Attacking The Hacker Hydra: Why FBI's LulzSec Takedown May Backfire

from the top-down-approach-to-a-bottom-up-threat dept

Interesting timing. Just about the same time that we had our story concerning how LulzSec kept its own site from getting hacked, the news was breaking that the key leaders of LulzSec were being arrested, in large part because the "leader" of the group had become an FBI informant after they tracked him down last year. Of the various hacking efforts out there, LulzSec has definitely been the most brazen, so it's not a huge surprise that it would be targeted by the FBI. Also, unlike "Anonymous," LulzSec was pretty clearly an effort by a few key individuals, rather than a loose collective of folks joining and leaving at will.

As I've been saying since these various groups started their various hacking and vandalism campaigns, I think these efforts are a really bad idea, and don't do much to further the supposed causes that they're trying to support. They're only going to lead to backlash, as we're already seeing in government officials using these groups as an excuse to try to make a power grab over the wider internet.

Given that, as I've said in the past, I haven't been surprised to see the various arrests of folks supposedly associated with Anonymous or LulzSec. I expect that we'll continue to hear such stories -- in part because these kinds of stories are likely to provoke more of the same type of activity. Law enforcement keeps claiming that these arrests will frighten off others, but that shows a typical lack of understanding of what's going on. As counterproductive as these activities are, it's pretty clear that this isn't about criminal activity for the sake of criminal activity, but about dissatisfaction with what's going on in the world -- and, as such, the arrests are actually only likely to create more such activity, which is the exact opposite of what law enforcement should be seeking to do.

Not understanding who they're dealing with, and taking a top down approach to a bottom up threat, seems to be a specialty of US law enforcement.

Again, I think that the actual efforts by these folks are incredibly counterproductive and set up this "battle-siege" mentality, when the folks involved in all of this could be much more strategic in using their skills for good, rather than destruction. But that doesn't mean that we should ignore the reality of why it's happening, or how it's likely to continue to evolve. More groups will pop up, more hacks will happen and (I'm sure) more disaffected skilled computer hackers will be arrested. But none of that (either the hacking or the arrests) is likely to bring us any closer to actually dealing with the problems that created this mentality in the first place.


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    weneedhelp (profile), Mar 6th, 2012 @ 10:46am

    and, as such, the arrests are actually only likely to create more such activity, which is the exact opposite of what law enforcement should be seeking to do.

    Whacking the bee's nest to justify more beekeepers. Law enforcement knows exactly what they are doing.

     

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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Mar 6th, 2012 @ 10:49am

    Re: and, as such, the arrests are actually only likely to create more such activity, which is the exact opposite of what law enforcement should be seeking to do.

    Another post where I wish there was more than 1 "insightful" button I could push...

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 6th, 2012 @ 10:50am

    What's the alternative? Let the group hack whatever they want and do nothing?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 6th, 2012 @ 10:51am

    The government never learns about reporting successes for crimes like these.

    It's a similar thing with the war on drugs. The government/border patrol agents brag about capturing over a million pounds of illegal drugs, and hundreds of million dollars worth of the stuff. Yet studies show reporting those busts just encourages more people to smuggle drugs in, because those big busts mean less supply, so more cash for those who can sneak it past the cops/government.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 6th, 2012 @ 10:51am

    And there you have it kids.

    Don't try to play "hacker" if you don't know what you are doing and who you are messing with.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 6th, 2012 @ 10:56am

    Re:

    The FBI could start by not waving a big flag that says "We Won!!!1111".

    Why invent drama by saying stuff like "This is devastating to the organization" and "We’re chopping off the head of LulzSec"? They arrested criminals. Big deal, that's their job.

    This kind of publicity will only encourage more would-be "hackers" to try to "avenge" their "brothers".

     

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    Glen, Mar 6th, 2012 @ 10:56am

    Re: and, as such, the arrests are actually only likely to create more such activity, which is the exact opposite of what law enforcement should be seeking to do.

    Where is the "Sad but True" button?

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 6th, 2012 @ 10:56am

    Re:

    No, arrest them, and don't announce it. Just make them disappear. It's completely possible. Governments in the past did it after-all.

     

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    weneedhelp (profile), Mar 6th, 2012 @ 10:58am

    Re: Re:

    Governments in the past?

     

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    silverscarcat (profile), Mar 6th, 2012 @ 10:59am

    Re:

    You're absolutely right!

    The FBI should go after some real criminals for a change.

     

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    weneedhelp (profile), Mar 6th, 2012 @ 11:02am

    Re:

    "the war on drugs"
    How's that going for us?
    Bout the same as "the war on terror"?
    Yeah.

     

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    awbMaven (profile), Mar 6th, 2012 @ 11:04am

    Can't agree these are a really bad idea...

    Granted, all of the defacing ones are just childish (and sometimes amusing), but some of the data gleaned, most notably the Stratfor emails, are worth a bit of collateral damage imv.

    They're a treasure trove of data.

    Yes, it could lead to BRPF's battening down the hatches, but it could also lead to BRPF's disappearing into the background as their activities get highlighted and moderates get hold of the power reigns (yup, large amounts of wishful thinking).

    They seem to me to be whistleblowers-of-sorts with a vengeful edge, but whistleblowers non the less.

    I don't think the "excuse to try to make a power grab over the wider internet" holds water as the the powers that be were making grabs for the internet long before Anonymous/LulzSec came along.

    Until law enforcement are enforcing laws that are not pernicious, I, and I guess many others will be silently cheering these fella's on and reading about their exploits and their data in the news.

    [BRPF's - http://tinyurl.com/7j82az2 ]

     

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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Mar 6th, 2012 @ 11:08am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Technically, anything not happening at this exact moment is "in the past"--like that time I typed up the reply to your post.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 6th, 2012 @ 11:10am

    Re:

    My theory is that's because the whole purpose is of the war on drugs is actually to justify the increased spending industrial military complex and law enforcement. This started with having to find a new enemy due to the end of the cold war. Every one of these type of announcements is a commercial saying "Look at the good things we are doing with your tax money. Now give us more so we can do even more good."

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 6th, 2012 @ 11:11am

    Re: Re:

    You mean Congress?

     

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    zegota (profile), Mar 6th, 2012 @ 11:13am

    I don't really understand

    Are you advocating that the FBI pick and choose which laws to enforce?

    These guys are criminals. Maybe they shouldn't be, but that's something to take up with an entirely different branch of government.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 6th, 2012 @ 11:17am

    "Law enforcement keeps claiming that these arrests will frighten off others, but that shows a typical lack of understanding of what's going on. As counterproductive as these activities are, it's pretty clear that this isn't about criminal activity for the sake of criminal activity, but about dissatisfaction with what's going on in the world -- and, as such, the arrests are actually only likely to create more such activity, which is the exact opposite of what law enforcement should be seeking to do."

    That's probably the most accurate statement I've read on Luiz, anony, and others - sorta like touting P2P created more people using it and it wasn't about the money. It was about misunderstanding what consumers wanted and control of media. This is about control of the internet and unfortunatley that is what they least want to hear - so the end result is this amounts to advertising vs. deterant.

    I suspect we'll see an uptick in sophistication of attacks and targets. This movement is hardly mature, but has just begun. They do not represent my voice, or yours - but they do seem to represent the voice of a lot of internet kids just discovering their potentional.

    In that way, it's kind of exciting to watch this develop. More power to the masses and otherwise voiceless type thing.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 6th, 2012 @ 11:18am

    Re: I don't really understand

    Actually I think the FBI should take a practical approach and secretly offer to WORK WITH the ones that they find that are any good and try to use their skills to their advantage if they can.

     

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    Zos (profile), Mar 6th, 2012 @ 11:18am

    Maybe they feel like the power grab is getting made, whether they provide an excuse or not. ACTA/SOPA/hadopi/digital economy act etc.

    The actions taken against a free internet are going down one way or the other, maybe the felt like it was better to go down swinging, and maybe rally some attention to the cause before it's too late.


    Keep expecting us.

     

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    LyleD, Mar 6th, 2012 @ 11:19am

    Re: Can't agree these are a really bad idea...

    The point everyone always glosses over is one of the main reasons they started this in the first place; To publicize the complete lack of security on the internet!

    Who else do you think has teams of hackers roaming the internet at will collecting any and every little titbit of information they can? Governments, Corporations and Criminals!!! You think they publicize the breaking they do? ofc not.. They just make of with everyone's data in total secret..

    LulzSec may have been little more than criminals themselves, but at least they were open about it.. Kudos to them.

     

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    Reverend Dak (profile), Mar 6th, 2012 @ 11:36am

    “We’re chopping off the head of LulzSec.”?? and therefore "leaders" of Anonymous? What a joke. Lulzsec has been pretty silent, i.e. haven't brought'en me LULZ for a while and now we know why. LEO, and their authoritarian bosses, really don't understand what is going on, much less what it is about. By arresting these "leaders" they think they're making progress. The hydra analogy really fits, because these "heads" are really just MOUTHS, the really scary shit you will never hear about, until someone digs it up and shares it to the world, e.g. Stratfor/Wikileaks.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 6th, 2012 @ 11:44am

    I am personally glad the FBI has gotten away from their normal routine of creating their own threats. Previously they would 'sell' weapons, bombs, parts, devices, or training and then arrest the terrorist they had been supporting.

    It's not like this time they gave the hacker a lapto...
    um.
    Yay FBI!

     

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  23.  
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    gorehound (profile), Mar 6th, 2012 @ 11:47am

    Re:

    +1
    I do agree with Groups using hacking & other tech to use as a way to Protest.Being 56 I can only imagine what this power would of been like when I was younger and in the YIP Party (YIPPIES) and in the Vietnam Era Protest Movement and other Movements against Pollution, Sweatshop Labor, ETC.

    This is a new phenomena and will only grow.Government will never shut the people up now.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 6th, 2012 @ 11:56am

    I would say this is "more hype" and "more FUD" than anything.

    First off, this little deal shows that Lulzsec, and to a lesser degree anonymous, are in fact organized groups with leaders, key people, and so on. It should that while there are some lone wolf types out there working their own stuff in the name of anonymous, the vast majority of it was coming from a much smaller, much better organized group. Lulzsec was pretty much a subset of anonymous.

    So now, what's the truth?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 6th, 2012 @ 12:06pm

    Re: I don't really understand

    Are you advocating that the FBI pick and choose which laws to enforce?

    Of course they should: law enforcement agencies do exactly that all day, every day.

    Personally, I think they should start with "murder": rather than busting a bunch of boy hackers whose most serious offense was causing some embarrassment, they should track down the killers responsible for 6,000 unsolved murders per year in the US. That's MUCH harder, of course, and it won't readily generate flashy self-aggrandizing headlines, but it would be a vastly better use of taxpayer dollars. (Do recall that all FBI staff are public SERVANTS.)

     

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  26.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 6th, 2012 @ 12:09pm

    Re:

    Exactly. Remember kids, learn from this, learn better encryption, learn better misdirection, learn to cover your tracks better. Afterall, you have an abundance of free time to learn new and exciting ways of attacking this issue that you think is the most important thing in the world, while the people chasing you are just doing it as their 9 to 5 and don't have a particularly good track record of technological knowledge overall. So learn from this, grow faster, stronger, and smarter. Then make your move.

     

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    silverscarcat (profile), Mar 6th, 2012 @ 12:14pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    I was thinking Chris Dodd myself.

     

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  28.  
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    The Groove Tiger (profile), Mar 6th, 2012 @ 12:43pm

    Re:

    Yeah! Claiming that some guys are the leaders of anonymous proves without a doubt that anonymous has leaders, and that those that claim that they have leaders were right all along!

    Circular logic FTW!

     

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    Jay (profile), Mar 6th, 2012 @ 1:11pm

    Re: Re:

    The correct term is "War on ideas"

    That's what the US government is engaged in.

     

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  30.  
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    Jay (profile), Mar 6th, 2012 @ 1:13pm

    Re: Re: I don't really understand

    That would mean actually telling people they know what they're doing.

    This IS the FBI we're talking about. The same government entity that got hacked by the ones they caught.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 6th, 2012 @ 1:17pm

    What happens next? Evolution

    The next group will not be so careless. They will organize themselves in a way not so susceptible to mass compromise. (Resistance fighters have long known these principles.) They'll be more careful who they talk to. They'll use different tools from different locations. And so on.

    Process repeats.

    There's nothing new about this: spammers/phishers long ago separated into two groups: those dumb enough to get caught, and those sophisticated enough to evade multinational investigations for years. The latter are still doing quite well, while the former still turn up here and there. (And it wouldn't surprise me if some of those cases weren't inside jobs, e.g., attempts to give the wheel of law enforcement some grist to grind.)

    It would have been better to recognize that the actions of LulzSec et.al. are not the problem. They're just symptoms of the problem, and until the problem is directly addressed, the symptoms will continue.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 6th, 2012 @ 1:49pm

    What happened to all those kids they arrested last year for being "leaders" of anon? Did they get let go because they were just 15 year old script kiddies joining the protest? Have they been quietly jailed? Trials ongoing?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 6th, 2012 @ 1:55pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Same difference.

     

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    Mike Masnick (profile), Mar 6th, 2012 @ 1:59pm

    Re:

    First off, this little deal shows that Lulzsec, and to a lesser degree anonymous, are in fact organized groups with leaders, key people, and so on

    No one ever claimed that Lulzsec wasn't a group. That was known. Don't confuse Lulzsec with anonymous. It'll just make you look foolish -- but, by now you're used to that, right?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 6th, 2012 @ 2:04pm

    Re:

    Lulzsec is not anon. Everyone already knew lulzsec was a small group of people working together and not a flat collective like anon. Everyone but you apparently.

    Yes they were a subset of anon, which proves the opposite of your point.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 6th, 2012 @ 2:21pm

    Re: Re: Re: I don't really understand

    No I actually I mean recruit some smart kids by promising them they will get to play with cool high tech toys that the general public doesn't know about and promising them future jobs (much like the Content Cartels do with Congress). Teach them the the basics and give them some undercover training. Then unofficially "authorized" them to do some of the same deeds that the groups do but only ones that are really more of an annoyance than anything else like defacing websites, short term DDOS attacks on sites that really really aren't critical to much of anything, etc. to give them some credibility. Then let them infiltrate the groups. But don't bust anybody unless the do something important like collapse a major financial institution or something like that. Instead use the information you get to go after targets of mutual interest like the leaders of the Mexican Drug Cartels. However everything is done covertly. I'm talking about using them as an INTELLIGENCE RESOURCE.

    Wait a second. That would mean the FBI would have to be smart, practical and actually care about taking down those mutual targets that are a threat to the public instead of making a big token bust for the Media every now and then to sell the need for the continued increase of defense spending budgets and more enforcement efforts. What was I thinking?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 6th, 2012 @ 2:45pm

    Stratfor stored credit-card CVVs on website

    According to charging documents (p.9):
    Stratfor maintained a website, www.stratfor.com,... As part of the registration process, Stratfor collected and stored on its computer systems in Austin, Texas information from each of its clients. This information included one or more of the following: ... credit card number, and associated CVV[footnote 1] and credit card expiration date. Stratfor stored its clients' passwords in an encrypted form called an "MD5 hash," but stored other client information, including credit card numbers and associated data, in clear text.

    [Footnote 1]A card verification value ("CVV") is generally a three-digit code that typically appears on the reverse side of credit cards. An anti-fraud meausre, CVVs are often used for online transactions to verify that the credit card user is in poessession of a valid credit card at the time of the transaction.

    (Emphasis added.)

    Storing CVVs is a big no-no. Bad Stratfor. They ought to get their merchant account yanked over this.

     

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    LyleD, Mar 6th, 2012 @ 3:44pm

    Re: Stratfor stored credit-card CVVs on website

    Would be even funnier if they were PCI Complaint.. I wonder...

     

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  39.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 6th, 2012 @ 3:49pm

    Re:

    What's the alternative? Let the group hack whatever they want and do nothing?

    Apparently here in apologist land that is precisely the answer.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 6th, 2012 @ 4:08pm

    Re: What happens next? Evolution

    The next group will not be so careless. They will organize themselves in a way not so susceptible to mass compromise. (Resistance fighters have long known these principles.) They'll be more careful who they talk to. They'll use different tools from different locations. And so on.

    I don't think so. Resistance fighters were united by their willingness to die for their cause and country. That depth of commitment is virtually absent in western culture in general and completely missing among these loosely affiliated hacker groups. When one of these cowboys gets caught doing something else stupid by the FBI and is given the choice between prison and becoming a snitch, the result is always the same. They sell out anyone and everyone that stands between them and their get-out-of-jail-free card.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 6th, 2012 @ 4:09pm

    Re:

    Gitmo.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 6th, 2012 @ 5:41pm

    Re: Re:

    What criminals?
    People who expose bad people are criminals?
    People who do sit ins are bad people?

    Yep I see now.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 6th, 2012 @ 5:51pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: I don't really understand

    I believe that is what the NSA is for.

     

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    Jay (profile), Mar 6th, 2012 @ 6:46pm

    Re: Re: What happens next? Evolution

    When one of these cowboys gets caught doing something else stupid by the FBI and is given the choice between prison and becoming a snitch, the result is always the same.

    Looking at the Ars Technica stories, Sabu was forced into this because the FBI threatened two people in his care. the problem here is actually the plea bargaining that the FBI does to twist people's arms and the overall harsh sentencing structure that basically makes you guilty before proven innocent.

     

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    TtfnJohn (profile), Mar 6th, 2012 @ 7:29pm

    Re: Re: I don't really understand

    And the FBI always has. Since the days of Prohibition the FBI has picked the which laws to enforce and which ones not to while J Edgar Hoover cranked out a publicity machine that let him get away with murder, violations of the US Constitution, civil rights and just about anything else you can think of.

    OK, so they nabbed some crackers (aka Black Hat hackers as opposed to the white hat ones that work on code daily to IMPROVE it or just scratch an itch). Big fat hairy deal. They're dancing up and down celebrating and no one has even seen the inside of a courtroom yet.

    Sure this bunch, and Anonymous, frequently carry on as if they're a collection of juveniles who still tell each other knock-knock jokes but there is a small number of crackers out there who are far more dangerous. And no, I'm not talking cyberwarefare junk like Russians and Chinese snooping on "secure' US traffic, or even industrial espionage but the types that grab bank account numbers, passwords and stuff with the end result of stealing someone's identity and making a small killing in profit before anyone notices.

    But that's not as much fun and good PR as this sort of thing is and, far too often, that's what the upper echelon of the FBI has been about from day one.

     

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    Mike42 (profile), Mar 6th, 2012 @ 7:45pm

    Re: Re:

    Apologist. You keep using that word. I don't think it means what you think it means.

     

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  47.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 6th, 2012 @ 7:47pm

    Re: Re:

    " but, by now you're used to that, right?"

    First Mike, didn't your parents tell you that if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all? If you want to be insulting, keep it for your dog.

    " Don't confuse Lulzsec with anonymous."

    Oh god, are you dense? Lulzsec is effectively a subset of the anonymous leaders, people who sort of branched out on their own in some cases, likely to take more credit for their own hacks rather than letting the kids getting all the credit. Sabu was clearly a key player in both groups, and the people getting arrested and getting the "knock on the door" today are from both.

    There is no "confusion". Subset. Perhaps you want to look that up in the dictionary.

     

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    BeeAitch (profile), Mar 6th, 2012 @ 7:51pm

    Re:

    False Dichotomy.

    That is all.

     

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  49.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 6th, 2012 @ 7:53pm

    Re: Re:

    Nah, it proves the point even more.

    Anon is a "flat collective" like Cuba is a democracy. Yes, the people get to vote, but there is no real democracy.

    Anon in reality is a bunch of different things, with a large main group that appears to be mostly run by a few poeple, and then various spliters, lone wolves, and people who feel empowered to call themselves anonymous as run pre-made scripts to break into out of date wordpress sites. All that so they can post a mindless "Tango Down" message on twitter, and usually the sites they hack are down less time than it takes them to type the message.

    What these arrests (and some of the stuff coming out about them) suggests is that Anonymous "the main group" is actually fairly small, with tons and tons of kiddie soldiers willing to do their dirty work.

    The biggest mistake you can make is confusing the kids acting like it's a flat collective taking action with those who are actually trying to drive a movement from the top down.

    Today, anonymous is in a state of confusion. Don't be surprised if you see a bunch of "anonymous" attacks in the next little while, as the frustrated kids run their scripts and try to act big. But the key players, the real shot callers... they are the ones sitting in small rooms answering questions over and over again today - or hiding out and hoping like hell that they aren't next.

     

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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Mar 6th, 2012 @ 8:26pm

    Just a simple point...

    Aren't these the same people who thought that killing Bin Laden would stop Al Qaeda? Hows that working for ya?

    Honestly, you can stop or even kill a man... but you can not kill an idea. How much more plainly does it need to be stated until they understand?

    This isn't a crime ring, this doesn't fit your precious precious model of how things are supposed to work.

    FBI stacks 124 yrs against someone living in public housing caring for 2 small children. And this is the moral victory of the day, we used fear and intimidation to get the "leaders" of a leaderless group.

    I'll be interested to see what will be coming.

     

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  51.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 6th, 2012 @ 8:58pm

    Re: Just a simple point...

    "Aren't these the same people who thought that killing Bin Laden would stop Al Qaeda? Hows that working for ya?"

    Actually, it's working out pretty well. AQ is now very disorganized, with various lower level players all trying to act like they are running the group, as not only was Bin Laden taken out, but so were many of his key underlings over the same 12 month period.

    "This isn't a crime ring, this doesn't fit your precious precious model of how things are supposed to work."

    Yes, it's a crime ring. They don't have to be strictly organized and regimented to quality. It's a group of people with the same goals, to perpetrate illegal acts, to hack systems, and to cause problems for companies that oppose their points of view.

    It's clear from every news story I am seeing today (and there are plenty) that anonymous was much more structured than anyone wants to admit, and a whole lot of the key players in the game are signed up for training on how not to drop the soap. 16 people so far today from what I can see, plus some at least 4 or 5 overseas nationals charged directly in the US and face extradition.

    CNN even quotes "Barrett Brown, who identifies as an Anonymous spokesman" - again, why would a flat, loose group have a spokesman, or have anyone who feels they are a spokesman? That seems to be another indication of what is really going on.

    "FBI stacks 124 yrs against someone living in public housing caring for 2 small children."

    You don't want to do the time? Don't do the crime. Plain and simple, when it came down to it, saving his ass was way more important than saving his "friends". Stop making it look like this guy didn't do anything wrong.

     

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  52.  
    identicon
    Nobody, Mar 6th, 2012 @ 9:57pm

    Re:

    The alternative is to focus efforts on security. The alternative is to realize that the majority of the Lulzsec attacks could've been prevented. If as much effort as catching these people went into securing the networks, you wouldn't see such juvenile attacks being carried out.

     

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  53.  
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    Chargone (profile), Mar 7th, 2012 @ 12:38am

    Re: Re: Re: What happens next? Evolution

    they actually did that?

    here was me hoping it was unfortunately arraigned reporting combined with the natural 'parent in jail is not so good for kids'.

    if they were actually Threatening his kids then there's all sorts of additional legal issues right there.

     

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  54.  
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    Chargone (profile), Mar 7th, 2012 @ 12:39am

    Re: Re:

    all of the above are believable.

     

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  55.  
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    Chargone (profile), Mar 7th, 2012 @ 12:41am

    Re: Re: Just a simple point...

    this would be much easier to do if his opponents in this case were not textbook villains.

     

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  56.  
    identicon
    Nkaz42@yahoo.ca, Mar 7th, 2012 @ 1:56am

    Re: Re:

    Historically FBI takes Limited action against Upper Class Stock Broker + Banker Crimes,Pedophiles,Kiddie Porn Pushers & Record also show they are never able to Catch Serial-Killers ( Who normally are Ex-CIA, Military or FBI vigilant Nut )
    FBI expends Most Resources on Narcotic Police Keeping & Monitoring 'Aliens' Post 9/11.
    When they Dont have long Term Success.They Set Sting Operations to Entice Naive uninformed 'Aliens' into Crime with an FBI Informant/Handler & Secure Conviction. This to prove Increase Funding & Huge Security Detail is essential to Keep US safe from Millions! of Fearful Work Class Baddies out There.

     

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  57.  
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    Ninja (profile), Mar 7th, 2012 @ 2:46am

    Re: Re: Re:

    lol, welcome to Earth, my alien friend. shall I introduce you to the latest news?

    Anonymous is not any specific group but a group of groups where anybody and everybody can be part of it and anybody and everybody speaks for it. Lulzsec might be an offspring of this greater formless movement but when they joined forces they were not Anonymous anymore, they were Lulzsec with the Anonymous ideal. Occupy movements are more offsprings from Anonymous not because there's some greater power pulling the strings but because there's an idea that things got ugly and need to be changed.

    Search for Guy Fawkes, V of Vendetta and the likes and educate yourself.

     

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  58.  
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    Ninja (profile), Mar 7th, 2012 @ 2:55am

    Re: Re: Re:

    LOL at your comparison with Cuba. You are completely clueless. 10/10 for the comedy you are providing.

    Anonymous is not in any state of confusion. You can't confuse, contain or stop an ideology if it is widely accepted.

    Stop embarrassing yourself, go read about it.

     

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  59.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 7th, 2012 @ 3:07am

    Re: war on drugs

    Exactly you can't wage war on drugs. Its a war on citizens. Criminalize and institutionalise

     

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  60.  
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    bratwurzt (profile), Mar 7th, 2012 @ 3:26am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Technically, everything happening at this exact moment (as we perceive it) is already the past. For example - everything you see, happened in the past - distance-to-object/299792458 m/s. Taking moon for example; wee see the moon as it is in the past, or "exactly" 384400000/299792458=1,282220381941696 seconds in the past.
    :)

    /splitting nano hair

     

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  61.  
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    bratwurzt (profile), Mar 7th, 2012 @ 3:41am

    Re: Re: Re:

    What's with all the uppercase madness? Are all these titles to some copyrighted works?

     

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  62.  
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    bratwurzt (profile), Mar 7th, 2012 @ 3:50am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Lulzsec is effectively a subset of the anonymous leaders"

    You should get that plugin that reads your comment out loud before you post it. If nothing else - shills would learn to read. Subset, really? I am a subset of semi-anonymous group called the internet. So is Anonymous. Or FBI. Anyone with an IP, actually. Obviously I am an organized group of a subset of 1.

     

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  63.  
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    bratwurzt (profile), Mar 7th, 2012 @ 3:59am

    Re: What happens next? Evolution

    yeah, they will evolve.

    (Not an evolution fan? Ok - they, khm, recreate themselves over and over again, to get closer to perfection the big kahuna in the sky wants them to be. Like evolution, ehm, recreation of the bible.)

     

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  64.  
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    bratwurzt (profile), Mar 7th, 2012 @ 5:43am

    Re: Re: Just a simple point...

    "It's a group of people with the same goals, to perpetrate illegal acts, to hack systems, and to cause problems for companies that oppose their points of view."

    What illegal acts? Illegal where? DDOS attacks are not illegal everywhere... Hacking websites was happenening long before hackers got an umbrella group to hide in. They are causing problems for companies that oppose point of view of the masses - not that individual hacker. That is called civil disobedience, imo.

    "CNN even quotes "Barrett Brown, who identifies as an Anonymous spokesman" - again, why would a flat, loose group have a spokesman, or have anyone who feels they are a spokesman?"

    Why would you believe CNN or Barret Brown? Find sources of that news, compare it with other sources of similar news and voila - (like someone up the comments put it) anonymous has numerous mouths, hands, eyes... and brains. Anonymous is as organized as ants are. (and before you jump and cry "Ants ARE organized!!", I urge you to read up on self-organization patterns. Here, we're talking of organization top(leaders)-->bottom(e.g. LOIC users))

    "You don't want to do the time? Don't do the crime."

    Sure. Because saying/writing anything could be illegal anywhere (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lese-majesty).

     

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  65.  
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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Mar 7th, 2012 @ 7:41am

    Re: Re: Just a simple point...

    "AQ is now very disorganized,"
    [CITATION NEEDED]

    Because if this were true would we be having our private parts fondled by TSA workers to keep us "safe"?
    It seems the narrative they want to use about Al Qaeda is they are a real super threat, and other times they want to make them appear to be anything but a real threat. Please pick 1.

    "It's a group of people with the same goals, to perpetrate illegal acts, to hack systems, and to cause problems for companies that oppose their points of view."

    So what your saying is they are the **AA's?

    "that anonymous was much more structured than anyone wants to admit"

    No, what you are seeing is a buncha FBI people patting themselves on the back and trying to create the illusion that this was a super sekrit society lead by a small group. Kind of like the "Lone Wolf Terrorists" they keep catching, after they spend the time to push them towards being more radicalized. Your also confusing LulzSec with Anonymous.

    "why would a flat, loose group have a spokesman, or have anyone who feels they are a spokesman?"

    You pretend Anonymous elected him or appointed him to that position in an international talent show. Contestants are judges first on looks, then on talent, and finally on evening gown. Newt Gingrich identifies as a conservative, and yet has committed serial adultery and other ethically questionable acts. Just because someone identifies as something does not defacto make them that now does it?

    "You don't want to do the time? Don't do the crime."

    Funny anything LulzSec is accused of doing during this time is still just allegations. Shall we also point out that they didn't cause the worldwide economic meltdown, and those who did commit that crime still face no time.

    Saving 2 small children from state care more than likely was the motivation not saving his own ass, but I do enjoy you trying to keep the narrative of hes a self centered ass going. Trying to sow fear and misinformation is a tried and true tactic, but you seem to have underestimated your audience.

    At no point did I say he was a perfect angel, because I have yet to hear a jury make a decision. That decision will not be coming as the legal system is stacked against those without money and power.
    As for wrongdoing, shall we cover the greatest hits of the FBI and DOJ?

    Do you even know what LulzSec did during their reign of "terror"?
    Showing the state of online security among major corporations to be completely flawed and/or nonexistent.
    Showing that it is the customer who always bears the burden to clean up the mess, not the corporation who is shielded from their own stupidity.
    They mocked the FBI - ooooh.
    So given all of the crimes happening right now, they focused on a group of hackers. Anyone feel safer yet?

     

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  66.  
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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Mar 7th, 2012 @ 7:43am

    Re: Re: Stratfor stored credit-card CVVs on website

    They were storing CVV's so its pretty clear they were NOT PCI Compliant.

     

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  67.  
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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Mar 7th, 2012 @ 7:47am

    Re: Re:

    They will keep trying to shut the people up.
    Eventually other people will see the man behind the curtain, taking away their rights to "protect" them from the truth that they do not have the best interests of the people at heart.

     

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  68.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 7th, 2012 @ 7:58am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Here, let's let someone else explain it to you:

    The chatter on the anon IRC servers and anon-associated Twitter accounts ranged Tuesday from denial about Sabu’s involvement to outrage and hatred for Monsegur. One who worked with Sabu as part of Antisec, the miltant and pranksterish arm of Anonymous, described themselves as “emotionally devastated” and “shocked” by the news.

    http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2012/03/anonymous-sabu-reaction/

    An "arm" of anonymous. You know, part of the group. That this guy appears to have been high up in three different groups (lulzsec, antisec, and anonymous) pretty much explains why these groups aren't really flat grassroots things, but rather well organized groups... attracting the sheep with their "everyone is equal" bull.

    Ninja: See above. Yes, everyone can be part of anonymous, but really, it's not anywhere near as random and flat as you would like to imagine. Like any group, it has powerful members and less powerful members. Yes, there are plenty of solo idiots out there hacking and using the anonymous tag to gain street cred, but really, anonymous appears mostly to be run by a very small group of people.

    Welcome to earth yourself. Perhaps you might want to open your eyes and start paying attention, rather than just buying the lines you are fed.

     

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  69.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 7th, 2012 @ 8:03am

    Re: Re: Re: Just a simple point...

    ""AQ is now very disorganized,"
    [CITATION NEEDED]

    Because if this were true would we be having our private parts fondled by TSA workers to keep us "safe"?"

    Sorry, you are making a logical leap which is not supported by the evidence.

    That AQ is disorganized, with massive in-fighting between factions, with all sorts of people claiming leadership roles, and so on. However, that doesn't make the individual players less dangerous. Most of what AQ has done in the last few years (since Bin Ladin became Been Hiding) has been lone wolf and small scale operations, mostly started and done at lower levels, and with little in the way of success. Where as there use to be a pretty clear top down command structure, it's now an army of worker ants with no particular goals, and little in the way of leadership.

    It doesn't make them less dangerous, if anything it makes it more likely that a single person or small group may try something that the leadership would not have approved of in the past. During this time, it's actually still very likely that we see more attacks.

    The difference is time - over time, the power of AQ to recruit new members, to hold sway over the population is lost, and they become a less acceptable choice.

    Nothing happens in a day, and that is why you can still enjoy having someone fondle your junk when you on a plane.

     

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  70.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 7th, 2012 @ 9:46am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Apparently you cannot read. I am not comparing them to Cuba... are you nuts? I am saying only that they are no more of a flat organization, any more than Cuba is a true democracy. There is no relationship between the two except to say that both are false, regardless of the claims.

    You may feel anon is an ideology, but really it's nothing more than a group of hackers looking to elevate themselves and to hide among the sheeple like you who fall for it. You aren't part of a big movement, you are just another internet human shield.

     

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  71.  
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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Mar 7th, 2012 @ 10:25am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Just a simple point...

    And the rest??

    Or were you just looking to make 1 point where you could shine. You made several logical leaps yourself in the original answer with even less evidence.

    Al Qaeda seems to have no problem recruiting new members, but very few are the true believer types ready to make the ultimate sacrifice.
    This might be helped along by the heavy handed Western approach where if your not Christan your wrong.
    CIA experts helping NYPD target people who have committed the ultimate crime of being brown and Muslim.
    NYPD agents stationed around the world acting in some super capacity to stop "terror".
    NYPD agents going camping to keep an eye on shifty Muslim students, who must be guilty for belonging to a religion that is not understood and feared.
    From horrible acts many people are happy to hang out all brown, Muslims as terrorists waiting to happen. Should we be looking cross eyed at white Christians?
    They do have a history of killing minorities, committing murder in the name of their "god", and bombing clinics.

    Or maybe it is trying to apply the model of Al Qaeda being like a foriegn nation that is causing the problems. The broadbrush strokes that all Muslims can be converted to being a suicide bomber because of their religion. That they operate like a nationstate that can just be stopped if we take out the leaders. I think it should be fairly clear that what they have been doing is actually making the problem worse, but then keeping people scared of terror keeps them from asking where their civil rights went.

    Now about the rest of what I said...

     

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  72.  
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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Mar 7th, 2012 @ 10:31am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    History lesson.

    LulzSec broke off from the collective.
    They did their own thing.
    At some point they decided to rejoin the banner of Anonymous and helped push along the idea of AntiSec as an approach to show people the sad state of "security" out there.

    Oh and protip, because an article calls something 1 thing does not mean it is how they see themselves. Humans like to name things to make them easier to identify, even if the label is not actually correct.

     

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  73.  
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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Mar 7th, 2012 @ 10:32am

    Re:

    Nah they gave him a server...

     

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  74.  
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    sgt_doom (profile), Mar 7th, 2012 @ 1:42pm

    LulzSec Takedown, The Real Deal

    Sometime during the year, 2003, data mining achieved critical mass status, all that was required to pull up background information on anyone was their age and zip code. Alternatively, the target’s name and telephone number would also suffice.

    Combining the N.O.R.A. algorithm (Non-Obvious Relationship Awareness) with ClearForest text analytics software yields increasingly superior results. ClearForest’s development was financed by an Israeli private equity firm, Walden, also responsible for Narus, with a sizable chunk of money coming from the DoD, and flowing through Walden. This software can be found at US intelligence agencies, NASDAQ, and a variety of banks and financial services firms.

    The recently reported FBI bust of LulzSec had really nothing to do with the FBI, but was the result of these super-sized databases compiled to track everyone; at the consumer level, at the social media level, at the medical/insurance level, at the education level, etc., with that particular NYC arrest of Sabu deriving from triangulating such seemingly disparate data sources, then running Wi-fi direction finding teams in the predicted geotagged location --- this is what occurred, please ignore all cover stories to the contrary.

    Prior to World War II, the government of the Netherlands created a national citizen registry (name, birth date, religion, address, etc.) for positive public welfare purposes, but then the Nazis invaded and acquired access to this registry, and subsequently 75% of the Dutch Jewish population died. (My people, the Roma or Gypsy population, was completely annihilated, with but a few escaping, my ancestor among them.)

    Compare with Belgium and France, where 40% and 25% of the Jewish populations were murdered, respectively. A portion of that 25% in France was tracked back to bank records, kept by the Rockefeller bank, Chase, which remained opened after the Nazi invasion as they had replaced the French bank manager with a Swiss neutral, who then handed over the accounts to the Nazis.

    Absolute control, whether pursued by the Third Reich, or the present day Financial-Intelligence-Complex which effectively rules America and controls the media and manages public information content, offshores jobs, technology and investments (which once would have gone to local jobs’ creation and innovation), will only destroy progress and freedom and liberty.

    From Chris Soghian's blog:

    http://paranoia.dubfire.net/2011/12/commerce-dept-export-licenses-for.html

    Earlier this year, the Commerce Department's Bureau of Industry and Security held a two-day Conference on Export Controls and Policy. It included a workshop specifically focused on the rules governing the export of encryption technologies (which include intercept equipment). The full transcript can be found here: part 1 (pdf), part 2 (pdf). [See below links]

    As a non-lawyer, and non-expert in export control regulations, I was pretty surprised to learn that the government already strictly regulates the export of covert communications surveillance technology. What this means, of course, is that the Commerce Department already has a list of every foreign buyer of US made covert surveillance technology. Unfortunately, they won't provide this information to the public, and as far as I know, they won't provide it in response to FOIA requests.

    http://htc-01.media.globix.net/COMP008760MOD1/BIS_Web/Transcripts/072111_Encryption_Workshop_2011_ part1.pdf

    http://htc-01.media.globix.net/COMP008760MOD1/BIS_Web/Transcripts/072111_Encryption_Wor kshop_2011_part2.pdf

     

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  75.  
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    sgt_doom (profile), Mar 7th, 2012 @ 1:52pm

    And regarding that FBI

    Speaking of the feebs, let's take a closer look, shall we?

    Other People's Money/9-11-01

    When the BCCI investigation reached closer to President Geo. H.W. Bush's White House back in the late '80s, early '90s, Bush appointed Robert Mueller III to be the chief of the DOJ's Criminal Division to manage the BCCI probe --- or more accurately, to deflect it away from the Bush administration and narrow the scope of the investigation.

    Four days prior to 9/11/01, President Geo. W. Bush appoints Robert Mueller III to be director of the FBI -- perfect timing and what a pedigree Mueller possesses.*

    One day prior to 9/11/01, the Pentagon's comptroller announces that $2.3 trillion cannot be accounted for.**

    Six to seven hours prior to the events of that 9/11 morning, sometime between 2:00 AM and 3:00 AM (EST) a group email is transmitted to the DIA's financial management staff to attend an emergency meeting that very morning at their Pentagon offices --- located at the Pentagon's west wall. One staff member will fortuitously oversleep, viewing the email late and consequently arrive late -- just in time to view from afar the plane crashing into the super-reinforced west wall, severely injuring or killing almost the entire financial management group of the DIA, and those computer systems involved with discovering said missing funds; apparently data backups aren't the order of the day?

    That very same morning on 9/11/01, the National Reconnaissance Office's (NRO) ops center would be evacuated due to an exercise simulating an attack by suicide aircraft flying into that facility. (Sound vaguely familiar?)

    Therefore, no one was on hand to manually task their recon satellites on the airspace above NYC and the Pentagon.

    Thanks to further expansion of the Web over the Internet (2003 - 2005), cached pages of dramatically increased data transmission and EFTs, originating from three firms residing in the two WTC towers to offshore locations, could be accessed.

    Shortly after 9/2001, in early 2002, an explosive growth occurs in offshore hedge funds.

    Background research on those unfortunate passengers aboard the involved airliners (victims who were certain to die that day) indicated that some of the pax fall into three unique groups, along with three unique individuals aboard.

    The three groups: (1) developers of remote piloting hardware and software; (2) individuals involved in the creation of a terrorist scenario remarkably similar to that which occurred on 9/11/01 (among that group of victims was an Israeli counterterrorist expert and one of the airliners' pilots, a former career Naval officer); and, (3) some of the individuals involved with the investigation into Flight 800's demise.

    The three individuals: (1) wife number three of the solicitor general, who would quickly move on to wife number four once the insurance settlement came through (death by opportunity?); (2) a lady attorney, rumored to be involved with a senior married partner of the conservative and politically-connected law firm which successfully defended Fox News on several cases of fictionalizing the news (death by opportunity?); and, (3) a physicist with the Naval Surface Warfare Center's Directed Energy Section.

    [We are not suggesting any of these victims were aware of the events to transpire on 9/11 --- this appears to be a highly compartmentalized operation.]

    Intensive pattern analysis, link analysis, and link and group analysis indicates the five principal players involved: the Blackstone Group, Veritas Capital, AIG, the office of the VP, and the office of the SecDef.

    Some time prior to 9/11/01, a financial news announcement would explain an investment by AIG in the Blackstone Group (source document of transaction, along with hard copy source documents of thousands of ongoing SEC investigations resided in the destroyed WTC Building 7 – no source docs, case closed!). The amount of AIG’s investment was approximately the final insurance payout amount to the property management/RE firm for the WTC destruction (classic paper money false transfer and money laundering scheme, relatively simple --- for a far more circuitous, and commonplace, accounting scheme, please see Retirement Heist, by Ellen Schultz, p. 209 on “leveraged ESOPs”).

    The mortgage owner of record for WTC Building 7: the Blackstone Group.

    The firm awarded the $1 billion captive insurance fund management contract by Bush’s FEMA, for settlement with WTC victims’ families: the Blackstone Group.

    The firm which negotiated the largest and quickest real estate deal in NYC history, the WTC lease transfer from the Port Authority of NY and NJ to Silverstein Properties and Westfield America, Inc.: the Blackstone Group.

    During the week prior to 9/11/01, the fiber optic installation firm, EurekaGGN, installed dark fiber in the top floors of the two WTC towers (they had the contract for cabling the entire WTC), utilizing a method to pump the fiber optical cables through existing HVAC vents running beneath each floor.

    [To reiterate: the west wall of the Pentagon had been reinforced, according to Structure Magazine, which also posed the question as to why only one wall and a plane crashes into it. Fiber optic is being installed, but never verified as to being operational, in the WTC towers, and planes crash into them --- access, access, access!]

    Technical details not widely known: two of the four airliners involved didn’t appear on the FAA Flight Registry which logs all commercial flights, per standard procedure, as they were reserved as DoD Special Charters, meaning that each plane must seat those reserved for DoD personnel, and must depart at the schedule time, but any remaining seats may be filled commercially.

    Aircraft pointedly flew to shadow zones – where radar coverage was obscured due to topography and ATCC limitations – where the transponders were then powered down – normally, they would have triggered ATCC radar indicators. (Highly doubtful those Saudi Arabian hijacker cutouts would have known these recondite details?)

    And recovered black box data, obtained through FOIA requests, give no indication of any hijacking taking place (and yes, there does exist a governmental database of black box hijacking data for comparison purposes).

    There were over 1,000 other “coincidences” which took place that morning, all tracking back to the five principal players.

    Recap: $2.3 trillion announced unaccounted, and DIA’s financial management group is almost entirely wiped out, along with involved computer systems, dramatically increased data transmissions and EFTs out of WTC towers in preceding 12 hours, and people and computer systems involved are killed and destroyed, with explosive growth in offshore hedge funds occurring shortly thereafter.
    Veritas Capital, owner of Raytheon subsidiary which employed those remote piloting hardware and software developers and subcontractors aboard some of those airliners involved in 9/11, and Veritas Capital makes some incredibly prescient defense industry investments shortly prior to 9/11/01.

    Increasing the awareness of evil….

    *Robert Mueller III, FBI director, is the grandnephew of Richard Bissell, one of the three top CIA types who President Kennedy fired. Mueller’s wife is the granddaughter of Charles Cabell, another of those three CIA people JFK had fired (the third was Allen Dulles, who would later manage the Warren Commission!

    ** http://www.financial-edu.com/history-of-credit-derivatives.php

    2002
    -Rise of Hedge Funds: Number of funds increases from 4000 in 2002 managing $2 trillion to 8000+ managing $4 trillion. This creates intense demand for new structured products with higher yields.

     

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  76.  
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    Blake, Mar 7th, 2012 @ 9:03pm

    Re: I don't really understand

    1. Law enforcement is normally considered to have a significant amount of leeway in determining which laws and against whom they enforce. It's called prosecutorial discretion.
    2. They already do pick and choose what types of laws they enforce. How many people have gone to jail for fraud, hiding assets, or insider trading after 2008? You could count the cases on a single hand.
    3. I think their job can be better seen as upholding the law. If a law enforcement strategy is likely to be counter productive, agencies can (and when they wish, do) change strategies, which may or may not include direct enforcement.

     

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  77.  
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    bratwurzt (profile), Mar 8th, 2012 @ 6:52am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "Welcome to earth yourself. Perhaps you might want to open your eyes and start paying attention, rather than just buying the lines you are fed."

    This from an anonymous coward that bought a lot of lines in an article and omitted one very important word I used for describing Anonymous - organized. I never denied that anonymous is a group. I just pointed out that they are not an organized group - Anonymous is not "run by a very small group of people" and you will not change my mind without some evidence. And no - one FBI honeypot scheme that caught Sabu and a few of his friends is not evidence. He was a part of a hacking group that has a similar agenda to Anonymous and that's about it; correlation does not imply causation.

    If anything - all these hacker groups are probably viewing Anonymous as noobs with LOIC cannons and are not eager to be associated with "noob hacks" and "script kiddies".

    Also - we are not suggesting that Anonymous is "flat and random" (what does that mean anyway? A total polar opposite to a pyramid power structure? We're doing black&white now?) - it's more similar to a torrent swarm with a tracker: there are directives but are handed on in a crowdsourced way in a contrast to the power structure you suggest).

    You see - I don't buy lines;
    I do this:
    1. read them,
    2. doubt them,
    3. check them,
    4. un-FUD them,
    5. check them again,
    6. compare them.

    I admit, it's easier if you don't have to weed out the lies... (A law against lying on the news)

    Now if some media site (e.g. this blog) gains my trust with repeated checks of news sources and quoting them for me to check (which I still do), I'll read that site more often. But if they try to manipulate me (e.g. Michael Moore documentaries - I like his agenda but not the way it's conveyed to the audience) they'll lose a bit of my trust.

    And who are you to be seated high up there and look down on me, telling me what the REAL truth is? I'm from Europe, my 50 liter fuel tank makes my wallet up to 70 € lighter (1,343 €/liter) and you are telling me to open my eyes? Condescending is the word I was searching for...

     

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

  78.  
    icon
    bratwurzt (profile), Mar 8th, 2012 @ 7:05am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Anonymous IS an ideology. Read it up: Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell, Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess, V for Vendetta by Alan Moore.

     

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


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