Robin Hood's or just plain trouble makers? Tis a hard one to decide isnt it?
The promised dump of its emails from News International by hacktivist group LulzSec failed to materialise on Tuesday. However a prominent affiliate of the group told El Reg that the release had only been delayed, rather than postponed. The UK end of the Murdoch media empire was hacked on Monday night, so that surfers visiting …
They've hacked NI email servers, which may very well have contained important evidence in ongoing criminal investigations, poisoning the reliability of those emails in the process. This might well have given a future defence counsel grounds to argue that there are reasonable doubts over whether any incriminating evidence was simply planted on those servers "for the lulz".
So, great job, LulzSec, you've interfered with an important investigation. I hope your giggles were worth it because who knows how much you've jeapordised the chances of prosecutions? If you were actually principled enough to be anti-Murdoch, you would have done better to leave those emails well alone.
Awaiting the downvotes from LulzSec's band of merry supporters.
What, are you saying that when Rebekah Brooks's husband had "a friend" leave his wife's laptop and phone in a dustbin located in a nearby underground parking garage, said "friend" might have been wiping data?
Why, that's... that's... that's probably exactly right.
But it would be very stupid for NI to blatantly commit perjury by getting someone to make their emails "disappear".
But OK, let's assume that NI does try and disappear the emails, so the only way one could get those emails would be via LulzSec (either directly or indirectly). Prosecution would be mad to try persuading a jury that they should trust black-hat hackers with an apparent grudge against Murdoch.
Maybe grey or better to you, maybe even to most people on El Reg but to a jury of the general public who'd hear that LulzSec hack websites and publicise their data hauls because they think it's funny? Very unlikely to be sympathetic, even if they don't care that LulzSec are engaged in unambiguously criminal behaviour.
So Mr black hat got one side. Now anyone with the other side can now validate the claims without fear of being found dead the next day.
If you got the emails from NI directly what are the chances you get them un-doctored?
I for one am much more interested in seeing what LulzSec have to publish than what news corp does.
"This might well have given a future defence counsel grounds to argue that there are reasonable doubts over whether any incriminating evidence was simply planted on those servers"
It's the job of the prosecution to prove their case and validity of their evidence and the job of defence to insist on that (unless they are willing to agree it is what the prosecution says) so nothing has really changed. There's always reasonable doubt potential in emails and electronic records.
Rule one; "admit nothing", force the prosecution to prove their claims.
In the 'court of public opinion' it works the other way round; people will believe what they read if predisposed to believing it leaving Murdoch & Co forced to prove it's not true or admit it is - with silence being taken as evidence of guilt. Poetic justice perhaps; live by the sword, die by the sword.
I'm not saying that if LulzSec hadn't hacked the emails, a prosecutor would get a free pass to admit them as evidence. My point is that any prosecution would now have a much harder time proving the emails have validity, maybe to the point where they can't prove it satisfactorily at all, than if LulzSec had just ****ed off. The obvious argument by the defence, that incriminating emails are just a LulzSec plant could turn out to be a golden bullet to protect criminals.
Sure, there's always doubt that a suspicious email wasn't the product of a disgruntled admin or whatever, but LulzSec didn't need to add to the bog standard reasons for questioning digital data. They're just giving the defence ammunition right now.
And another point that occurs to me - if and when all these emails hit the public domain, they'll be widely reported. What are the odds that WON'T prejudice a future trial?
Jury, schmury - if there's anyone on earth who deserves a trial by media, it's Rupert Murdoch. The more incriminating emails reach public eyes, the more they have to claim that it's all one big hacker prank - which is a hard sell with David Hoare mould'ring in the grave, bribed cops resigning en masse, Brooks behind bars, and the better part of a billion dollars paid over the years to settle disputes related to NI hacking jobs.
Jason Bloomberg - "In the 'court of public opinion' it works the other way round; people will believe what they read if predisposed to believing it leaving Murdoch & Co forced to prove it's not true or admit it is - with silence being taken as evidence of guilt. Poetic justice perhaps; live by the sword, die by the sword."
scarshapedstar - "Jury, schmury - if there's anyone on earth who deserves a trial by media, it's Rupert Murdoch. The more incriminating emails reach public eyes, the more they have to claim that it's all one big hacker prank - which is a hard sell with David Hoare mould'ring in the grave, bribed cops resigning en masse, Brooks behind bars, and the better part of a billion dollars paid over the years to settle disputes related to NI hacking jobs."
And the resultant publicity will make it very easy for News International's lawyers to argue that any chance of a fair trial by jury has been prejudiced, allowing Murdoch, Brooks, Coulson et al to get off scot free.
LulzSec = CluLesz
I don't want to see them go to jail, that just makes them the fall guys. I want to see their empire crumble. I want to see them publicly vilified like ACORN and boycotted and I want their US broadcast licenses yanked.
If it turns out they're innocent, just like ACORN turned out to be after FOX and co. slandered it 24/7, well isn't that just too bad.
It's extremely hard to believe that any incriminating emails remain on NI's systems at this stage, given that Knacker of the Yard is under some pressure to do his fucking job now, and could at some point put his size-12 through the front door with a warrant attached and some resolve to actually investigate properly this time. Yes, even the server that was upside-down in the locked toilet cubicle with the sign on the door saying "beware of the leopard".
The Tommy Sheridan case (which came up during the committee hearings yesterday) shows that emails that needed to be misplaced, already have been.
You're describing a scenario where LulzSec would have done no damage and, sure, that might be what happened here but we don't know that. LulzSec certainly couldn't have known for sure that there wouldn't be incriminating evidence when they did the hack and even NI probably couldn't have known with certainty that any "house-keeping" they'd done had been 100% successful (unlikely they would have wiped entire email archives because it would look very much like perjury, they'd have been selective in the deletion if they had any sense).
LulzSec were irresponsible (behaving irresponsibly is part of the point of their whole existance after all) and even if the "best" case scenario is that the evidence was already destroyed by that point, they don't deserve anything but condemnation.
My hope is that the police, under pressure to do their jobs, had long since backed up any NI emails by the time of the hack. Even if that happened, it hasn't been publicised, AFAIK, so it's unlikely that LulzSec knew the emails were safe when they hacked.
I have quoted below various extracts from an anonymous post against the Trevor Potts anon beatification article. With my interpretation of what Mr Anon was actually trying to say…….
> I have been using imageboards since 2004, when they first became english speaking. I would like to thank The Reg for providing a relatively balanced article even if most of the commentards have got the wrong end of the stick and think this is just about protesting.
> I am now over 30 and work in a job where I handle multimillion pound computing hardware and work in places with unmarked doors in walls in London which require industrial secrets act paperwork to so much as look at.
I am a Middle class guy doing very nicely thank you very much Western Society.
> I don't participate in raids that much, although I do love to sit there and watch the fallout sometimes.
I don’t want to take any chances that might affect my standard of living, but I do just love to watch some organisation take a load of flack. It is of course really funny when somebody I have persuaded to participate gets caught.
> So far I have however talked several people out of suicide. I've personally visited people who were kicked out of their home because their family found out they were transgendered, and bought them their first saucepan, fixed their computer and taught them how to survive. I've worked on the wireless mesh network you mentioned even though it didn't take off, mostly because people were too far away from each other to start establishing nodes. I've helped one of the people who worked on that network get through a really messy legal situation regarding access to her kids by her ex. I am now working on a wireless bulletin board (search for David Darts' "Piratebox"). I am also helping to rebuild Encyclopedia Dramtica after the original admin took her ball and went home (ate the ball by the look of her), and Essex police arrested our other one.
It gets even more funnier when I get to talk to the folks who’s lives I have wrecked. Some of them are thinking about suicide, but after I promise to phone them in Prison, go along for visits they calm down. Mmmmm just love to see them suffer he he……..
> I have found a bunch of brilliant people that I hope to know for the rest of my life.
Most of whom will be easy to keep in touch with as the prison system will readily supply me their address.
> Anonymous isn't about protesting. It isn't about hiding behind an umbrella, or a banner to hold. It is simply a situation where people can be free to be human: To be the brilliant nasty inventive destructive beautiful monsters that people are deep down, when they aren't having to hide behind the mask of society. It is being the idd with all of the demons within. This is more about being "Project Mayhem" than being the next greenpeace or peta.
Yes my employer doesn’t even know that I’m involved, and I get to watch two bunches of people suffer. It's not that I am a sadist I just get off on all the human misery mmmm.
> Staying anonymous is probably a good idea. People have commented that hiding your identity is cowardly compared to notable rebels from the past, but in this day and age of information, the game has changed. When businesses are firing people because there was a picture tagged with their name of them holding a drink at a party, and crowd control at events is starting with people using computers to analyse the faces, body shapes and walks of everyone there so a dossier can be compiled rather than actively watching troublemakers then something is rapidly becoming very wrong. If a company demands my social network logins in the future so that HR can go snoop at it then i will tell them I log on to imageboards, my username is anonymous and they can go datamine that. I might even link them to /d/ for some family friendly entertainment...
> What more can I say, sometimes the world needs a few things to be broken by people doing stuff for shits and giggles. It stops us becoming a race of people that wear their identical shirts and ties to work, driving their identical silver cars (for maximum resale value) and blindly accepting the status quo, living like a pig in a cage to quote an old lyric that seems quite apt.
I just find it so funny, and of course no pain no gain. Oh yes just long as it isn’t my pain.
> I would also like to add that the masks come from a comic on 4chan, where the character ends up wearing one. Anon started wearing them because it was funny. We were wearing afro wigs and black suits before that when doing stuff in meatspace before that.
So is the commentator a nice guy, maybe a Robin Hood, not in my opinion. You decide?
... but without a copy of the song, I'm running on poor memory and writing this in between working on machines.
You had it all, your life was blessed.
Had politicians living in distress.
One word from you and then they found,
That fortunes turned themselves around.
Your papers sang, and out was Brown.
Farewell Murdock it's hard to lie,
Your face all covered up in whipped-cream pie.
Your nice new suit it looks a mess.
Your sat with MP's playing chess,
A reputation in distress.
Farewell Murdock, it's time to cry.
Your fortunes under IC's seeing eye.
The US Feds are not impressed.
Your share price, it is in distress,
Time to start beating on your chest.
You had joy, you had fun,
With your money, so much done.
But with hackers enraged,
All your systems then were caged.
My dear man, it all went wrong.
One phone hack later and your fate was sewn.
The public feeling changed its tune.
It turned it's back, "The News Of Screws,"
It was really in the poo.
"We had joy, We had Fun,
We have Root on Murdoch's Sun."
And your systems were Pawned,
While your e-mail stash was owned.
ACS:Law's emails were exposed because they restored the backup file of them to a publicly accessible part of their website. I'm guessing News Corp's PFY isn't quite that stupid.
It wouldn't surprise me if these emails emerged about the same time as Tony Blair's evidence of Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq.
Maybe I'm too cynical here but it seems that every time they get a chance to proof their actions its never really happening, not in full anyway.
Last time with the e-mail accounts "from their database". It included non-existing addy's (in a time where e-mail checks are fully common?) and even double entries (same address; 2 passwords). Before that; the so called PSN hack, they also released material (not even archived; yet still stating that it was "too much too share at once") and even though this material was considered high profile I never read anything about people recognizing their own accounts. That was odd IMO.
Its quite common not to get recognition from the companies you attacked, yet more and more do I get the feeling that this is the one thing Lulz is graciously using. They spout news, the companies don't say a word and people are all too willing to believe the hackers no matter what.
And here another fine example. I don't question their SQL injection scheme; but lets be realistic; that wasn't extremely hard. I'd guess it was more work to find out about it than to abuse it. And that hole got covered rather quick. A nice scam, but not that hightech.
So now we have claims of "we did even better" but the proof has yet to appear... again.
Could it be possible that this group isn't actively being hunted because there's not much to gain for the government and companies here?
Let's say, just for the sake of argument, that they do actually have real, incriminating emails. I wouldn't be the first to point out that the release of such might actually make it harder to prosecute. How could a fair trial be had when a lot of evidence is already in the public domain? No doubt extremely embarrassing for Newscorp, and quite possibly enough to scupper a large part of their UK business, but not particularly conducive to a proper legal outcome.
It might make Newscorp look better if they were to confess all with appropriate humility before any such release. But if Lulzsec don't have anything, then such a confession would put Newscorp in a worse position for nothing.
So, the questions are;
1) do Lulzsec have anything?
2) do Newscorp actually have anything to hid?
3) who blinks first?
That depends. If the evidence incontrovertibly proves criminal wrong-doing, it doesn't prejudice anything by being in the public domain.
You don't get murder trials thrown out just because a video of you carrying out the crime has been shown on TV. It doesn't follow that because everybody knows that you're guilty that your trial would be unfair.
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Please, go get a clue. They have already shown they use downloaded tools for the SQL injection attacks. There are automated attack tools for Solaris (and AIX, and hp-ux) out there, I'm betting all they did was run a scanning tool and it led them by the nose. No skillz, just luck and downloads. And all they achieved was to ruin the chances of any of the data on any of the NI servers from being used in court, as now Murdoch can claim anything on there was planted by the Lultwitz.
There are two main possibilities in this that I see, especially given the timing that they claim access to the email database the day before the Murdoch's and co speak in the commons.
1) They don't have the email database, but claim they do to try and pressure the Murdoch's into telling the truth.
2) They do have the database but want to wait until after the Murdoch's speak so that they can then release things that prove the Murdoch's are in comtempt of parliament and deserve time in the big house as a result.
The longer it is until we see emails, the more likely the scenario is (1).
I too am more likely to lean towards point 1 but point 2 is also a very good one. My first reaction to that would be "But why would they (Mudoch & company) be afraid for this; it should be possible to question the source and legitimacy is those e-mails do appear".
That was until I read what kind of fruitcakes we're actually dealing with here (meaning Murdoch & company again). Ms. Brooks had a laptop which she apparently didn't want to be found. And so she put it with the trash. No destruction, no magnets, no hammers no demolishing. Just close it up and put it with the trash.
I don't care how computer illiterate you are but truly; how dumb and ignorant can you be when you do that kind of stuff ? I mean really; the very very least try to break stuff, crush stuff or even throw the entire laptop into the river...
SO with that in mind I also think point 2 also could be a good one. Then again; when looking at the Lulz history I'm not too sure they'd care that much.
At the very least buy a small USB drive, swap the HDD out and dispose of the original drive. Anyone now looking at the laptop will see a laptop that is blank and no data on it. The original drive you could simply wipe and use as a bog standard portable, or even better drive a couple of 9 inch nails through it to shatter the platter.
I (hope) that Lulz are not so stupid as to dump the whole trove and thus give the defense an easy way out of court.
The way to handle this sort of data cache is to leak it, slowly. So on day 1 you post the email that says X was illegally doing Y. Let that get reported, hear those denials fro X, etc. Then a few days later you leak the evidence that X's boss approved the action. And so on and so on, keeping the story in the news for day after day.
Mine's the one with the black hat.
"the release had only been delayed, rather than postponed."
What does that even mean?
"cause or arrange for (something) to take place at a time later than that first scheduled: the visit had to be postponed for some time" (http://oxforddictionaries.com/definition/postpone)
"make (someone or something) late or slow...
[no object] be late or slow; loiter...
postpone or defer (an action)..." (http://oxforddictionaries.com/definition/delay)
The difference is not postponed vs delayed in that context, It's the noun that was postponed or delayed. You can trivially tell this by switching the words:
"Our flight was postponed and we eventually delayed the trip."
In the original quotation, the subject of the verb remains the same, in your example it changes. The change in subject implies a difference in the time frame, not a change in the synonymous verbs.
A 'delayed event' refers to a scheduled event happening an unknown amount of time in the future.
A 'postponed event' refers to a scheduled event that has been rescheduled to happen at a precise time in the future.
Eg, 'The flight was delayed for 4 hours, before they gave up and postponed it until 9am tomorrow'.
Ergo if LulzSec had postponed the release, they would have announced when it was rescheduled to be released.
Of course, you can also have 'indefinitely postponed', which would be a delay.
I <3 English
It would be interesting to see if they (NI) can produce the actual backups of the email database to refute (or more likely confirm) the claimed content.
The thing about email is that at least one copy of every email sent or received probably also exists on someone else's computer over which you don't have any control.
So for an investigator with a copy of the hacked emails, it would not be too difficult to take a random sample, contact the other parties to said emails, and verify if they do indeed match. Once you have a good correlation it becomes a whole lot harder for NI to refute and claim they have been altered by the hackers.
".....The thing about email is that at least one copy of every email sent or received probably also exists on someone else's computer over which you don't have any control....." Unlikely. All the interesting emails would have been between NI emplyees and their computers and email accounts would have been completely under their sysadmins' control. If they were using a centralised email system like Notes or Exchange, it's very easy to find and delete all emails for a given date or person. I'm betting teh Lultwitz did get into an insecure Solrais server (via downloaded tools) and then got very little further.
But the bit that really makes me think the Lultwitz are talking out their backsides is the emails in question are for a period when they would probably have been archived off onto tape or the like, so unless the Lultwitz are also going to claim they hacked tape remotely, I think it's all ego-stroking male bovine manure.
I simply can't believe the fawning knobheads in these comments who think that lulzSec(WTF??) are anything other than petty little criminals who need catching and full prosecution. They have committed criminal acts! Do you understand the importance of ensuring that we don't condone these acts? What if they had broken into your home, would that be fine as long as they are doing it for the lulz? These little pricks remind me of blackbirds annoying a cat, and all you pussies sit by and approve! Grow the fuck up, LulzBois!
So a group of script kiddies are more suited to meting out justice that the organised police and judicial systems are they? What sort of stupidity is this? So the police didn't prosecute anyone from NI previously? Look into this as well, rather than allow a bunch of prats to ride roughshod over the legal system. This is NOT a game, LulzBoi!
I don't think they are "meting out justice", but rather stirring things up. Illegal? Most certainly. Bad for society as a whole? Maybe not.
Would we be better off if the un-redacted MP's expenses had not been leaked to the public? That was an illegal act after all.
Or what about ACS:Law? Their reign of legal blackmail might have been stopped in due course after a lot of careful weighing up by The Law Society, but that could have taken years. Maybe those on then end of baseless 'pay up or else' threats were relieved a good deal faster by the release of the (illegally obtained) email archive to the world?
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Funny the release was "postponed" right about the same time a number of homes of suspected Lulzsec and Anon members got arrested and their computers carted off by the fuzz.
I bet those fortunate enough to not be arrested don't have anything of consequence to release. Its better for them to say the "release was postponed" than to lose face and say they don't have it or give law enforcement any credit for arrests potentially having an impact.
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