys. STOP BEING SHEEPLE!!!

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    • icon
      SomeGuy (profile), 22 Jun 2011 @ 7:38am

      Re: You all are goofy

      SSNs aren't important because they let you cash a check when you turn 68, they're important because they are the de facto national identification number. Look into what happened to the president of LifeLock before you casually throw that identifier around.

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

    • icon
      Spaceboy (profile), 22 Jun 2011 @ 7:56am

      Re: You all are goofy

      I doubt that is your SSN. It was issued in California in 2002.

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

      • icon
        Nina Paley (profile), 22 Jun 2011 @ 10:09am

        Re: Re: You all are goofy

        Maybe "dj haras" is 9 years old. That's older than most of the trolls around here.

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        • icon
          ltlw0lf (profile), 22 Jun 2011 @ 1:43pm

          Re: Re: Re: You all are goofy

          Maybe "dj haras" is 9 years old.

          Not necessarily. I didn't apply for or receive a Social Security Number until I was 15 years old. Since 1990, parents apply for SSNs for their children up to 1 year after birth, and this is now required by law, which I personally believe should be illegal and the child should apply for it when they first go for a job or become elegible to pay taxes or receive benefits. There are several examples of parents fraudulently using their children's SSNs. If dj haras was born before 1986, and didn't need it until 2002, he could have been granted that particular number.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 22 Jun 2011 @ 3:55pm

      Re: You all are goofy

      You can all have my SS# 619-31-0922...

      I ran a check and that isn't your SSN. What'd you do, steal it?

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

  • icon
    A.R.M. (profile), 22 Jun 2011 @ 7:35am

    Get off my lawn, you damn kids!

    Back when I was a much, much younger programmer, the "hacks" to break into systems were much easier and I was approached to develop a system to "keep The Man in line". I refused, because if I had an issue with "The Man", I sure as hell wouldn't hide behind an "anonymous" shield. I'd make sure they knew my name.

    In reading all these attacks, it breaks my heart people have become too cowardly to stand up for themselves, especially in the arena of trying to get others to do the same.

    If people stood together, they could take class-action suits against companies trying to cheat them or partake in inappropriate actions. Pooling the funds for legal recourse is much better than one trying to fight alone.

    I get people are upset over this stuff, but taking their issues out on innocent people, who use these accounts, is bulllshit.

    If anyone from Anonymous or LulzSec is reading this, perhaps you consider this before pretending you're fighting against "The Man".

    In my eyes: you come off more a coward than a defender of rights. Those who defend want their name known.

    Just my two cents.

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

    • icon
      SomeGuy (profile), 22 Jun 2011 @ 7:53am

      Re: Get off my lawn, you damn kids!

      In reading all these attacks, it breaks my heart people have become too cowardly to stand up for themselves, especially in the arena of trying to get others to do the same.

      I take a different view -- these anonymous acts aren't a sign that people have become cowardly, but indicative of how the world has changed. People can't take a stand for themselves because the playing field isn't level, and these anonymous attacks help put them back on even ground. I don't necessarily agree with their tactics, but I can sympathize to some extent.

      If people stood together, they could take class-action suits against companies trying to cheat them or partake in inappropriate actions. Pooling the funds for legal recourse is much better than one trying to fight alone.

      Unfortunately, I don't think that's true. Even if you can assume an unbiased judge (which I don't think is a safe assumption), regular people do not have the resources necessary to fight a real legal battle against their new oppressors -- not effectively, at least, not in a way that will bring lasting change. Recent history has shown that, at worst, Goliath will get a slap on the wrist and the "winners" will each get $8 retribution for their troubles. Nevermind that Goliath has multi-million dollar legal council on retainer, and the people have to tighten their belts and pool their money to scrape up any kind of representation. It's not a fair system.

      I get people are upset over this stuff, but taking their issues out on innocent people, who use these accounts, is bulllshit.

      I agree, though in a way making the apathetic feel pain is a good way to motivate them into awareness. To say LulzSec is doing that intentionally is giving them too much credit, I think, but I think it's fair to say that they are drawing attention to the things that are going on.

      If anyone from Anonymous or LulzSec is reading this, perhaps you consider this before pretending you're fighting against "The Man".

      In my eyes: you come off more a coward than a defender of rights. Those who defend want their name known.


      Yeah, think of the heroes of legend: Batman, The Lone Ranger, Zorro. They all recognized that credibility came from your words and identity, not your actions, especially not when those actions run afoul of the established law of the land.

      Just my two cents.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 22 Jun 2011 @ 8:00am

        Re: Re: Get off my lawn, you damn kids!

        "Those who defend want their name known"

        And in joyous convergence those who they might be defending against also want the names and addresses of the defenders known.

        Of course whether anonymous or lulzsec actually are defenders of any kind is another matter.
        At least the CIA publish the names and addresses of all their agents, because they have balls. (Possibly yours and possibly in a vice but balls none the less)

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

        • icon
          Ikarushka (profile), 22 Jun 2011 @ 12:46pm

          Re: Re: Re: Get off my lawn, you damn kids!

          CIA agents have something else to complement their balls: actual power. Balls alone are very-very vulnerable.

          "You can get much farther with a kind word and a gun than you can with a kind word alone."

          Al Capone

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 22 Jun 2011 @ 12:40pm

        Re: Re: Get off my lawn, you damn kids!

        Agree, especially on cowardice accusation. The word "coward" has been diluted recently and is used too liberally.

        Especially I was puzzled why 9/11 terrorist attack was "cowardly" as it was put by officials. It was wrong on many other levels, but calling those people "cowards" for scarifying their lives for their beliefs, wtf?

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 22 Jun 2011 @ 4:04pm

          Re: Re: Re: Get off my lawn, you damn kids!

          Especially I was puzzled why 9/11 terrorist attack was "cowardly" as it was put by officials. It was wrong on many other levels, but calling those people "cowards" for scarifying their lives for their beliefs, wtf?

          Yeah, suicide bombers are "cowards", while people pushing buttons to launch cruise missiles from 8000 miles away are "brave heroes".

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

        • icon
          SomeGuy (profile), 23 Jun 2011 @ 3:40am

          Re: Re: Re: Get off my lawn, you damn kids!

          If you think it's cowardly to attack unarmed civilians, then I think you could call the 9/11 attacks cowardly.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 23 Jun 2011 @ 9:04am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Get off my lawn, you damn kids!

            If you think it's cowardly to attack unarmed civilians, then I think you could call the 9/11 attacks cowardly.

            The US government says the 9/11 attacks were an attack on the US. The US isn't exactly "unarmed", it has the world's largest and most powerful military. There simply is NO stronger or heavily armed enemy that they could have picked.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 23 Jun 2011 @ 10:21am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Get off my lawn, you damn kids!

            I never intended to start a 9/11 flame, my point was purely linguistic, maybe psychological: we tend to insult villains (or allies) indiscriminately, just for the sake of insult. Goebbels was an evil man, but can you call him "dirty and stinky"? In my old-fashioned vocabulary (and Merriam-Webster agrees) coward is "one who shows disgraceful fear or timidity". Agreeing that this word is an insult, and that some people deserve insults, I prefer not to use random words for this purpose.

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

    • icon
      ComputerAddict (profile), 22 Jun 2011 @ 8:05am

      Re: Get off my lawn, you damn kids!

      "In reading all these attacks, it breaks my heart people have become too cowardly to stand up for themselves, especially in the arena of trying to get others to do the same."

      Anonymous isn't about being unnamed, it describes the ad-hoc unstructured nature of the group. There is no leader, there is no peon, It's not "one trying to fight alone" it is in fact the opposite. It is a group taking unanimous collective action.

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

    • identicon
      John Doe, 22 Jun 2011 @ 8:05am

      Re: Get off my lawn, you damn kids!

      In my eyes: you come off more a coward than a defender of rights. Those who defend want their name known

      I just visited Philly and they have a treasonous document on display with lots of names, one in particularly large print. For the life of me, I can't remember what that document was. The interesting thing is how proud we are of our treason in the past, but now would gladly lock anyone up and throw away the key who would dare speak out like this today.

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

    • icon
      Ikarushka (profile), 23 Jun 2011 @ 10:25am

      Re: Get off my lawn, you damn kids!

      In my eyes: you come off more a coward than a defender of rights. Those who defend want their name known.

      I vote for a new TechDirt badge: Lulz Coward.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Jun 2011 @ 7:42am

    1) What exactly should the FBI be worried about then? Tracking down a group of people that are compromising websites out in the open and running a campaign encouraging others to do the same seems right up their alley, actually.

    2) Has the FBI even come out and said what it was they were looking for yet? That article eludes to it, but everything I've read so far says they've made no official comment. It's not a stretch to connect the hunt with the seizure, but it's also not exactly fact yet. After all, the FBI has a lot of agents, and probably work on more than 1 case at a time.

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

  • identicon
    AJ, 22 Jun 2011 @ 7:49am

    The hard way?

    Seems like actually taking the physical servers is quite a bit more work than perhaps just making a copy of the hard drives? Just thinking....

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

  • icon
    Hulser (profile), 22 Jun 2011 @ 7:55am

    Blackstone's formulation

    I guess the motto of the FBI is "Better that ten innocent web sites be taken down than one guilty hacker escapes."

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

    • icon
      ComputerAddict (profile), 22 Jun 2011 @ 8:07am

      Re: Blackstone's formulation

      "Better that ten thousand innocent web sites be taken down than one alleged hacker escapes."

      Fixed.

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

    • identicon
      Bengie, 22 Jun 2011 @ 8:35am

      Re: Blackstone's formulation

      If the FBI was a doctor, it would kill the person to get rid of the cancer.

      ie. They're causing more damage than they aim to prevent.

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

  • identicon
    dev, 22 Jun 2011 @ 7:58am

    my new hack

    1. host my server in a datacenter with my target.
    2. attack a different high profile target.
    3. fbi will raid the data center with my server,
    4. the actual target will be down for months, drowning in bureaucracy.
    5. lulz

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

  • identicon
    chuck, 22 Jun 2011 @ 8:26am

    So being I had registered at AnonOps and Lulz Security mailing lists, I guess the FBI have me on some list somewhere for wanting to be up to date about the claims which are being made by these groups.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Jun 2011 @ 8:26am

    "...the FBI raided a data center in Reston Virginia, seizing a bunch of servers and taking a bunch of sites offline (including some big names) .... That said, it always amazes me how much collateral damage law enforcement does in these situations, when it seems like they could definitely be a lot more targeted."

    I don't understand why they can't get information from the sites without taking them down?

    "That said, it does seem somewhat ironic that in trying to track down a group that has been taking down (somewhat random) websites, the FBI has also taken down a bunch of websites"

    So maybe the group can use this to their advantage by figuring out ways to encourage the FBI to take down sites for them.

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

  • icon
    Wulfman (profile), 22 Jun 2011 @ 8:42am

    I run an IRC server and have for the past 12 years. We do not monitor chat and keep no connect logs. This search kinda scares me. http://www.pcworld.com/article/230852/despite_arrest_lulzsec_sails_on.html#tk.rss_news

    As the article states this person was arrested and it seems his only crime was hosting an IRC server that Luszsec had a chat room on. They grabbed the server looking for chat logs ?
    Most servers do not log chat but i have been told there are a few that logging can be enabled on.
    At least here in the US we have a 1st amendment right to talk freely........ or do we?

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

  • icon
    Overcast (profile), 22 Jun 2011 @ 9:25am

    "That said, it does seem somewhat ironic that in trying to track down a group that has been taking down (somewhat random) websites, the FBI has also taken down a bunch of websites"

    Yep, sounds like the FBI is more efficient at taking down sites than the hackers.

    but who knows - maybe that was the goal of the 'hacker', lol.

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

  • icon
    DannyB (profile), 22 Jun 2011 @ 9:26am

    Instead of shutting down LulzSec . . .

    Why not make your servers secure?

    It's like going after people breaking in to a facility that is secured with duct tape. Why not fix the security problem?

    I would point out that Google removed Windows PC's after the Chinese hacking, and Google isn't exactly a small organization.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Jun 2011 @ 9:44am

    Bystander: "The thief ran into that crowd!"

    FBI Agent: ...Pulls out machine gun and starts firing aimlessly

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

    • icon
      DannyB (profile), 22 Jun 2011 @ 11:34am

      Re:

      Don't LOL too hard.

      If the thief could be construed to be remotely connected to "terrorism"***, then it could happen.

      But then we wouldn't hear of it, because it would be a state secret.


      *** terrorism: fear and terror that your obsolete business model might be affected by change

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

  • icon
    BeeAitch (profile), 22 Jun 2011 @ 11:38am

    Next time I go rabbit hunting, I think I'll borrow a page from the FBI tactics and bring hand grenades instead of my trusty .22-caliber rifle.

    Be vewwy, vewwy, quiet.....I'm hunting wabbits!

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

    • icon
      Gwiz (profile), 22 Jun 2011 @ 2:11pm

      Re:

      Next time I go rabbit hunting, I think I'll borrow a page from the FBI tactics and bring hand grenades instead of my trusty .22-caliber rifle.

      Don't forget to bring The Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch just in case you run into one with really large fangs.

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

  • identicon
    Upiter, 22 Jun 2011 @ 1:03pm

    As an innocent person

    So basically as an innocent person I am at risk of the FBI taking down my website when I do nothing wrong... it's just collateral damage. Hell I thought there were laws to protect innocent people from such abuse.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Jun 2011 @ 2:10pm

    "hacking" is mostly social engineering I bet there are a lto of members of these groups who are not very tech savy but are great sales people and the like.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Jun 2011 @ 3:48pm

    Typical

    ...it does seem somewhat ironic that in trying to track down a group that has been taking down (somewhat random) websites, the FBI has also taken down a bunch of websites...

    That reminds me of cops killing people to keep them from killing themselves. "Hey, it's OK when WE do it!"

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


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