back to article Dutch police arrest 16-year-old WikiLeaks avenger

Dutch police said they have arrested a 16-year-old boy for participating in web attacks against MasterCard and Visa as part of a grassroots push to support WikiLeaks. A press release issued on Thursday (Google translation here) said the unnamed boy confessed to the distributed denial-of-service attacks after his computer gear …

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Headmaster

Playing with fire

Kiddies, this is not a drill. The anti-terrorism laws are wide, and punitive. Government spooks tend to be likewise. This blancmange guy is going down, don't jump with him.

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Re: Playing with fire

Yep, unfortunately a lot of teenagers are going to be led astray by this and won't adequately cover their tracks while trying to help their cause. Lots of other ways to spread the message, just talking about it with friends who are only hearing a biased portrayal in mainstream news can help a lot. Leave the illegal stuff to the people who feel that it's necessary and know what they're doing.

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Boffin

Ever heard of the Indigo children?

They are the future, for good or bad, and they don't follow the same rules as us, big old fat bastards...

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Badgers

Who needs anti-terrorism laws for this?

When you're talking revenge attacks on a business which interfere with its ability to function, organized-crime laws will probably turn out to be sufficient.

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Anonymous Coward

@Ever heard of the Indigo children?

Have any of those ret^H^H^H'special' kids actually grown up to do anything magnificent yet?

Since supposedly some have been around from the mid-60s, you'd think that some would have led the human race on our new path.

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Boffin

Clueless

You're still thinking in terms of Hollywood-style heroes. That's not how things work in the age of Aquarius. As a group, the Indigo children will change the world.

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@AC

>>"As a group, the Indigo children will change the world."

+1 for the plausible deniability there.

So they're all Metagifted and Deeply Special, but you can't actually expect them to have done anything Obviously Useful, but just you jolly well wait, one day they'll join their Amazing Minds together and Change the World, even if they do it in such a cunning way that No Bugger Else Notices.

Kind of like the Natural Law Party, but with less nasal hair and firmer breasts?

At least for now, anyway.

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Re: @Ever heard of the Indigo children?

Well it was all just new age psychobabble. This kind of quatsch does not withstand any theoretical or empirical evidence at all. It's just childish hippie words.

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Happy

Oh the irony

you being sarcastic but actually it will happen exactly as you say. It might take longer than you seem to suggest but at some point there will be a critical mass of people that don't swallow all the bullshit we do to keep paying our mortgages and then, without a bang, the world will start changing, yes.

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Yes

Woz and Jobs were originally Phone Phreakers.

Cant think of any others at the moment, but i'm sure they were.

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Re: Yes

2600 yes, but that is not the same bundle of psychobabble as came from the OPs keyboard. He's speshul.

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FAIL

zombie clients

"According to researchers, the Low Orbit Ion Cannon tool, which thousands of WikiLeaks sympathizers are using to unleash the DDoS attacks, takes no steps to conceal their IP addresses. It wouldn't be surprising if attackers who used the application from internet connections at their home or work also receive a call from local law enforcement agencies."

Funny, You don't hear about local law enforcement agencies giving un-willing people running zombie bot clients a call.

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FAIL

Because

They are not commiting a crime and are better built...

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Silver badge

@ AC

"They are not pissing off the powers that be"

Here, fixed that for you.

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Anonymous Coward

Haha

Very clever, but I am relitivly sure that the powers that be were more than a little pissed off when botnets have attacked govenment networks, as they have done.

It's like the diffrence between terrorists and rioters, both using violence, but in diffrent ways. Irish terrorists are/were almost never arrested, yet rioters were being arrested yesterday.

Oh no, I forgot, this MUST be a conspiricy.

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Anonymous Coward

@Mephisto

Surely, when there are attacks where it's fairly clear that it's likely all coming from unwilling zombie machines, there's a limit how much effort it's worth putting in to find a zombie.

On the other hand, when there are attacks where human zombies are thick enough to use their own machines...

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Silver badge

@ AC Friday 10th December 2010 10:05 GMT

"On the other hand, when there are attacks where human zombies are thick enough to use their own machines..."

Amen, brother.

But I find a certain degree of inconsistency in this situation. Let me try to explain.

A- Voluntary DDOSers like those Anonymous lads who installed voluntarily the programs in their own computers aren't really hacking anything but their own machines, and their are free to do so. So we should probably remove the accusation of 'hacking' -i.e. entering, controlling and stealing data from other peoples's computers. A DDOS attack like this is, Imho, like protesting in front of the gates of a company. A little bit of disruption, a lot of publicity -bad for the company, good for the protesters.

B- On the other hand, when some bot herder performs this kind of attack, he isn't only DDOSing the 'victim's servers', but he is also entering, controlling and probably stealing data from hundreds or thousands of machines. Add to that the fact that those botnets are usually employed for nefarious purposes - phishing, spam, online drugstores, credit card fraud, identity theft, kiddie porn distribution et cetera - , a situation that harms lots of people, either financially, in their health, or in their right to privacy or 'all of the above.

Now, please consider this: In the situation described in paragraph 'B' it usually takes weeks or months for the authorities to even take notice of the problem, let alone the time needed to perform the first arrests, take down the control servers and put a stop to the problem. In the situation described in paragraph 'A' it took them TWO FRIGGIN' DAYS* to take down the control server and make arrests.

My take is that this mysterious asymmetry is caused by the fact that most 'common people' owning owned computers (hur hur) don't have the means to invite several ministers and MPs to a Mediterranean cruise in a private yacht next summer.**

Notes:

* Sorry for the caps. It's at times like this that one wishes -briefly- that Elreg forums had some way to change fonts and text sizes, Yes, I am weak...

** You know, I've got this silly fantasy where one summer a huge tropical storm reaches the Mediterranean sea and sinks simultaneously all the yachts containing a good percent of the politicos and pundits of the world.***

*** In the process making room for the next echelon of bastards. Sigh.

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Uhuh

That's probably because they are "unwilling". That is to say mens rea indicates the crime was committed by the individual who hijacked their machine, that is to say they did not deliberately download and install the malicious package that is inflicting such damage on systems world wide.

If people deliberately and maliciously damage computer systems, in support of a man and organisation dedicated to the public broadcast of state secrets there's no point in screaming foul when prosecution follows. That will show either a lack of insight (perhaps meaning the offender is at risk of harming self or others) or that the individual is not repentant and likely to reoffend.

These people are going to suffer for their behaviour, and rightly so. Just like the online paedophiles of this world they need to realise they are *not* anonymous. Two years hard labour. Next.

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@Mephistro

>>"My take is that this mysterious asymmetry is caused by the fact that most 'common people' owning owned computers (hur hur) don't have the means to invite several ministers and MPs to a Mediterranean cruise in a private yacht next summer.**"

Isn't it more likely the case that proper botnet herders are smarter, or at least more experienced, and that incompetent botnet herders would get picked off fairly quickly, but over time, and maybe with minimal fanfare.

If you had a situation where numerous people who don't know what they're doing dive in on a high-profile attack, isn't that pretty much *the* likeliest situation for one or more people to be quickly caught?

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Black Helicopters

Warrant?

I am curious as to how they got a Warrant to Search his place so fast?

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Because...

...they don't tart about like we seem to have to, They just do it. Good too.

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Go

@A/C Warrant....

..err easily?

You don't need one to investigate a crime in progress. If the ISP / Attacked website agree it is still happening, then they can go in.

Otherwise.

Ring ring...Hello Police.

Help I'm in the bathroom of my house and my ex is trying to kill me with an axe.

OK, well it's after 5pm so can you hang on until a judge can issue a warrant in the morning....Anything else i can help you with today?

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Gold badge
FAIL

Simple: because they have clear evidence

If you are clueless enough to forget that a DDoS is in essence committing a crime, and double up on the cluelessness (is that a word?) by assuming whoever asks you to join the criminal gang that they have any interest in protecting you instead of doing that yourself, well, hurry, expect a thank-you card from the judge by means of a quick warrant process.

To get a warrant only takes time when the evidence isn't clear (so more has to be gathered). When it's black-and-white it does not take any time whatsoever - there is no doubt. Don't forget that everyone who started that DDoS code was warned in advance what it would do, so even the German "ich habe es nicht gewusst" defense fails here. It's a wilful act, and you just put a red flag up at your house "Wikileaks criminal supporter here" via your IP address. What's not to like, from a police perspective?

Idiots.

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Aber...

..er hat's gewusst, und er ist Nederlandische, nicht Deutsche. Also, fahren sie bitte noch weiter, es gibt hier nichts zu sehen.

Well, rusty, but you do get the point old bean, I hope. :-)

Expect a few thousand more arrests world wide. In some countries outside of our so-gennanten first world, yuman rights bubble there will be violence, and these people will probably not own a computer for several months, at which point they will receive a stern warning. Unless they are still doing porridge.

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Boffin

Digital Data Carriers

Amusing Dutch term - it means media such as CDs, DVDs and flash drives, but can also cover hard drives, etc. I wouldn't read too much into that though.

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FAIL

Yeah, this is pretty much what I expected to happen...

If you do something stupid (like attacking a major website used for money transfer), expect retribution. And I'm not talking about getting forums spammed with pictures of cats, either. In the real world, there are laws, and breaking them get you in trouble. The police tend not to find Guy Fawkes masks as funny as some might think.

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Silver badge
Boffin

And a crim record to boot.

This is what happens when the politically naive jump on the latest trendy bandwagon and try a little dig at "The Man" - they haven't a clue what they're doing, download some program because someone tells them it's safe, and end up with a criminal record which will affect their future job prospects. Political conviction is no defence against the law.

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Well here we go then

This brat can probably expect a lot of company if/when the govs go after the DDOS participants en-mass. Should be very entertaining for a while.

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How would...

Reggie react when the forces of mortgage and loans fell on it?

Yeah you would all be crying out for a bit of DDOS

But now when you should be stepping up to the mark

You unleash this bit of properganda

Hell reggie

Hell

Shame on you

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Gold badge

Whatever you've been smoking..

.. I wouldn't want any of it.

Let me know when your brain has caught up with the real world. You seem to be the sort of guy that walks around with a bleeding tongue because you keep forgetting about the staples when licking the centerfold..

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Who's reggie?

And why does he have a real goose?

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Anonymous Coward

Properganda

As opposed to improperganda I suppose.

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Anonymous... Kinda...

Here's where we see how serious Anonymous etc are now that arrests are being made. Going up against Scientology or (other) stupid people on the internet is one thing - DDOSing 2 of the biggest financial institutes in the world is another.

Personally, I agree with their sentiment. Until Mastercard/PayPal/Visa pulled the plug I wasn't going to make a donation to Wikileaks, now I want to know if there's any way I still can.

But I don't think that launching a pointless script kiddie attack against massive corps. and getting yourself nicked is going to change anything either. So I won't be doing all that.

Unfortunately with our reliance on our credit/debit cards and buying tat on eBay through Paypal or getting most of our Xmas shopping through Amazon, boycotting these companies is futile. I hope the leaks keep coming, I hope people keep talking about it, I hope it all turns out like The Pentagon Papers did. If need be - let's get a protest going... It seems to be all the rage, even though it didn't help the students... Bugger.

This WikiLeaks stuff is important. Whichever camp you fall into, there's an important argument going on and it deserves attention.

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Anonymous Coward

Donations via Iceland

> Until Mastercard/PayPal/Visa pulled the plug I wasn't going to make a

> donation to Wikileaks, now I want to know if there's any way I still can.

Today's Grauniad gave a couple of bank accounts that you could still send money to, one in Iceland and the other (I think) in the Netherlands. You might be able to find them online.

Personally I would worry that you might be considered to be supporting a terrorist organisation and get into very deep trouble.

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Happy

RE: Donations via Iceland

"......supporting a terrorist organisation...." Until it is designated a terrorist organisation you can donate as much as you like. I'm also not sure the US or UK could designate it so seeing as it hasn't expressly commited a terrorist act nor have they made any form of statement supporting terrorism. Even should Assange and Co be somehow tried for "treason", simply donating to their site wouldn't be enough to get you in trouble unless the authorities could prove you donated to aid a criminal act, i.e., more "treason". But, seeing as the NSA can probably track donations from Western bankaccounts going via Iceland or even Outer Mongolia, your name is likley to end up on some lists you really wouldn't want it on!

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Anonymous Coward

@AC

"Personally I would worry that you might be considered to be supporting a terrorist organisation and get into very deep trouble."

Personally I'd try and get some idea what they've done with the money they've already taken before thinking of adding to their collection.

Assuming you can actually find out, that is.

Or maybe see what answer they give to the claim from Bradley Manning's supporters that Wikileaks haven't given a penny to support his defence, despite having solicited donations for that purpose, and despite seemingly raising large amounts on the back of the information he provided.

Sounds more like a good old-fashioned capitalist organisation than a terrorist one.

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Black Helicopters

Terroist organisation blah blah.

I wonder where all of these sudden Anonymous Cowards pulling bullshit propaganda out of their nether orifices are coming from.

It's the same as happened when Israel accidentally the whole peace flotilla. Ugly brownshirt worms crawling all over the message boards.

Some boiler-room astroturf operation, shurely?

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Silver badge

Not so futile, maybe

"...boycotting these companies is futile..."

If a popular boycott lowers their sales a single 1%, the next time 'someone' asks them to do the government's dirty work they won't be so eager to comply. Remember, many of these corporate types would sell their mothers, sliced, for a single 1% increase in sales. And there are more effective ways to boycott them than DDOSing their servers. See my post below.

"This WikiLeaks stuff is important. Whichever camp you fall into, there's an important argument going on and it deserves attention"

Amen, brother.

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Anonymous Coward

Really?

If they were in it for the money, you would think they would own more stuff - apart from computers, that is. There are monks that have more luxurious lifestyles.

I suspect most of their money is spent on IT.

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Anonymous Coward

sad

"Personally I would worry that you might be considered to be supporting a terrorist organisation and get into very deep trouble."

Nice to read my fellow human beings will stand up for the truth!

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Alternatives to Paypal and Amazon

"Unfortunately with our reliance on our credit/debit cards and buying tat on eBay through Paypal or getting most of our Xmas shopping through Amazon, boycotting these companies is futile."

Au contraire. They are the first and biggest but not the only games in town and more are coming. Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door. Let's move our business to companies that our more inline with our beliefs and less prone to political intimidation.

Eg. ZashPay lets you send money via e-mail or text message. Account setup is free, as is receiving money. Works only if your bank is signed up but they are expanding.

Online purchasing and financial transactions are here to stay but Paypal and Amazon need some competitors because, now since the Wikileaks fiasco, I and many others are looking to take our business elsewhere.

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Drain ... money

"Personally I would worry that you might be considered to be supporting a terrorist organisation and get into very deep trouble."

More like just throwing good money after bad. What's the next batch of data apparently? Bank secrets .. oh no, sorry, UFO reports apparently. For FSM's sake...

Me, I donate my hard-earned cash to causes that actually say what they are going to do next. And actually help real people achieve real worth with their real lives. Like Medicins sans frontieres, for example.

You know, grown-up organisations run by normal people.

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Anonymous Coward

@AC

>>"I suspect most of their money is spent on IT."

It'd be nice to know what it was spent on.

If they really *have* been getting a 7-digit weekly income recently, that's a shitload of IT, especially if most of the effective storage is other people mirroring at their own expense.

Still, I guess they must file accounts *somewhere*, for tax purposes?

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@Destroy All Monsters

>>"Some boiler-room astroturf operation, shurely?"

There only seem to be relatively few posts saying things like 'supporting Wikileaks is supporting terrorism', and to be honest, I'm not sure how many of them are just trolling. Some seem like such classically stereotyped patriot-bollocks that it's hard to tell if they're real or just parodies.

Of course, there are rather more people who fail to think the sun shines out of Saint Julian's arse, but I think for most of them, that's just a personal opinion.

Even if you think you're Right, you should realise that other people can legitimately have other views without necessarily being paid to have them, and can be critical of some aspects of Wikileaks without necessarily supporting everything done against them, or being in favour of total government secrecy.

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Big Brother

Resistance is Victory

Wikileaks may be a bit clueless as are the student protests and the DDoS attacks however it shows people are getting a bit of a clue. It may play into the hands of the people they are fighting but it's better than doing nothing.

The number of people running this Ion Cannon thing is having an effect and there will be some losses to arrests and people losing their connection. I won't be doing this but I don't think the risk to the people doing it is that great. I notice Lloyds TSB business banking link does nothing this morning.

The news that 9/11 was an inside job is still the biggest wakeup call for me and none of this Wikileaks stuff goes that far. It's all still baby steps as far as society waking up.

The bigger picture of the leaks is probably the old Problem, Reaction, Solution.

The problem is big enough that it has caused a big reaction. The solution will be better Internet regulation. Notice how suddenly the last IPv4 numbers have been bought up and we will be pushed into IPv6. This way all traffic can be digitally signed with the number from your National ID card, yeah I expect the National ID to come back soon.

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Anonymous Coward

@Wayland

Also, big news for me, God created the earth in 7 days 6000 years ago.

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Re: Resistance is Victory

9/11 was a conspiracy. Oops. Time for you to do some reading.

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Grenade

Re: Terroist organisation blah blah

The argumentum ad hominem has never been known to establish a truth. If you address the facts rather than the person you may even get somewhere. Until then you are merely behaving in an unpleasant manner, in support of the unsupportable, leading people such as myself that you are an odious, irrational creature that supports criminal behaviour.

HTH

HAND

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Silver badge
Badgers

I am having no trouble boycotting them for spendmas

But I have been boycotting that particular 'celebration' for years. I buy bigger birthday pressies for everyone instead, which spreads out the spend nicely and avoids the need to plonk money down on some crap no-one would want just because I /have/ to get /something/. Noticable mental health benefits in additional to the financial ones.

....

I wonder if it is possible to DDOS the world's prison systems with a huge influx of inmates. It will cost the tax-payer dearly, I imagine.

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