Tag Archives | Hacking

The Government Thinks You Should Focus On The Adversary, But Who Is The Adversary?

Meghan Kelly reports from the Black Hat security conference for VentureBeat:

After 9/11, the FBI needed to change the way it operated. It switched its focus and looked toward identifying the enemy — a change former FBI assistant executive director Shawn Henry says needs to translate to the information security world.

Henry spoke at the Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas today and explained that one of the main problems with the security industry is the lack of focus on the enemy, with most of the focus on the networks themselves. Corporations, according to Henry, only pay attention to the bullets flying by their heads, not the people shooting the bullets.

“In the FBI since 9/11, we made significant changes in our organization,” said Henry. “You’ve got to assume that the adversary is on the network. I assume there are terrorists in this country… I know there are spies in this country… they’re here, what do you do?”

Henry suggests companies start dedicating resources toward intelligence gathering.

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Anonymous Hacks U.S. Department of Justice

AnonAlex Fitzpatrick writes on Mashable:

Anonymous is taking credit for a confirmed breach of security at the U.S. Department of Justice, although the exact contents of the data bounty are not yet known.

“Today we are releasing 1.7 GB of data that used to belong to the United States Bureau of Justice, until now,” reads an Anonymous press release, referring to the Department of Justice. “Within the booty you may find lots of shiny things such as internal emails, and the entire database dump.”

The hacktivist collective has been known to make bold claims, but a Department of Justice spokeswoman confirmed to Reuters that Anonymous members did indeed access a server that hosts the Department’s statistical data, including cybersecurity records…

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Anonymous Claims Access to Every Secret Government Database

AnonymousWrites Sam Biddle on Gizmodo:

Anonymous has been meek and quiet since the great Sabu treachery, failing to even threaten much of anything. But in a new interview, one of the group’s last remaining leaders says Anon has a nuclear card up its sleeve.

Christopher “Commander X” Doyon, whose name is public because he’s been busted for hacking a California government website, sat for an interview with the National Post. The exchange circles mostly around Doyon’s exile in Canada, where he’s hoping to dodge the wrath of American feds. But he ends on one particularly ominous and/or laughable note:

Q. What’s next for Anonymous?

A: Right now we have access to every classified database in the U.S. government. It’s a matter of when we leak the contents of those databases, not if. You know how we got access? We didn’t hack them. The access was given to us by the people who run the systems.

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How Germany’s Pirate Party is Hacking Politics (With Liquid Feedback)

Piraten ParteiWould be great if this caught on in the United States. As David Meyer writes on GigaOM:

In the furores over SOPA, CISPA and similar bills, many have suggested that politicians just don’t get technology. That’s not an accusation that can be leveled at the Pirate movement, which is gaining traction in Europe at impressive speed.

The Pirates saw their first major electoral success in the European elections of 2009, when voters in the movement’s birthplace of Sweden returned a Pirate to the European Parliament. The Swedes didn’t vote the Pirates into their own legislature, mind you, but now big wins are coming in Germany, the continent’s largest economy and the ideological home of the hacker movement.

Why Germany? Because that’s what the Pirates are trying to do: hack politics, in the sense of making-and-tweaking-stuff sense, rather than destroying it. The movement may have begun with a narrow focus on intellectual property, but it has developed into an attempt to make the political process transparent — and of course better suited to the digital age.

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FBI Escalates War On Anonymous

Here’s what happens when you proclaim yourself to be the representative of the Anonymous meme. Buzzfeed reports:

Last month, the FBI raided the Dallas home of Barrett Brown, the journalist and unofficial spokesperson for the Internet hacktivist group Anonymous. The Feds seized Brown’s computer and cellphone, searched his parent’s home as well, and demanded his Twitter records, chat logs, IRC conversations, Pastebin info, [and] all his Internet browsing activity. The warrant suggests the government is primarily after information related to Anonymous and the hacking group Lulzec.

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Anonymous Starts Social Music Platform: Anontune

AnontuneAngela Watercutter writes on WIRED:

In a move sure to attract attention from the music industry, a small group of coders claiming to be part of Anonymous is putting together a social music platform. The rather ambitious goal: Create a service that seamlessly pulls up songs streaming from all around the internet.

The project, called Anontune and still in its infancy, is designed to pull songs from third-party sources like YouTube and let anonymous users put them into playlists and share them — while keeping the service from being shut down by music industry lawsuits.

Reached by e-mail, one of the creators of Anontune told Wired the project was started by a group of anons who met online six years ago on what was then an underground hacking site. The group, mostly focused at the time on “cracking,” began discussing music, favorite artists and what they would do to fix current music business models…

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FBI: “We’re Not Winning” Against Hackers

FBIDevlin Barrett reports in the Wall Street Journal:

The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s top cyber cop offered a grim appraisal of the nation’s efforts to keep computer hackers from plundering corporate data networks: “We’re not winning,” he said.

Shawn Henry, who is preparing to leave the FBI after more than two decades with the bureau, said in an interview that the current public and private approach to fending off hackers is “unsustainable.” Computer criminals are simply too talented and defensive measures too weak to stop them, he said.

His comments weren’t directed at specific legislation but came as Congress considers two competing measures designed to buttress the networks for critical U.S. infrastructure, such as electrical-power plants and nuclear reactors. Though few cybersecurity experts disagree on the need for security improvements, business advocates have argued that the new regulations called for in one of the bills aren’t likely to better protect computer networks …

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A Tree Falls In The Forest …

Sabu Masked

Sabu Masked

To paraphrase the old Buddhist koan, “When Sabu shoots himself in the head, alone in the desert, will anyone care?”  What, for that matter, about the copper who turned him?

By now every one’s read at an account of how an influential member of the hacktivest collective Lulzsec was co-opted by American “law enforcement” to incite his fellow members into incriminating behavior for which they may now spend the rest of their natural lives behind bars.

Some of these stories have focused on local interest of individual participants in the drama.  Others have investigated the nature of hacker culture.  Still others on the legal problems presented by the apparently classic “entrapment” strategy used by the FBI.  But to date I have yet to see one discuss at any length the operation here of the deeper psycho/social dynamic that underlies the the self-concept of both Lulzsec and police forces.

This seems very odd to me, almost as if there were a deliberate conspiracy of stupidity to ignore the single most salient point of the whole affair.  Then again, my particular family history could be expected to make me preternaturally sensitive to issues of communal solidarity and order.… Read the rest

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