back to article Anonymous pwns security firm that probed its membership

The Anonymous hacking collective took revenge on a security firm that had investigated its membership on Sunday. HBGary Federal has been seeking to uncloak the identities of senior members of Anonymous involved in attacks against financial services firms, such as PayPal and Mastercard, that had suspended accounts run by …

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  1. Hooch181
    Thumb Up

    :Popcorn:

    This should be good...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Flame

      Yeah...

      If only I could remember where did I see references to this lot before.

      The name definitely rings a bell. It is not the first time they have shown themselves to be worthy of working with Jim Henman.

      Damn... It has been a very long time since I have put down the grey hat on the top shelf (and it was nearly white at that time anyway). If someone in the elreg readership can remember please post.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Boffin

        If only I could remember where did I see references to this lot before.

        Probably at ebaumsworld

      2. K. Adams
        Boffin

        Back in the day...

        ... (October, 2005), Greg Hoglund (who founded HBGary.com) decided to take a look at the guts of Blizzard's "Warden" anti-cheat software. He noticed that it was doing a whole lot more than just watching the WoW client for "cheat-like" activity; it was in fact actively scanning various textual elements belonging to "foreign" windows (chat programs, web browsers, etc.). "The Warden" would then aggregate the data and pass it back to Blizzard.

        The knowledge that Blizzard's "Warden" was performing such a thorough examination of users' systems gave it (Blizzard) quite a black eye...

        However, like you, I also believe that I have forgotten something else regarding the early years of HBGary's existence. Googling hasn't turned up much... Yet.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      +beer

      and watch the show!

    3. Deadly_NZ
      Pint

      Oh Yes

      It looks like Anonymous have go some new toys to play with, let the games begin.....

      A beer,

      A packet of Chips,

      and fireworks.

      Better than a movie...

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Heart

    We are Anonymous.

    We are legion.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      No I'm Spartacus ...

      Say, isn't a body without a head just a corpse?

  3. David Hicks

    For all that it's mostly an army of me-too morons

    It would appear to have a very competent special forces unit as well, most likely made up of disgruntled and amoral black-hats with proxies and botnets all over the place.

    Piss them off at your peril, it would seem.

    1. Stone Fox
      Pirate

      don't piss them

      Surely everyone knows that's the first rule of the internet?

      Can we have a guy fawkes / legion guy icon now please?

      1. Sil_W
        Stop

        Guy Fawkes

        Better yet, can we have an icon that *isn't* based on a hopeless patsy who got caught and executed by The Man of the day, and furthermore is ritually re-burned every year by the common people?

        Come on. I can't be the *only* one who thinks Guy Fawkes is the most nonsensical choice for wannabe anarchists, can I?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Agreed

          Except ... it makes for a much more believable icon / hero.

    2. Hooch181
      Happy

      From what I can gather...

      this guy seemed to be trying to use the Legion to further his own career and that of the company he works/worked for...

      Well looks like that's not going to work out to well for him!

      You would have though a security consultant would be a bit more savvy.

      I think "Pwned" would be the operative word!

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Troll

      me-too!

      Problem? =D

  4. solarian
    Alert

    IRC

    The reason they were able to launch an attack this strong on the guy is because they try to compromise the PCs of some "members" (by IRC vulns, for instance) as a matter of routine. They then have this in hand if ever they need it.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    History Repeats Itself

    This reminds me of Great War generals ordering troops to march into new-fangled machine-gun fire.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Badgers

      Darker Corners of the Internet

      Here be dragons.

      Badgers icon for the lack of dragons.

      1. Deadly_NZ

        NOOOOooo

        The dragons live in FF land!!!!! lol

  6. phil mcracken
    Grenade

    A security consultancy pwned?

    They obviously don't practice what they preach ;)

    1. Scorchio!!
      Big Brother

      Re: A security consultancy pwned?

      "They obviously don't practice what they preach ;)"

      My thoughts exactly. Poor password strength, no measures against brute force/dictionary attacks, such as long time outs for each failed password after, say, 3rd attempt, and much, much more.

      However, this will merely incite the appropriate bodies to work even harder at apprehending these people. It will happen.

      1. Mostor Astrakan

        Pah. Security consultants.

        The last security auditor I had to deal with suggested that we turn off FTP, because apparently it sends passwords across teh networkz in plaintext. No, really? Well, given that you've been *told* that this is a print server, and all they can do with FTP is waste our paper, also that it doesn't have a password, and even if it had one, they could still print stuff using port 9100, I don't think we'll prioritise on manually logging in on ~50 print servers.

        Run the script, take the output, cut and paste it into Word, profit!

        There are security experts out there who really deserve respect, don't get me wrong. But they don't work for the kind of outfit that ends every report with "And therefore you need to install our spiffy security package".

        1. Is it me?

          CLAS and CISSP do not a techie make.

          Nor a TDA, because offhand I don't know my TCP Port numbers, other than 1521. You probably wouldn't be surprised how often the blindingly obvious needs to be stated though.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Big Brother

          Re: Pah. Security consultants.

          There are a few things to be said about ftp and security.

          http://www.google.ca/#hl=en&source=hp&biw=1048&bih=829&q=ftp+secure+tunnelling&btnG=Google+Search&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&oq=&fp=2cebb34f216005c8

    2. Haku

      You don't turn up to a gun fight with a knife

      ...unless you're Ninja.

      (I have selected the Ninja icon, but you can't see it)

      1. Thomas 18

        Ninjas don't turn up for fights

        ...they are already there

  7. Ben Rosenthal
    Big Brother

    excellent work

    another one for the good guys.

    worst way to combat anon is to try and be sneaky and underhand, that's what fuels them and keeps them doing what they do.

    best way is to stop p1ssing all over the rights of the little people, people you are supposed to look out for dear governments of the world. Stop selling us out to the highest bidder.

    1. Sean O'Connor 1

      Good guys?

      Personally I don't think you should ever consider a group of self-appointed totally unaccountable people the "good guys". Maybe right now they are doing something you agree with but what if they do something that you don't agree with in the future? You have no recourse. I'll stick to calling people who are accountable (to me as a voter) and abide by the law as the "good guys".

      And if you don't like some law (or what your government is doing) get off your arse and change it. You know you are living in a democracy?

      1. kissingthecarpet
        FAIL

        O Rly?

        That is All.

      2. Hooch181
        WTF?

        Ah...

        "Personally I don't think you should ever consider a group of self-appointed totally unaccountable people the "good guys".

        You talking about Lobyists, Bankers, Corperations and others who run our governments or Anonymous?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          OR more specifically, the likes of...

          ....Peter Mandelson.

          1. Hooch181
            Alien

            Lol...

            don't get me started, I still reckon he has lizard eyes!

        2. Sean O'Connor 1

          Nope

          > You talking about Lobyists, Bankers, Corperations and others who run our governments

          No, maybe in your mind they run the government but in the real world they don't. Grow up. If you struggle to spell long words correctly (or even use a spell checker) I'm not surprised your grip on reality is tenuous.

          1. Hooch181
            Paris Hilton

            It's a forum...

            you got my meaning!

            Is spelling all you could pick up on?

            Paris, cause I bet she wouldn't care about spelling!

            1. Scorchio!!
              Happy

              Re: It's a forum...

              "you got my meaning!

              Is spelling all you could pick up on?

              Paris, cause I bet she wouldn't care about spelling!"

              Since your reading skills appear to be impaired - you missed a significant and large category in your respondent's post - perhaps you should stick to minding stuff like Paris, or ask your mummy to help you with the big words.

              1. Hooch181
                Badgers

                Oh noes...

                Someone is trying to be mean to me on the interwebz!

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Flame

            Re: Nope

            I think you're the one who needs to grow up and see the world the way it really is.

            There is a ruling class in this country and it's not that mob in Westminster. I'm not even talking about the Royal Family. The Queen is a figurehead, nothing more. The political parties (if you can really see any difference between them) are all singing from the same hymn sheet when it comes to appeasing big corporations and stepping on the rights of the little guy.

          3. Anonymous Coward
            FAIL

            naive

            "No, maybe in your mind they run the government but in the real world they don't. Grow up. If you struggle to spell long words correctly (or even use a spell checker) I'm not surprised your grip on reality is tenuous."

            You don't have to be a conspiracy nut to see that financial institutions and corporate lobbyists have a hugely disproportionate say over how things are organised when compared to the rest of us. The idea that it's solely the government that runs the infrastructure free of outside influence is naive in the extreme and shows a complete lack of understanding of how modern society is arranged.

          4. Mike Flugennock
            FAIL

            Dude, stop digging...

            ...you're in deep enough already. (giggle)

          5. Anonymous Coward
            Stop

            Wait a second!

            You mean you're so naive to believe the governments are caring for the public interest ? You're cute!

          6. This post has been deleted by its author

        3. Scorchio!!
          FAIL

          Re: Ah...

          ""Personally I don't think you should ever consider a group of self-appointed totally unaccountable people the "good guys".

          You talking about Lobyists, Bankers, Corperations and others who run our governments or Anonymous?"

          People who use non sequitur arguments (I'll spell that out real slow for you in case you are reading impaired; a non sequitur argument or conclusion is one that does not follow from the initial premiss or data; wheeee! Did you see that? Elephant! Julian Assange is kind!) make themselves seem lacking in wit, quite apart from the fact that two wrongs do not make a right, especially when they're committed by unelected individuals claiming to represent all that is good/the people.

          1. Hooch181
            Pint

            Or maybe...

            they don't take things quite as seriously...

            I never suggested that two wrongs don't make a right. I just give Anon more credit for comedy value!

            There are things they do that I do agree with and things I don't. But at least they are funny!

            Have a pint and chill out...

      3. Ted Treen
        Big Brother

        Humph!

        "You know you are living in a democracy?"

        Can't be a post from the UK...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Grenade

          @Ted Treen

          > "You know you are living in a democracy?"

          >

          > Can't be a post from the UK...

          Or the US for that matter.

          1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

            Re: @Ted Treen

            Seriously, have a little goddamn perspective. Put the news on, or something.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Blah

              > Seriously, have a little goddamn perspective. Put the news on, or something

              Sarah, having lived in the Middle East for the best part of a decade, I fairly quickly came to the conclusion that they have a more representative form of government than the "West". Please do not let yourself be carried away by the inaccuracies and stereotypes which you are all fed in this part of the world.

              Not talking specifically about Egypt and the reasons why a certain, largely unpopular "leader" is able to cling to power for so long, but in general, I would suggest that putting "the news on" is about the worst thing you can do, as usually neither you as an spectator, not the journalist as a communicator have the necessary expertise in the subject matter being treated to understand what's going on. To boot, access to reliable information is often lacking as well.

              1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                FAIL

                RE: Blah

                ".....having lived in the Middle East for the best part of a decade...." I have to ask where, as you seem to have missed a lot of what other people might call "local goings on"?

                ".....I fairly quickly came to the conclusion that they have a more representative form of government than the "West"...." Hmmmm, so we can rule out Saudi Arabia (paternalistic monarchy that siezed power by climbing over a garden wall and murdering the incumbent monarch of the day, with the backing of an Imperial power; no free elections; and a current ruler that has stated “A system based on elections is not consistent with our Islamic creed"), Libya (current military dictator in place after a coup against the popular King that had gained independence; no free elections and no intention to ever hold free and fair elections; and a ruler that maintains his rule by a combination of repression and popularist policies funded by quickly-shrinking oil reserves), Jordan (the Hashemites were the losers in the war to control Saudi Arabia and were parachuted onto the throne of a created "country" of Jordan by the Brits in order to keep the losing half of the Arab tribes from starting a civil war with the Sauds; not even a local, he's a Saudi Arab - the majority of the local Arabs are of "Palestinian" Syrian origin; elections that are carefully prepped to make sure the PLO, Islamists and Shia do not get real power; and a current ruler that reputedly maintains the largest secret police force in the region), Iraq (whilst struggling towards democracy now, if you've been out there for a decade then you were working with Saddam's lackeys in the dictatorship years; currently spinning into a mix of lightly Islamic to full-on Islamic parties with little representation of the minority Christains or any other sects), Iran (kinda hard to work out whom is running the country, is it the Ayatollahs or the politicians in the Majlis, or the Islamic Revolutionary Guards, but none of them are keen or really free elections or representation for the Iranian Sunnis, let alone the non-Islamic minorities; questionable policies on equality, especially if you're female or homosexual; but really ironic that the whole Islamic Revolution mess came about because Prez Carter fluffed it badly, in a very similar way to how Obambi is fluffing the Egyptian issue), Syria (they did have some elections, but only in the Ba'ath Party, which is how the Assads came to rule; paternalistic dictatorship with the Assads determined to keep themselves as the royal family in everything but name; unrepresentative - Assad is an Allawite and uses sectarian differences between the larger Sunni, Shia and Druze tribes to keep Allawites in key and unelected government roles), the Lebanon (another imperial fudge, this time by the Fwench, suffering from years of brain-drain as many of the educated and well-financed scarpered to other countries; suffered for years in a sectarian civil war between unelected parties and meddling from the Syrians, Israelis, Americans, Saudis, Russians, Iranians and Palestinians; and currently one step away from becoming an Islamic republic under the control of a party that alledgedly murdered the last popularist and elected Prime Minister) and probably not any of the Gulf emirates (seeing as they are all ruled by monarchies with very tightly controlled "parliaments" selected by nepotism, tribalism and controlled elections), so did you spend your time in the area out to sea?

                "....Not talking specifically about Egypt and the reasons why a certain, largely unpopular "leader" is able to cling to power for so long....." Interesting, but let's do a little number checking - Egypt has a population of 80 million, so if we assume say 50% are of the age and ability to demonstrate, we should be seeing millions on the streets, but the largest Cairo demo (with buses laid on to bring in "spontaneous" protesters) only hit 100,000? Oh, and there seem to be a few people counter-protesting too. Could it be that, whilst unelected, Mubarak is still popular with many Egyptians? After all, if he was so unpopular, surely the Army would have turned on him by now? Sure, the Muslim Brotherhood might win many seats in a truly fair and open election, but that's not to say Moob's NDP couldn't still win enough to remain in control. Until there actually are real elections it's pretty much anyone's guess. After all, one of the reasons Moob's been able to "cling on" for so long is because Egypt has been at peace for decades, unlike many of the neighbouring Arab states.

                ".....neither you as an spectator, not the journalist as a communicator have the necessary expertise in the subject matter being treated to understand what's going on...." Let me guess, you think only you can form an educated opinion? Hate to burst your bubble, but the BBC is actually quite thorough in how they select and prep their reporters. Sure, it doesn't remove all bias, and it certainly doesn't mean they are always the best sources going, but the Beeb is pretty careful to give the best info it can. And seeing as it is not a private or commercial operation, unlike many other news broadcasters, it usually has less of a political bent.

            2. magnetik
              Thumb Down

              perspective

              Sarah, I've lived in Africa and seen 3rd world dictatorships first hand. Thing is, there's plenty of corruption in the west, it's just more subtle and manipulative.

              Put the news on? Like we did when the govt lied to us and said Saddam could strike London in 45 min?

              1. david wilson

                @magnetik

                >>"Put the news on? Like we did when the govt lied to us and said Saddam could strike London in 45 min?"

                And when did the government actually say that?

                References please.

                The claims actually seemed to be that some weapons could be ready to use within 45 minutes of an order being given.

                Though being concerned about the precise timing always seemed very odd anyway.

                If one country could attack a target within 45 minutes of being given an order by a bloodthirsty leader, and a second country would need many hours' warning to do the same, unless there was real confidence that in the case of the second country there would be time to discover the orders and intervene to stop things, should a potential target *really* feel much safer with the second country than the first?

                If we knew that a country had had (and used) chemical weapons for battlefield situations, who would really have been shocked by a 45 minute claim anyway?

                In any case, even if there'd been a situation where weapons would normally take some time to get ready, in any real conflict situation we'd have to expect that things may be put on a more rapid footing, so claims as to precise times seem fairly meaningless.

                1. Is it me?

                  At least

                  We get to vote for our liars, and when you lot grow up, you'll understand what democracy and politics are all about, we can choose which lies to believe. We also have the advantage of an independent judiciary, not always the case, they can and do moderate politicians.

                  In the UK and US you can publicly and loudly dissent, you have a right to spout any rubbish you want too, and the rest of us can listen or not as we choose.

                  In a dictatorship or one party state, there is only one set of lies, and disagreement becomes the choice of the politician to chop your head off or not.

                  If you don't like the US or UK systems, you have the right to join a political party or form one of your own and change things, might take a while, but change a lot of things you can.

                  Look at the freedoms you have, and compare them to those in Egypt, Libya and Iran. Look at the corruption in the western world, and compare it to Africa, and the middle east, do you really think we are that bad.

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