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back to article LulzSec SMACKDOWN: Leader Sabu turned by feds last summer

Suspects purported to be members of LulzSec have been rounded up on two continents. The international law enforcement operation was apparently aided by the infamous hacktivist group's alleged erstwhile leader, "Sabu", who secretly pled guilty to a battery of charges last August. Police arrested three men and charged a further …

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FBI did it for what?

The LULZ!

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Re: FBI did it for what?

What was it that Reagan said? Oh yes "Message to terrorists everywhere; you can run, but you can't hide".

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@DragonKin37: we'll see who's lulz are coming next

Lulze bene chi lulze ultimo.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @DragonKin37: we'll see who's lulz are coming next

Grocer's apostrophe - you mean whose not "who's".

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Anonymous Coward

Who Gains?

Perhaps the whole thing was run by the Government from the start for their own ends?

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Black Helicopters

Re: Who Gains?

Wouldn’t surprise me in the least….

My first reaction was that the FBI had set up the whole thing as some sort of fund-raising operation, however the real story is equally strange.

First of all, Rupert Murdoch's fox news reported the story as follows:- “Monsegur and his web minions had just completed a month-long reign of terror, hacking the CIA, Fox, Sony and several financial institutions, causing, according to some estimates, billions of dollars in damage around the world”. This from a country where NASA can’t even secure it’s own web site[1], it’s hardly rocket science is it?

Would that be the same Rupert Murdoch's whose News International has just recently paid $951,000 to Charlotte Church for hacking her mobile phone looking for news stories, seems the Murdock corporations only consider hacking illegal when somebody does it to them.

Also, a member of the garda with email, this is unusual as nearly 40% of Irish cop-shops are not networked[2] without access to email and their IT system “Pulse”.

The Federal Bureau of Idiots are also saying that the people who “hacked” into and “infiltrated” its secret conference call have been arrested, however its not really hacking or infiltration if you provide the tools to the hacker to access the call, that’s called entrapment.

The only hacking that O’Cearrbhaill done was to hack into the gmail account[3] of a member of the garda who had forwarded an email from the FBI to his personal gmail account, that listed the time, the phone number, and the pin for the conference call. O’Cearrbhaill then used IRC to look for a VOIP of sufficient quality to connect to the conference call, where he made contact with Hector Monsegur.

I know from experience that most conference call systems have a facility to list the phone numbers of people on the call so I’m just wondering why the feds didn’t use this facility to help secure the conference call? Oh hang on, they knew O’Cearrbhaill was joining the conference call from information Monsegur supplied and they wanted him to join the call so they could catch him and try and get him extradited for PR purposes.

Suspicious? Moi? Never!

I was going to post this anonymously but there's probably no point.

[1] http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/03/05/nasa_security_congressional_testimony/

[2] http://www.thejournal.ie/two-out-of-five-garda-stations-dont-have-email-access-353291-Feb2012/

[3] Gmail hacked again, what a surprise

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Anonymous Coward

Singing like a canary

124 years cosying up to Bubba, or turn states evidence.

You decide.

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FAIL

Re: Singing like a canary

So much for hackers on steroids

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Re: Singing like a canary

Or not doing the crime in the first place.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Singing like a canary

Or 'squealing like a pig'

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To be fair..

...if i lived on Shetland i'd be looking for something interesting to do!

But you have to wonder how, the internet infrastructure up there really is on a par with tin cans and string, must've been the worlds slowest hack!!!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: To be fair..

Actually, it's pretty good. Better than in many mainland locations.

Few trees though.

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Re: To be fair..

Yeah they don't have TV either, or electricity, or running water. In fact their calendar is approximately one century behind ours. The minute you set for on the Shetland Islands it's like stepping back in time to an outdated agrarian hell.

Twit.

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Anonymous Coward

Err...

"Hector Xavier Monsegur" with a name like that, it's either superhero or supervillain.

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Re: Err...

and/or hispanic

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Very surprising.

If I recall correclty, one of LulzSec's targets was a military contractor, from which they managed to extract a very extensive list of the email addresses of US military personnel, (and which they subsequently made public). I wonder if that would be suitable grounds for charging LulzSec with espionage.

Also I have to say that I am very surprised by this turn of events, and how it turns out that the internet is FAR less anonymous than Lulzsec and Anonymous believed.

What is _not_ surprising, and is in perfect accord with the common wisdom that it's easy to be an internet tough guy sitting in front of one's computer, is that Tough Guy Sabu rolled on his comrades.

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Re: Very surprising.

I'm not surprised by this turn of events. Groups like Anonymous and splinter Lulzsec might pretend to be "anonymous" but ultimately they have a inner circle of organisers, a surrounding ring of soldiers and then an outer cloud of hangers on. It may be anonymous but it's no different from any other gang.

If you can get into the inner circle you are in a good position to identify who the others are. I assume they turned Sabu because someone either informed or he made some stupid mistake and used the intervening time to identify the rest of the circle and ensure there was enough evidence to charge them with something.

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Holmes

Re: Very surprising.

unless it's all fake, made-up by the FBI, *pretending* to have arrested LulzSec to save face (like ... let's see ... who comes to mind ... darn, I forgot ! It was in may last year though).

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Meh

Re: Very surprising.

"unless it's all fake, made-up by the FBI, *pretending* to have arrested LulzSec to save face (like ... let's see ... who comes to mind ... darn, I forgot ! It was in may last year though)."

Then you won't have any difficulty finding it. Hint; google is your friend. Alternatively: http://tinyurl.com/2rfwr ; http://live.lmgtfy.com/ ; http://lmgtfy.com/?q=FBI+pretending+to+arrest+ha%3E%3Cors+May+2011

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Anyone else just waiting for the Anonymous revenge 'hack'? Regardless of whether you support these groups or not, the FBI could keep arresting people till then end of days and there'll still be angry teenagers out there willing to DDOS authority figures.

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DDOS attacks can be blocked. Arresting the people who are actually ballsy enough to perform real attacks (SQL injection, etc.) is much more important.

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Is SQL injection still a real attack? I mean, it is if it works obviously, but it's been embarrassing to get caught out by it for about 6 yrs now. Almost like cheating.

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> Is SQL injection still a real attack?

Oh good lord yes. It's still in the 2011 edition of the CWE/SANS Top 20.[1]

If you read accounts of terrible software in production use, such as the ones that frequently appear in The Daily WTF, you'll see SQL injection vulnerabilities still show up quite often.

Is it embarrassing, as you suggested? Absolutely. But embarrassment has never been a prominent motivator of change in software development. Most software is somewhere between complete crap and mostly crap, and security (along with user experience) is one of the worst areas.[2]

1. https://www.sans.org/top25-software-errors/ - see CWE-89, right at the top of "insecure interaction" vulnerabilities.

2. Platt's _Why Software Sucks_ is a nice introduction to the problem. It should really be required reading for anyone who writes software. Or uses it.

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Anonymous Coward

Now, here's a thought...

If Sabu was in bed with the feds since August last, they probably knew that their phone calls to the UK Met were going to be intercepted and used it as an intelligence gathering exercise.

It may just be that the feds played a blinder.

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Coat

Re: Now, here's a thought...

Intercepted by whom? NotW or The Sun??

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Just goes to show

That even 7 proxies can't protect you.

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Coat

Re: Just goes to show

How terrible! If only they'd thought to use that eighth proxy.....

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Anonymous Coward

Am I the only one here that thinks this is not good?

I mean, someone is happy because the FBI arrested hackers? I am not so sure this is necessarily a good thing. You guys trust the government too much...

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Devil

Re: Am I the only one here that thinks this is not good?

Well, that's because if we don't trust our government, we either end up being monitored, tracked, followed, arrested, interrogated, tortured, killed, or all of the above.

I couldn't find a sheep icon, so I used what I thought would be the closest thing to one. BAAAAAHH...

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Re: Am I the only one here that thinks this is not good?

"You guys trust the government too much..."

Well, to be fair, it is a bit of a pickle. The government:

- Is made up of a bunch of public figures who all have their own agenda

- Can't be trusted to have an agenda that's (necessarily) in the interests of the people at large, though they often claim to be.

- Operates with limited public accountability.

- Operates with limited public oversight, which can often be revoked in the interests of "national security"

- Doesn't know as much about tech-related issues as it thinks it does

On the other hand, Anonymous et. al.:

- Is made up of a bunch of secret figures who all have their own agenda

- Can't be trusted to have an agenda that's (necessarily) in the interests of the people at large, though they often claim to be.

- Operates with no public accountability.

- Operates with no public oversight

- Doesn't know as much about tech-related issues as it thinks it does

Bit of a devil's choice, really. Though in my book, "limited public accountability" still trumps "no public accountability."

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Devil

Re: Am I the only one here that thinks this is not good?

I assume this is a joke, right?

Anyway, they seem to be doing a good job of self-destruction for themselvs without any outside help

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Devil

Re: Am I the only one here that thinks this is not good?

Yes,

The problem is that if you break the law, you will eventually get caught and prosecuted.

Its one thing to take down a cult aka Anonymous vs CoS.

Its another to wreak havoc for the sake of havoc.

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Devil

Re: Am I the only one here that thinks this is not good?

I think you're missing the obvious huge advantage of having two such organizations at odds with each other. Each has the motive and means of opening up the other's kimono a little bit, so we can see what nasty stuff lies inside. Yes, there is collateral damage in the form of pointless DoS attacks or using Anonymous as a reason to claim the need for new anti-hacking laws. But they'd each be doing these things anyway, by directing their efforts at each they have less to devote at us!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Am I the only one here that thinks this is not good?

Probably not, but you'd be wrong. Regardless of what you think of law enforcement, they have a job to do - occasionally they enforce laws as well. The hackers here were breaking the law, and got caught. It's actually quite simple when you get down to it.

It's a bit like Wikileaks: to leak confidential information is basically illegal. What can get you off in court is motive: if you do this as a whistleblower (which you can only claim when your information is specific to an issue) you may get away with it - but the fact itself remains illegal.

Said hackers have not exactly helped themselves - if you decide to piss off organisations with vast resources at their disposal you shouldn't be surprised if they get just a little bit more clever than usual. That's forgetting rule 1 of hacking. there is *always* someone smarter out there. Get cocky, get burned..

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Holmes

Re: Am I the only one here that thinks this is not good?

"The problem is that if you break the law, you will eventually get caught and prosecuted."

... unless you're a banker, of course, you forgot to mention (where is the "money" icon ?)

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Re: Am I the only one here that thinks this is not good?

...though you may be defrocked.

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Re: Am I the only one here that thinks this is not good?

"The problem is that if you break the law, you will eventually get caught and prosecuted."

More accurately, if you *keep* breaking the law, you will eventually be caught and prosecuted. If this individual (or others) had pulled off perhaps just half a dozen of these attacks, they could have escaped capture forever apparently.

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Flame

I'd hate to be the poor pleb who has to type out these case documents every time some skiddie gets arrested.

"Joe Blowme aka blob aka dack aka hump aka x aka y aka z aka this aka that aka other..."

I'd want to burn things too after all that.

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@Nuk

You .fav editor probably supports macros of some kind. Look it up.

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If three sit down to talk revolution ...

... two are fools, and the third is a police spy.

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Happy

Re: If three sit down to talk revolution ...

....two are fools and the third is a former fool!

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FAIL

[..] Garda officer had forwarded work emails to a personal account

See icon. Epic, and no messing.

Unless of course, the Feds knew that they were monitoring that Garda officer's email, and got them to forward the email deliberately.

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I don't think they knew about the phone call being hacked, it made them look too silly.

But it's interesting that nothing in the intercepted call warned these people that the police were closing in on them, or even mentioned that their friend had been arrested and turned.

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On the Dole

Note surprise that this guy is on public assistance. Why get a real job when the other job pays so well?

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the bad is the best

>>Why get a real job when the other job pays so well?

Apparently, to get a "well paying job" you have to be as incompetent as an HBGary's security specialist.

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Assumptions

People here are making a great deal of assumptions. The police have arrested a lot of people claiming them to be big time hackers of one sort or another. What's happened? Have the attacks and disclosures stopped? No. So, either there are a lot more people out there willing to do this, or they haven't actually got the hackers. After all, if you're a small time hacker and get arrested, might you not claim to be something bigger and try to get a deal where one was not available before?

I have no idea if these people are who they claim them to be, but I wouldn't trust the authorities here more than the Syrian regime. They're playing their own game for their own reasons and disinformation is part and parcel of that.

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Re: Assumptions

FBI seem to fundamentally misunderstand Lulzsec/Anonymous; its a movement more than a group. Arresting the "leaders", if thats who they arrested, will do nothing as another will pop up in its place. Perhaps the next group should be called Meduusa.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Assumptions

Perhaps you meant the hydra?

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