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back to article The one tiny slip that put LulzSec chief Sabu in the FBI's pocket

The man named by the FBI as infamous hacktivist Sabu was undone by an embarrassing security blunder, it has emerged. The alleged LulzSec kingpin eventually copped to a battery of hacking charges last August and was reported to have been "co-operating" with the FBI in the months leading up to yesterday's arrests. Police locked …

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Anonymous Coward

You need more Research

Drink or die raids(2001) proved that not only could the fbi get into irc chats but they don't even need to be in them by putting a server in the servers link farm in debug mode all conversations private or otherwise can be seen

THUS you need to talk with encryption all the time and use a wingate proxy that doesn't use TOR

THE article is a joke cause real hackers know TOR is a transparent proxy aka they could see his ip BECAUSE he used TOR.

THAT'S a lil tid bit they aren't saying.

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Re: You need more Research

Plus, infiltrating is a bit over it, just whois the member you're interested in...

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Re: You need more Research

Speaking of which I've been wondering about the fate of Cyperpunk and Mixmaster remailers. There are man in the middle and other attacks, and I suspect that by now these facilities are as riddled as Tor et al.. Nowhere to hide.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: You need more Research

Could you expand on "TOR is a transparent proxy aka they could see his ip BECAUSE he used TOR". I was under the impression TOR hid the the destination IP from the source and vice versa?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: You need more Research

It does, traffic inside the TOR is encrypted, but if you have sight of both the entry and exit nodes it is all but useless, it is quite possible the FBI are running both exit and entry nodes, it's what I’d do if I had the resources.

Quite a lot of what can be determined also comes from what information you put into the network, if you give someone a piece of information you can watch and see how it propagates. During WW2 the Americans knew that the Japanese were planning an attack on “AF” but did not know where AF was but by sending bogus messages that the water distillation plant on midway was damaged and intercepting messages that "AF was short on water” the Americans knew that AF was midway.

There is more to code-breaking than just breaking the code.

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djs

Re: You need more Research

You also need to do more research if you think being capable of being used as a transparent proxy has anything to do with anything. Tor has many weaknesses and shortcomings where anonymity is concerned, but this isn't one of them.

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Fidelity Bravery Integrity

“It was because of his kids,” an FBI source told Fox News. “He’d do anything for his kids. He didn’t want to go away to prison and leave them. That’s how we got him.”

Very noble, FBI.

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Re: Fidelity Bravery Integrity

"....Very noble, FBI."

Quoting from the article; ".....they found evidence that the suspect had traded credit card numbers with other hackers.... Monsegur also admitted profiting by selling on the login details of compromised bank accounts, a form of aggravated identity theft....." Yeah, so noble! Monsegur was just another crim. Using leverage such as his kids is nothing compared to the misery he probably caused others with his credit card crimes and identity theft.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Fidelity Bravery Integrity

I actually read the post before noticing the poster, otherwise I wouldn't have bothered to feed the wanking troll.

Anyway, money is just money and can be replaced (speaking as someone who has had card details stolen and used for years). On the other hand threatening someone with separation from his children and what's worse, bragging publicly about it is just beyond awful.

I personally do not condone any illegal activity he might have materially benefited from, but the end does not justify the means, especially when it concerns someone like the police, who are acting on behalf of us citizens.

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Re: Fidelity Bravery Integrity

I think our resident martian had it right. Not to mention that if Sabu was still initiating incitement of attacks while under the FBI's direction, it more or less amounts to entrapment, which isn't supposed to be legal here. (not that I expect that rule to be enforced)

Arresting and punishing him for the ID theft and other crimes is fair and warranted, but much of the rest leaves me feeling disturbed.

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Re: Fidelity Bravery Integrity

Last post deleted but read up on the man that founded the FBI, Mr J Edgar Hoover and the hypocrite he was and it explains much.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Fidelity Bravery Integrity

"Very noble, FBI."

As long as it gets the job done.

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Anonymous Coward

@asdf

"Last post deleted"....

So you are abandoning your homophobic attempt to equate homosexuality and pedophilia? Scared that someone will find out who you are?

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Re: Re: Fidelity Bravery Integrity

"......Not to mention that if Sabu was still initiating incitement of attacks while under the FBI's direction....." You would have to prove that he was inciting new attacks, as opposed to just singing along with the crazies' chorus. The FBI are NOT STUPID, they have used similar tactics to penetrate drugs gangs, people smugglers, etc, etc. They know EXACTLY how far they can push it and get the convictions they need.

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Re: Re: Fidelity Bravery Integrity

Aw, did it upset you? So anyone that doesn't follow your fawning worship of Anon is a self-abusing troll? Wow, you're open-minded - NOT!

"......Anyway, money is just money....." Good, if that's how you feel then please post your credit card details in any of the Anon or associated crim forums and watch YOUR cash fly out the window. I know people that have suffered credit card crime and it is not such an easy matter. In one case, a colleague thought he had to cancel their family trip to Disneyworld at the last minute, somthing they'd been saving for over three years, because some low-life crim like Sabu thought it was fine to steal his credit card details and empty his savings account. You try imagining what it must have been like having to tell your kids they weren't going to Disneyworld as he had to. Luckily, three of us clubbed together to cover the holiday whilst they waited for the bank to sort everything out, otherwise it would have been a very miserable summer for them. If you haven't a clue about the real impact of crimes, don't pretend you have.

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Re: Re: Fidelity Bravery Integrity

So what are you saying, asdf? That all cross-dressers are inherently evil and cannot be trusted to hold positions of authority? That they should be banned from office merely on the rumour that they might be gay? Sounds like homophobia to me, I'm not surprised your first post got removed.

Now, if you'd played the smart card and commented on his suspected blackmail activities, or how he supposedly smeared politicians he didn't like, then that would probably have been fine. Duh!

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Re: Fidelity Bravery Integrity

"Anyway, money is just money and can be replaced (speaking as someone who has had card details stolen and used for years)."

[...]

"I personally do not condone any illegal activity he might have materially benefited from"

Yet you just did, and this is worse than pirating films. I've experienced this kind of theft twice, once in about 1996 the other time this year, and I can tell you that it is no less unpleasant now than it was before. There is no such thing here as a victimless crime.

However, it's good of you to show that your blasé attitude to the law is consistent across the spectrum.

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Re: Fidelity Bravery Integrity

Someone who spends 16 hour in front of a PC and often the night (sleeping in the day, then?) doesn't look a good father at all. This is the kind of parent who thinks children are a "property", that's not parental love - when you really love your children you don't act like a criminal, nor waste money in car parts when you're unemployed. Don't know if it was better this guy wasn't keot away fron the children, being a parent is much more than be capable of generating children, and this guy probably never grew up really.

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Re: Fidelity Bravery Integrity

"money can be replaced" - if you're rich, probably. But when you steal money from someone who isin't, well, it can be very painful to replace them. Did the anti-capitalist Sabu check who he was stealing money from? Isn't capitalism to spend money in a car? I would like to see what "replacement parts" they were... needed repairs or a silver gear handle or an expensive "capitalist" car stereo?

Anyway FBI wasn't "threatening". He performed a crime and should be jailed. He was offered a chance he didn't deserve. True revolution requires sacrifices. Italian patriot Amatore Sciesa, when was made walk under his family home in Milano while brought to execution if he didn't reveal other names, answered "tiremm innanz" (Milanese for "let's go on"). Sabu bravery was just in his nickname.

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Re: Fidelity Bravery Integrity

What? You mean they let him "cut a deal" to stay with his kids rather than send him away *without* digging futher? They could have locked him up for one crime then investigated and locked him up for another. The two would have been unconnected so no double.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Fidelity Bravery Integrity

But they didn't threaten him. He committed crimes (allegedly) which usually lead to a prison sentence. He got caught, and was looking at prison, based on things he did, so cut a deal. He knew what he was doing was associated with a prison sentence, they didn't need to threaten him, it was simply factual.

People assume they'll never get caught, then brick it when they do. Repeat to fade.

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Re: Fidelity Bravery Integrity

"So what are you saying, asdf? That all cross-dressers are inherently evil and cannot be trusted to hold positions of authority? That they should be banned from office merely on the rumour that they might be gay? Sounds like homophobia to me, I'm not surprised your first post got removed."

The British security and intelligence services learned something important a long time ago; the safest people in the world are those to whom sexual and similar taboos are irrelevant; they cannot be blackmailed and are open about what they do. Those who have these proclivities, are ashamed of them and hide them, these are the security risks. They can be blackmailed.

The rest is all McCarthyism; 'are you now or have you at any time been a homosexual/communist/etcetera?'

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Re: @asdf

Hardly. Actually understand well that the two are unrelated. Just pointing out how many of the tough "good" right wing guys in the 20th century were nothing but hypocrites.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Fidelity Bravery Integrity

I don't know or care about what beef you seem to hold against Anonymous (disregarding that this article is not even about them), but congratulations on having convicted the bastard before the courts could even manage to get hold of him.

In any event, thanks to the FBI allegedly and by their own admission blackmailing him in the lowliest of ways, now he might well get away with it anyway, were the fraud charges true and proven.

Meanwhile, the fact that the person concerned is said to be a snitch causes no loss of composure whatsoever? That I find very concerning. A traitor is always a traitor no matter on which side you're on.

As for your Disneyland colleague who *thought* he might have had to cancel a trip... I feel so sorry for the kids when they eventually found out they would have to be going anyway. :( Oh, the tribulations of the urban middle class!

Clicking on your name and reading through your "contributions", do you write them seriously or do you just use this site to practice your trolling skills? I do hope it's the latter.

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Happy

Re: Re: Fidelity Bravery Integrity

"I don't know or care about what beef you seem to hold against Anonymous...." Ah, nothing like an opening statement admitting your own blinkeredness. How are you ever goin to learn anything new if you simply refuse to even acknowledge another's POV? You could debate your support for the Anonyputzs, provide counters to any arguments I might put forward, but instead you seem scared of debate. That is simply unquestioning belief, one step from mindless acceptance, and probably bordering on a failth-like worship. In other words, a major fail.

"....the FBI allegedly and by their own admission blackmailing him in the lowliest of ways...." Nope, they simply pointed out to the suspected crim that - if he was tried and found guilty - his actions would have ramifications for his children. Strange, you seem to have a hard time accepting that his actions could have ramifications. I assume that you and him share a common inability to consider that all actions have a reaction, and often not the one you may have thought they would. The prisons are full of criminals that thought along those lines.

"....A traitor is always a traitor...." Whilst your use of the term "traitor" is very indicative both of your political leanings and the unquestioning zealotry with which you pursue your trendy "cause", it amuses me that you would somehow credit the crim in question with some higher standard. Sabu turned out to be just another criminal, simply a "bad" human, and given to the same weaknesses as other types of criminals. If Sabu was really dedicated to The Cause, he would have gladly sacrificed his own freedom and his contact with his children "for teh Greater Good". Instead, he folded like a cheap thief caught shoplifting. Why so suprised, or had you placed him on some sort of mental pedestal? Ain't it a bummer when your "religion" falls apart, I'm not surprised your response is furious denial in the face of simple facts.

"....As for your Disneyland colleague...." Why? In your eyes, was he undeserving of sympathy because he worked and saved? If it was the destination you found so reprehensible, would you have been sympathetic if he'd been saving to send his kiddies to some hippy camp to be taught the "correct way to think"? And don't wory about his kids, they came back very happy with their holiday. Does it pain you to think that they'll probably grow up to be happy, hard-working consumers? I hope so.

".....Oh, the tribulations of the urban middle class!...." Oh, the whining of the gormless socialist.

"....reading through your "contributions"...." I have to ask how you could, seeing as you seem to hate anything to do with capitalism? Did you steal - sorry, "liberate" - the PC you used, or the Internet connection? Or are you another one of those poor, misunderstood revolutionaries, working towards the Revolution for the Greater Good from the comfort of your Mom's basement?

Ah, choices, choices. Do I use the "Epic Fail" or the "Stop this nonsense" icon? Shame we don't have a "ROFLMAO @ your tantrum" icon. I think simply reiterating my satisfaction at your upset will do. Smiley!

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in general

The US government is light years ahead on signal intel than human intel gathering. Every digital transaction leaves traces they are better than anyone at recovering. On the human end they tend to do stupid things have several of their best analysts meet with double agent who blows himself up because nobody searched him, etc.

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Orv

Re: in general

It's a failing of the US defense community in general -- they always try to fix problems with technology instead of investing in human capital.

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Re: in general

Not just the defence community, I've come across the same thinking elsewhere in the corporate world, and it may not be limited to the USA.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: in general

Developing HUMINT assets is hard work, and doesn't really fit into modern day spreadsheet management culture. Tech is easy - you have a budget, you spend it.. Actually, the same problem exists in corporate security - it's all reactive, let's-buy-some-kit-so-my-rear end-is-clear. The intelligent work is in analysing threat models and then coming up with ways to disturb the assailant and their motives instead of waiting for them to lob an electronic club at you..

But hey, I'm being way too revolutionary. Ignore me.

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Re: in general

There's also the fact some nefarious organizations are aware of HumInt and the possibility of moles. Some of the worst won't let you into the inner circle until you cross a moral event horizon, some act no mole would ever be allowed to do (think personally killing an American soldier with witnesses--that's clear-cut treason in the US books).

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Re: in general

I would agree - part of my job is finding machine replacements for humans, because humans make terrible machines. We may be great at visualizing a picture even if half the information is missing, but all the day-to-day tedious stuff rapidly becomes error-filled. The trick is using the right technology/human blend, and the FBI is doing a bit better than most at that. Not saying they're perfect, but having seen the error rates of a "wave of the future" manufacturing cell, I can grant them some leeway...

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Anonymous Coward

It's all good

As long as Sabu and other hackers go to prison, it's all good regardless of what tech is used to prosecute them.

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Like this?

"He has also pleaded guilty to using stolen credit card information to pay for car parts valued at $3,450."

So, something like this, then:

"Hi! My name is Sabu! I am an avenging sword in the fight for justice against the forces of capitalism, and also use stolen credit cards to buy auto parts! Long live the Revolution!"

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Windows

$3,450 ?

So, he was doing it for the Lul$ after all...

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Windows

Bit crap isn't it

Web = echo chamber/hall of mirrors

Small time criminals, minor thefts &c

Can we not turn these people to more constructive occupations,

Am I just being a wet liberal?

Vagrant, because there but for the grace of god I could have been a couple of times in the last 30 years had I not got my shit together...

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Anonymous Coward

Prison workers in the making

Everyone deserves a second chance - after they get out of prison.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Prison workers in the making

I doubt many of them will get out at all given the crazy sentences handed out by US courts. They don't seem to work to the idea of reforming a criminal over there, purely the "lock them away from society for ever" model.

This is especially true if you happen to have made law enforcement look stupid. The lad in Ireland who recorded the FBI conference call would probably be well advised to be on his heals ASAP before the US can finish filling in the extradition paperwork!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Prison workers in the making

The only good hacker is dead. You can't cure stupid. They are a blight on society.

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Re: Prison workers in the making

It's not about giving out reasonable sentences in these sorts of cases. It's about sending out a message to others not to even think about trying this sort of thing. This is because in reality it's not that difficult to do and very hard to defend against. The best prevention is making an example of people who get caught. Sucks to be those people sure, and you can't help but feel bad for stupid kids having their lives ruined, but them's the breaks.

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Re: Prison workers in the making

Perhaps you could read news:alt.2600 and news:alt.hackers.malicious for a good definition. It comes up occasionally.

In addition to this YMLTK that the original hackers were to be found in places like Bletchley and in the Lyons Corner House computer department; in the latter the first computerised payroll and other delights were to be found ( https://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?oe=utf-8&rls=org.mozilla%3Aen-US%3Aofficial&client=firefox-a&hl=en&q=cache:PVgcH_looE4J:http://www.accountingweb.co.uk/topic/tax/computerised-payrolls-golden-anniversary+lyons+corner+house+first+computerised+pay+roll&ct=clnk ). These people were hackers. What passes for that today are mere script kiddies and, worse still, people who buy or are given interfaces to do the thing for them. Anyone for LOIC? Hackers are people who solve problems, and this includes white hats, grey hats and black hats. Most of the hackers that I know are security oriented, run networks and work doing it for a living.

The term 'hacker' has been hijacked by the press and misused, in much the same way that 'biker' and 'schizophrenia' have been.

These people ain't hackers.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Prison workers in the making

Why would any capitalist want to reform criminals when they can use them as a massive unpaid workforce. Considering the pettiness of some of the crimes (with 3 strikes handing out disproportionate sentences), it's basically slavery (They have no choice whether they work and they don't get paid).

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FAIL

Re: Prison workers in the making

".....it's basically slavery...." No, it's called paying your debt to society.

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Anonymous Coward

@ You need more Research

Too bloody right. Drink or Die et al at least had the excuse that they didn't know what the feds could do before they came a knocking. Before committing crimes that could land you with a baziliion years in a US nick you should at least look at what happened last time.

I loved those Virus Vs Sabu chat logs reminded me of the Haxor Bros from the nineties.

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Anonymous Coward

... two years in prison away from his children ...

Thats the problem with having children, you become an easy target for blackmail by anyone.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: ... two years in prison away from his children ...

Yeah, fucking children and their potential for blackmail

What are you talking about?

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Anonymous Coward

children ...

He didn't play by society's rules so why should anyone expect the FBI to play by his rules?

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unfortunate name

Montsegur is almost a needle of a rock in the Languedoc with a ruined castle on the top that was the last stand of the Cathar sect in the early 13th century. The Catholic Church conducted the so-called Albigensian Crusade and the (Parisian) French state what would now be called genocide against them. Large numbers of people were burned for heresy. A certain Englishman called Simon de Montfort was in charge at an earlier stage.

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Childcatcher

So you spend all weekend with your kids hacking into a secret service computer, then you stay up all night devising a suitable subtlety and then because you don't want to leave your kids, you stay home and post from the same IP address.

Why didn't he just take a walk with his battered laptop to a public access point or use a dongle, or something just as smart?

He could go when the kids were asleep, he is obviously an insomniac.

Of course, were he THAT smart he would have considered the crime and the time when he was fine.

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