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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  1. icon
    sgt_doom (profile), 7 Mar 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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