Anonymous' Target Planned to "Take Down" WikiLeaks

 Pages 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 NEXT
 

Anonymous' Target Planned to "Take Down" WikiLeaks

image

The data intelligence firm attacked by Anonymous this week had drafted a proposal to eliminate the WikiLeaks infrastructure on behalf of Bank of America.

Careful, we're entering some really crazy conspiracy level stuff here. Get ready to jump down the rabbit hole with me.

When hacker amalgam Anonymous attacked the computer security firm HBGary as most of the country was busy watching heavy-set men play with a leather ball, you could assume that it was retaliation for the recent crack down on its membership by the FBI and Scotland Yard. But as we've had more time to digest the 60,000+ HBGary emails that Anonymous posted online as a big f**k you, it seems that the data intelligence firm proposed to engage in some social engineering and subterfuge of its own to "take down" WikiLeaks. Anonymous might be a hero.

The hacker group has made clear its support of Julian Assange's initiative, and Anonymous made headlines last year by DDoS attacking Amazon.com, Bank of America, PayPal and any other entity or website that appeared to wrong WikiLeaks. (Amazon dropped hosting the leaked cables, while PayPal and Bank of America refused to release funds.) On November 29 2010, Julian Assange said he was going to post documents from an executive's hard drive revealing an "ecosystem of corruption" at a major American bank. The next day, Bank of America went on the offensive and contacted HBGary to formulate a plan to retaliate against WikiLeaks and publicly discredit Assange.

In the emails stolen by Anonymous was a presentation that detailed exactly what HBGary (along with partner firms Palantir and Berico) could offer Bank of America. The firms involved presented an overview of the WikiLeaks situation, including pictures of the servers that currently hosts the website in a bomb shelter in Sweden. Some of the language is borderline creepy, involving discrediting "liberal" reporters like Glenn Greenwald at Salon.com for his support of Assange's work. " These are established professionals that have a liberal bent, but ultimately most of them if pushed will choose professional preservation over cause, such is the mentality of most business professionals," the slide reads. "Without the support of people like Glenn [Greenwald] WikiLeaks will fold."

Thanks to Anonymous, you can find a pdf of the entire presentation on WikiLeaks here.

Based on this proposal, HBGary and its partners continued to investigate and gather information on both WikiLeaks and Anonymous, but no deal was struck to go forward with the plan. CEO of HBGary Aaron Barr scheduled a meeting with firms representing Bank of America to "close the BOA deal" on Monday, Feb. 7th, and learning about this meeting was the direct cause of Anonymous' attack on Sunday night.

In the fallout this week, one of the security firms that prepared the proposal (the one with the coolest Tolkien reference name, Palantir) tried to distance itself from the controversy, possibly to try to prevent a similar attack. "I have directed the company to sever any and all contacts with HB Gary," Palantir CEO Alex Karp said. "We do not provide - nor do we have any plans to develop - offensive cyber capabilities."

HBGary also released a statement this week which seemed to suggest that the information Anonymous posted was faked. "Please be aware that any information currently in the public domain is not reliable because the perpetrators of this offense, or people working closely with them, have intentionally falsified certain data," the statement read.

Besides the fact that forging 60,000 emails as well as PDFs, Word docs, and presentations is ridiculous, it is not Anonoymous' modus operandi to think the way these mooks do. I don't know about you, but claiming that the information is false is disingenuous. It's clearly a deliberate attempt to discredit Anonymous that's worthy of the way these guys think, say, like proposing to do the same thing with a liberal reporter.

The entire story is endlessly fascinating for me, and as more information comes to light Anonymous is looking more and more honorable. Attacking a cyber-security firm is one thing, but preemptively assaulting a company that planned to use nefarious tactics to "take down" WikiLeaks on behalf of a corrupt billion-dollar bank? That's Cyberpunk 2020 shit right there.

Nice hack, choombah.

Thanks to h264 for the tip.

Source: Tech Herald and Raw Story

Permalink

Well, hurray for Anonymous! I'm also glad I don't have an account at Bank of America, 'cuz otherwise I would have closed it. I'd hate for a bank to finance stuff like this with my money.

Greg Tito:
HBGary also released a statement this week which seemed to suggest that the information Anonymous posted was faked. "Please be aware that any information currently in the public domain is not reliable because the perpetrators of this offense, or people working closely with them, have intentionally falsified certain data," the statement read.

So basically, in translation:

"Oh fuck, we might be discovered here! Quickly, try to discredit the discoverers as fast as possible! We need our paychecks, damn it!"

..Yeah.

I was wondering what the bank was up to, considering Julian Assange had already shown his intent on releasing damaging evidence of Bank of American. Well, there you go, I guess.

I'm really interested in seeing how people are going to defend the bank and badmouth AnoOps and Wikileaks this time around.

EDIT: Here's Glenn Greenwald's response, in case you're interested.

Not everything Anonymous does I agree with, but this is the kind of thing I like, stopping folks engaged in acts of hypocrisy when it puts nobody in danger. Acts like this make Anonymous useful. Attacking PayPal is just plain silly

Wow. The big guys are just looking worse and worse as this story goes on.

The fact they are going to this far in denial just means they were planning these things.

"Here! We have 60,000 pieces of evidence that this company was going to do underhanded things to Wikileaks!"

"No! They faked it all!"

These guys are worse than the Government of China.

Keep up the good work, Anonymous. You run this.

At first, I didnt support Anonymous. But as time has been passing, their targets just start to seem like bigger and bigger assholes. It's not that I'm liking Anon, it's that I'm hating their targets even more. So...go Anonymous, I guess.

Yeah...I really think that anonymos would fake over 60000 documents just to so they could screw with them. [Sarcasm]

Way to cover your asses.

Anonymous is a "hero"?! Nobody's a fuckin' hero here! It's just everyone being dicks to a different degree! The banks and corporations are dicks by default, Julian is a dick for giving the hornet's nest a good old hefty kick and making the US look worse than it already does, and Anonymous is being a dick just because they don't like anyone trying to get back at Julian for being a dick! It's just a gigantic dickfest! Dicks! Dicks everywhere!

Ok...yeah...this is a whole new layer of awesome that we weren't aware of. But yeah, this group that uses that title "Anonymous" seem to be real pros, well informed and possibly well funded. I smell even more layers of awesome behind that, but those we will probably never know.

I wouldnt be suprsied that a bank would want to destory a website that exposes them as corrupt.

I wondered how long it would take for someone to go through ALL the documents and find something incriminating on their behalf. But if anonymous gives this to the FBI or whatever and says "THE SHIT IS THIS" how do they prove its genuine?

SHIT JUST GOT REAL

Oh YEAH! Score 1 for the cyber hackerz!

Go Anonymous GO!! KNow that, even if we aren't in your ranks, there are many who support you. Target and fire!

ShadowsofHope:

Greg Tito:
HBGary also released a statement this week which seemed to suggest that the information Anonymous posted was faked. "Oh fuck, we might be discovered here! Quickly, try to discredit the discoverers as fast as possible! We need our paychecks, damn it!" the statement read.

So basically, in translation:

"Oh fuck, we might be discovered here! Quickly, try to discredit the discoverers as fast as possible! We need our paychecks, damn it!"

..Yeah.

what's there to translate?

This gets better and better....

ShadowsofHope:
So basically, in translation:

"Oh fuck, we might be discovered here! Quickly, try to discredit the discoverers as fast as possible! We need our paychecks, damn it!"

..Yeah.

It's worrying that the presumption of honesty is with the people who refuse to reveal their identities. If there is a group out there with the sheer manpower to do this and the track record of dishonesty it'd be them. Question: Can you ever imagine Anonymous realising they're wrong and backing down for any reason?

I don't really know either way which is the truth here, but don't go thinking Anon don't lie.

EDIT: Also bear in mind that they won't have needed to fake all these emails. The vast majority will be innocuous emails about mundane issues, only a few will be serious and that changes the workload a bit.

In addition it looks like this was a 'feasibility study' rather than an actual plan. Even if it did take place it sounds like a contingency plan, like those nuclear attack plans that most governments keep updated just in case. If Wikileaks were removed people would ask why, but it seems standard to formulate an initial plan.

HankMan:

Amen to that! I'm loving this right now; I don't think I've ever seen Anon so active until this whole wikileaks thing popped up. And while I still have a few reservations about the wikileaks guy potentially broadcasting the wrong kind of information(Military troop movements should be a no-no, that could end up with several thousand dead on both sides of a conflict), I'm glad to see when the whole world wants this guy dead there's someone sticking up for him and fighting back.

HankMan:

Yes he would, )See Avatar)

This is crazy stuff and yea claiming that a hacker group just whipped up 60,000 documents in various formats in a few days is downright laughable.

If it was a few random emails or months after the incident sure i might buy it but that much data, records, pdfs and various other info this whole web stinks of major bullshit. less anon was spending the last few months between attacks to whip up all this stuff.

Go, anons, go!

Sounds like something you'd hear in a bad conspiracy theory movie. Still, if there's any truth to this, it's quite a sad state of affairs.

Is it sad that I can't think of a good reason to dismiss it as crazy conspiracy theories? That I actually think it might be true?

Reverend Del:
Not everything Anonymous does I agree with, but this is the kind of thing I like, stopping folks engaged in acts of hypocrisy when it puts nobody in danger. Acts like this make Anonymous useful. Attacking PayPal is just plain silly

I agree with you. I'm rather neutral when it comes to Anonymous. They always seem to balance good with equal evil. And even when they do some good, they tend to go a little too far. In this instance, they hacked the CEO's twitter account and used it to post his home address, cell phone number, and social security number. That was petty and went too far in my humble opinion. It also serves to give those in power a reason to place restraints on the internet. Something that Anonymous claims to fight against. Its like cutting off your nose to spite your face.

Anonymous does seem to have changed somewhat recently, methinks another group may have started running under this name for whatever purpose. Anonymous in the past has never had the co-ordination to pull off something like this.

Carnagath:
Ok...yeah...this is a whole new layer of awesome that we weren't aware of. But yeah, this group that uses that title "Anonymous" seem to be real pros, well informed and possibly well funded. I smell even more layers of awesome behind that, but those we will probably never know.

Might you be suggesting that Anon is in fact the technology division of the Illuminati, who have the overarching goal of unifying the world under a single government? If so, would you please look into this light?

flaming_squirrel:
Anonymous does seem to have changed somewhat recently, methinks another group may have started running under this name for whatever purpose. Anonymous in the past has never had the co-ordination to pull off something like this.

Yes, they have. Anything from Habbo raids, to Operation Chanology was done and organized by Anonymous. Face it, even the biggest dicks online can band together if you call them out.

anon being a loose knit hacker group with god knows how many members, and the core guys seem to be way above the noobs the other week that got poped using easily traceable tools, it is not hard to guess there is a core group of anon and everyone else that subscribes to anon, but anon itself has never said wait a minute we did not do x y and z so it seems like if someone else pulled something off in their name they might mention it along the way.

Generic Gamer:

ShadowsofHope:
So basically, in translation:

"Oh fuck, we might be discovered here! Quickly, try to discredit the discoverers as fast as possible! We need our paychecks, damn it!"

..Yeah.

It's worrying that the presumption of honesty is with the people who refuse to reveal their identities. If there is a group out there with the sheer manpower to do this and the track record of dishonesty it'd be them. Question: Can you ever imagine Anonymous realising they're wrong and backing down for any reason?

I don't really know either way which is the truth here, but don't go thinking Anon don't lie.

A fair point. However, your question and response can also be directly echo'd towards an organization such as the Bank of America, in whom would (if true) have rather harsh repercussions if a deep-scale cover-up of corruption within it was uncovered.

Quite frankly, it is the sequence of events in which makes HBGary and the Bank of America seem as guilt as potentially charged in this situation.

I love how some of the most important business' in America are quickly beginning to look as if they are some mystical, dark and evil corporation. Funny.

thethingthatlurks:

Carnagath:
Ok...yeah...this is a whole new layer of awesome that we weren't aware of. But yeah, this group that uses that title "Anonymous" seem to be real pros, well informed and possibly well funded. I smell even more layers of awesome behind that, but those we will probably never know.

Might you be suggesting that Anon is in fact the technology division of the Illuminati, who have the overarching goal of unifying the world under a single government? If so, would you please look into this light?

Didn't claim anything about Anon, but about this specific group of people who happen to be calling themselves Anon. I don't think they'd be so well informed and skilled if they were your typical basement dwelling 20-something trolls, and I don't think they are performing all those impeccably timed "hacks" randomly and for free. I think it's more likely that Assange might have hired some "personal defense", and there's nothing conspiratory about that.

thethingthatlurks:

Yes, they have. Anything from Habbo raids, to Operation Chanology was done and organized by Anonymous. Face it, even the biggest dicks online can band together if you call them out.

Habbo: "Hey guys lets go piss off some 12 year olds on a crappy social game"

Chanology: "Hey guys scientologists are being dicks online, lets go troll them irl lulz"

They require minimal to no organisational capabilities, pretty much the same level as getting everyone to phone up gamestop and ask for battletoads.

These however are MAJOR online attacks against large and powerful organisations. Even against Scientology who's online security must be somewhat laughable compared to a major bank they did little in the way of hacking against them, they damaged the odd website here and there and faxed them random crap but that was about it.

Carnagath:

Didn't claim anything about Anon, but about this specific group of people who happen to be calling themselves Anon. I don't think they'd be so well informed and skilled if they were your typical basement dwelling 20-something trolls, and I don't think they are performing all those impeccably timed "hacks" randomly and for free. I think it's more likely that Assange might have hired some "personal defense", and there's nothing conspiratory about that.

Not too sure about Assange hiring some form of protection but this does seem a 'little' perculiar. The regular anonymous was never capable of this.

thethingthatlurks:
Well, hurray for Anonymous! I'm also glad I don't have an account at Bank of America, 'cuz otherwise I would have closed it. I'd hate for a bank to finance stuff like this with my money.

I have a bank of america account with exactly $5.23 in it, they have sent me probably hundreds of dollars of paper and ink worth of bank statements and advertisements i've shredded.

It's great.

Carnagath:

thethingthatlurks:

Carnagath:
Ok...yeah...this is a whole new layer of awesome that we weren't aware of. But yeah, this group that uses that title "Anonymous" seem to be real pros, well informed and possibly well funded. I smell even more layers of awesome behind that, but those we will probably never know.

Might you be suggesting that Anon is in fact the technology division of the Illuminati, who have the overarching goal of unifying the world under a single government? If so, would you please look into this light?

Didn't claim anything about Anon, but about this specific group of people who happen to be calling themselves Anon. I don't think they'd be so well informed and skilled if they were your typical basement dwelling 20-something trolls, and I don't think they are performing all those impeccably timed "hacks" randomly and for free. I think it's more likely that Assange might have hired some "personal defense", and there's nothing conspiratory about that.

I will admit that they seem more aggressive now, but freedom of expression online has always been the guiding principle of Anonymous (and lulz, obviously). Remember the scientology thing? You had people all over the world protesting, and not just online. I think it's more likely that one member incites others to follow. The wikileaks story did rile Anon up, hence the attacks on Visa, MC, paypal, etc, and this is just the continuation of this. Besides, the security firm did call them out, so I guess it was also a matter of pride.
As for Assange paying them? Meh, ain't nothin wrong with having your own personal army of hackers available.

Holy shit!

Erm...I mean, I'm sure that this might get a fair bit of crying over how this 'isn't real news' and how it's probably 'all bogus anyway' because the people in those positions are *totally* not smart enough for this kind of thing and the public media should always be taken as the defacto source of The Truth (tm)...

...damn interesting sum-up indeed. I may take some time to check up on this later, so for those of us who enjoyed it - thanks for bringing it to our attention.

 Pages 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here