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blankseplocked How to destroy your business: HBGary versus Wikileaks and Anonymous
 
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Malaclypse Muscaria
Posted - 2011.02.16 18:16:00 - [1]
 

If you've been following technology news you'll know there's been a fascinating story unfolding these days, the tale of how one hapless CEO for a government-focused security firm, Aaron Barr, has single-handedly destroyed his company's business.

To summarize, last Fall his company HBGary Federal, was approached (along with two other companies) by Bank of America's law firm to see what they could do to deal with a problem their client had coming down the pipe: apparently Wikileaks' intention of releasing in the near future damaging information pertaining to Bank of America.

Aaron, along with others, hatched a plan that involved things such as planting false documents on Wikileaks to discredit their reputation, bullying pro-Wikileaks journalists into silence (such as Glenn Greenwald), going after their leak sources, try to cut off their financing means, and yada yada yada...

But then, in January, after Anonymous had been DDoSing Mastercard as retaliation for cutting off Wilileaks and so on, Aaron decided he would personally take on Anonymous, infiltrating their IRC channels, and using his social-media savvy to find out and publicly reveal the real identities of its more prominent members, now that the FBI was kicking down doors hoping to bust them...

... and then, the sh*t hit the proverbial fan. Anonymous launched an attack on HBGary Federal, but it wasn't a run-of-the-mill DDoS attack this time: Anon hacked and gained root access into HBGary servers, as well as all related Google accounts. And surprisingly easily and quickly given this was supposed to be a security company consulting for the government.

Anon proceeded then to not only deface their website and similar shenanigans, but also to gather GBs of internal mails and documentation that were promptly released on TPB - a lot of it revealing quite embarrassing details about Aaron, HBGary, their operations, as well as the plan mentioned above to subdue Wikileaks at the behest of Bank of America.

And in the process, destroy HBGary's reputation as a security consultancy firm for the government and major corporations. HBGary acknowledges they are facing losses in the millions as a result of this fiasco, and are trying their best at damage control atm.

Anyway, Ars Technica has been posting a few articles detailing this story, as well as the specific techniques Anonymous used to hack into HBGary's servers and accounts:

Spy games: Inside the convoluted plot to bring down WikiLeaks

How one man tracked down Anonymous—and paid a heavy price

Anonymous speaks: the inside story of the HBGary hack

Hacked and now vandalized, HBGary pulls out of RSA


Grimpak
Gallente
Midnight Elites
Echelon Rising
Posted - 2011.02.16 18:32:00 - [2]
 

so they went against Anonymous.



Laughing

yani dumyat
Minmatar
Pixie Cats
Posted - 2011.02.16 22:27:00 - [3]
 

Interesting reading, good to know that there are people like anon who can fight the likes of HBGarry.

What I find hilarious is the way Aaron Barr claimed to have outed members of anon leadership, I hear anarchist groups always defer to their exalted leadership for instructions and will fall apart if the leader is removed C/D.

Grimpak
Gallente
Midnight Elites
Echelon Rising
Posted - 2011.02.16 23:02:00 - [4]
 

Originally by: yani dumyat
Interesting reading, good to know that there are people like anon who can fight the likes of HBGarry.

What I find hilarious is the way Aaron Barr claimed to have outed members of anon leadership, I hear anarchist groups always defer to their exalted leadership for instructions and will fall apart if the leader is removed C/D.
I wonder if Anon is even a "group" in the true sense of word.Razz

yani dumyat
Minmatar
Pixie Cats
Posted - 2011.02.16 23:24:00 - [5]
 

Edited by: yani dumyat on 16/02/2011 23:26:28
Originally by: Grimpak
I wonder if Anon is even a "group" in the true sense of word.Razz



Indeed, what is the collective noun for some loosely associated anarchic types with a penchant for hacking who go round causing lulz on the internet?

A lol of anons?
An agitation of anons?
A quiver of anons?
A plague of anons?

Edit, I guess a legion of anons would be too obvious for me to have thought of. Not that anyone believes marketing hype anyway.

Slade Trillgon
Endless Possibilities Inc.
Posted - 2011.02.17 00:22:00 - [6]
 

It is pure awesome when someone tries to backdoor someone and then have it reversed on them. This just happpens to be on an epic international scale Laughing

Originally by: yani dumyat
I hear anarchist groups always defer to their exalted leadership for instructions and will fall apart if the leader is removed C/D.


I would dare say that is the end result of most of the smaller extremist groups when their figure head is dethroned so to speak, at least until a new leader emerges from the rank and file. Heck that is fairly typical of most organizations that are not properlly grounded with a healthy chain of command.

That being said I am not familiar with Anonymous. Are they really anarchists or are they the digital anarchists?


Slade

Barakkus
Posted - 2011.02.17 00:30:00 - [7]
 

Hacker groups are rarely centralized, I'm surprised that that guy from HBGary even thought that. I'm surprised he got his job being that naive.

I read the article how they did it hoping for something new and exciting, but it's the same old break the webserver, get an email account from poorly secured passwords and toss in some social engineering. Oh well...

Grimpak
Gallente
Midnight Elites
Echelon Rising
Posted - 2011.02.17 02:02:00 - [8]
 

Originally by: yani dumyat
Edited by: yani dumyat on 16/02/2011 23:26:28
Originally by: Grimpak
I wonder if Anon is even a "group" in the true sense of word.Razz



Indeed, what is the collective noun for some loosely associated anarchic types with a penchant for hacking who go round causing lulz on the internet?

A lol of anons?
An agitation of anons?
A quiver of anons?
A plague of anons?

Edit, I guess a legion of anons would be too obvious for me to have thought of. Not that anyone believes marketing hype anyway.


I would say... a random gathering of Anonymous for the lulz.

few guys gather up, do some **** for lols and go back into the amorph mass that is the internets.

few weeks/months/years later another random group of people do the same thing.

meanhile the previous group of people read about it on the news and lol at it.

Malaclypse Muscaria
Posted - 2011.02.17 02:13:00 - [9]
 

Edited by: Malaclypse Muscaria on 17/02/2011 02:17:56
Originally by: Slade Trillgon
That being said I am not familiar with Anonymous. Are they really anarchists or are they the digital anarchists?

Anonymous Very Happy

Originally by: Barakkus
I read the article how they did it hoping for something new and exciting, but it's the same old break the webserver, get an email account from poorly secured passwords and toss in some social engineering. Oh well...

Remember kids:

- Mind those SQL injection vulnerabilities! Web security 101.

- Keep your machines' OSs up-to-date and patched at all times.

- Use long random strings of letters, numbers and symbols as passwords.

- Never reuse a password, for anything, anytime. Use different user names too.

- Store passwords in a properly secure manner.

- If your boss sends you an email saying he's forgotten his password and his user name, and would you be so kind to provide them to him, be extremely suspicious! - even if the mail comes from his usual account.


Turns out not even hi-tech firms who specialize on security for the US government is able to keep any of the above in check Embarassed

And that's why vast all-encompassing conspiracies will never work: someone somewhere is bound to f*ck-up, sooner or later, one way or another. We are only human.


Jon Taggart
State War Academy
Posted - 2011.02.17 02:30:00 - [10]
 

I always found this stuff interesting and well worth the read. Thank you for posting it.

Reiisha
Veto Corp
Posted - 2011.02.17 03:55:00 - [11]
 

Originally by: Slade Trillgon
Originally by: yani dumyat
I hear anarchist groups always defer to their exalted leadership for instructions and will fall apart if the leader is removed C/D.


I would dare say that is the end result of most of the smaller extremist groups when their figure head is dethroned so to speak, at least until a new leader emerges from the rank and file. Heck that is fairly typical of most organizations that are not properlly grounded with a healthy chain of command.


Thing is that those 'leaders that can't be missed' are usually very public figures. There is none for Anon. It's also known that the group varies in membership quite a lot, mostly because it's not the same people doing everything they do but also because it's the entire point of the group. Having it's origins on 4chan doesn't mean they're a bunch of idiots, and i suspect that people who operate under the anonymous banner are pretty sure about what they're doing.

Calling Anon an 'organization' is also rather strange, since they aren't actually organized in any usual manner. 'Anarchist' does fit their modus operandi the best, for now.

On a sidenote, did anyone else suddenly get flashbacks to 'Stand Alone Complex'? Isn't this what's happening right now?

Malaclypse Muscaria
Posted - 2011.02.17 04:35:00 - [12]
 

Originally by: Reiisha
On a sidenote, did anyone else suddenly get flashbacks to 'Stand Alone Complex'? Isn't this what's happening right now?

Indeed. 4chan, related websites and IRC channels have proved to be a primordial soup cesspool for the Anonymous hive-mind and its actions, order emerging out of chaos. Fascinating.

Grimpak
Gallente
Midnight Elites
Echelon Rising
Posted - 2011.02.17 12:43:00 - [13]
 

Originally by: Malaclypse Muscaria
Originally by: Reiisha
On a sidenote, did anyone else suddenly get flashbacks to 'Stand Alone Complex'? Isn't this what's happening right now?

Indeed. 4chan, related websites and IRC channels have proved to be a primordial soup cesspool for the Anonymous hive-mind and its actions, order emerging out of chaos. Fascinating.
in a way, we can go further and say that Anonymous is pretty much the worst, best, most abominable and righteous creation of the internet. A proto-conscience if you think so, with it's own mind and pretty much every user of the internet is a part of it. Doesn't matter if you take down the responsible people for this attack, for they are Anonymous, like you, me, your next door neighbour and anyone that uses the internet in a regular basis, yet there is no singular people in the Anonymous.


kinda philosophical and lulzy I knowRazz

Lady Skank
Ban Evasion inc
Posted - 2011.02.17 13:37:00 - [14]
 

Great post with good links to, I find it fascinating how big a balls up this guy made.

Karma
Vortex Incorporated
Posted - 2011.02.17 15:01:00 - [15]
 

Originally by: yani dumyat
Edited by: yani dumyat on 16/02/2011 23:26:28
Originally by: Grimpak
I wonder if Anon is even a "group" in the true sense of word.Razz



Indeed, what is the collective noun for some loosely associated anarchic types with a penchant for hacking who go round causing lulz on the internet?

A lol of anons?
An agitation of anons?
A quiver of anons?
A plague of anons?

Edit, I guess a legion of anons would be too obvious for me to have thought of. Not that anyone believes marketing hype anyway.


An isobar of Anons. because they're linked by the pressure they can put on their surroundings... or something.

Herzog Wolfhammer
Gallente
Sigma Special Tactics Group
Posted - 2011.03.03 04:09:00 - [16]
 

This same company is into botting, but it's the kind of botting that can weaponize democracy leading to wars, empires, etc



I was not caring about this whole topic but now I hope the hackers take HBGary down so hard even the roaches in the break room feel it.


Headerman
Minmatar
Quovis
Shadow of xXDEATHXx
Posted - 2011.03.03 06:14:00 - [17]
 


Akita T
Caldari Navy Volunteer Task Force
Posted - 2011.03.03 06:51:00 - [18]
 


Lady Skank
Ban Evasion inc
Posted - 2011.03.03 08:18:00 - [19]
 

Originally by: Herzog Wolfhammer
This same company is into botting, but it's the kind of botting that can weaponize democracy leading to wars, empires, etc



I was not caring about this whole topic but now I hope the hackers take HBGary down so hard even the roaches in the break room feel it.




That is very very creepy when you think that the revolution in Egypt was supposedly started and by social networking and got nicknamed the "face book revolution.

Malaclypse Muscaria
Posted - 2011.03.03 16:35:00 - [20]
 

More updates on this case:

Aaron Barr has resigned as HBGary Federal CEO.

The Colbert Report gets on the case, publicising along the way Aaron Barr's 80 level WoW character.

Anonymous sets up websites to read all the liberated emails, aside from the torrents.

The revealed plan on those emails to conduct a disinformation campaign against critics of the US Chamber of Commerce, planting fake documents, using fake personas, and targeting opponents' families - dubbed the ChamberLeaks scandal - has now grabbed the attention of US Congress Democrats, who are now calling for an investigation.


 

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