“Do not meddle in the affairs of hackers, for they are subtle and quick to anger.”
Following last week’s hacking of shamed LIGATT CEO Gregory D Evans, this week it was the turn of security firm HBGary to get exposed. HBGary have been aiding the FBI with their investigations into members of Anonymous. Although Anonymous isn’t a centralised ‘group’, their recent DDoS attacks and hacks of oppressive governments and anti-wikileaks organisations (including PayPal, MasterCard and VISA), have made them a target of the US Federal Government.
HBGary were allegedly preparing to hand over information about certain members of Anonymous to the FBI, who have already made several arrests in the US and UK, and obtained over 40 search warrants in an attempt to shut down Anonymous (probably not possible imo). Angered by CEO Aaron Barr and HBGary’s involvement in FBI investigations, members of Anonymous compromised a number of HBGary servers, defacing their website, gaining access to CEO Aaron Barr’s Twitter account, and obtaining a large number of emails. In what seems to be the popular punishment at the moment, over 50,000 corporate emails were released in a torrent. Anonymous also stated, on one of their many Twitter accounts, that the source code of HBGary’s security products was also obtained – although these don’t appear to have been released (yet?).
“You’ve angered the hive, and now you are being stung.”
Anonymous posted a message to HBGary on their defaced website, where they mock the firm for their lack of security and the unsubstantial ‘public’ information that was going to be handed sold to the FBI.
Hit the jump for Anonymous’ full message.
[Update] Aaron Barr steps down as CEO of HBGary Federal
After re-watching V for Vendetta which, on a side-note, is an excellent movie, I was struck by how topical the story was with regards to events of the past few months, from Wikileaks’ Cablegate to the ongoing Egyptian Revolution. This inspired me to throw together the image above.
Although the message is probably painfully clear to the Egyptian people, it is important that we, in the so-called ‘developed’ world, not forget that the unchallenged erosion of civil liberties, and other freedoms that we take for granted, could rapidly make this message ring true for us as well.
The website for the independent whistleblowing platform, OpenLeaks, has gone live. The concept behind OpenLeaks is to provide a secure document delivery dropbox and storage method for would-be whistleblowers. On the receiving end, news organisations, human rights groups, and others will be able to access the files and make them public should they feel it necessary.
Unlike Wikileaks, OpenLeaks plays no part in the actual editorial and publication process, it is a content distribution method that bridges the gap between leakers and publishers.
Check out the video below for their introduction to OpenLeaks:
Stumbled across this picture this week, and although it’s quoting Bill Hader playing as Julian Assange in the Saturday Night Live skit below, I feel the message still makes a point. It’s probably worth reminding people that Assange was voted for Person of the Year by the readers of TIME magazine. In that same vote Zuckerberg came in at a lagging 10th place. I know… how Zuckerberg got it confused me too.
[Update] Here’s an Assange/Zuckerberg mashup picture of the quote above:
Swiss ex-banker, Rudolf Elmer, has handed over financial information on 2,000 individuals (including 60 politicians) to Wikileaks. Elmer is himself on trial for previous leaks to Julian Assange’s group and breaking notoriously strict Swiss banking privacy laws. The information, stored on two CDs, was handed over to Julian Assange in a public press conference. The discs supposedly contain evidence of tax evasion that will be reviewed by Wikileaks, with plans to disclose parts of it publicly, and to relevant authorities.
Assange said that it will be at least two weeks before any of the information can be reviewed and released. Are you a rich tax evader? Ready… set… sweat!
The US Department of Justice (DoJ) filed a subpoena against Twitter, demanding for the personal information of a number of known Wikileaks supporters. These include Birgitta Jonsdottir (a member of the Icelandic parliament), Rop Gongrijp (a Dutch hacker), Jacob Applebaum (Tor developer), Bradley Manning (solder believed to have leaked info to Wikileaks), and Julian Assange himself. The order requests a large amount of personal information including:
- Subscriber names, username, etc
- Mailing, residential, business and email addresses
- Connection records, and records of session times and durations
- Length of service, and type of service utilized
- Telephone or other subscriber number
- Means of payment (including any credit card of bank account number)
- All Tweets (private or not)
The original Order was sealed, meaning that the intended targets of the information request could not be informed that their data was being subpoena’d. At Twitter’s request, the Order was unsealed, and the targets informed. Many of these individuals will undoubtedly be contesting the subpoena, for which they now have 10 days. It is believed this information is being requested as part of a growing criminal investigation into Wikileaks.
The recent explosion of Wikileaks and Cablegate has yet again brought the unique power of information to the forefront of the world’s attention. What makes this different from the usual ‘knowledge is power’ debate, is that it highlights the sensitive balance between those wishing to reveal information to the world, and those who, for whatever reason, want to prevent that from happening. Historically it was the role of investigative journalists to look into the activities of companies and governments, however due to the high costs of long-term investigative stories, political affiliations, the chance of government gag orders, and the threat of lawsuits, these have been in decline. It is not only massive government-focused leaks that have been gagged in the past, smaller journalists and even individuals have been prevented from legally reporting or capturing an event. Read more
Came across this parody music video of the whole Wikileaks/Cablegate debacle. It’s actually pretty good, check it out:
The following poll results very clearly show an irrefutable direct correlation between people who think that Wikileaks’ Julian Assange should be charged with espionnage, and those who think milk and meat products made from cloned animals are as safe as conventional food.
It is therefore possible to state that the more intelligent voters do not think Julian Assange should be charged with espionage. Science, it works bitches.
Voice your opinion on Wikileaks’ Cablegate by voting in the sidebar, or vote here.
Those of us involved in security in any form will tend to have strong opinions about things like information control, political agendas, freedom of information, civil liberties, and the impact these may have on the world. I just wanted to get a feel for how the security community feels about Wikileaks Cablegate.
What's your opinion on Wikileaks' Cablegate?
- I'm pro-disclosure. Wikileaks provides a valuable service (77%)
- This information is too dangerous. Wikileaks were reckless to release it (19%)
- I don't care either way (4%)
In related news: Poll reveals interesting correlation between Wikileaks’ Julian Assange and cloned foods!