back to article Welsh Linux Mint terror nerd jailed for 8 years

Linux Mint terrorist Samata Ullah has been jailed for eight years by Cardiff Crown Court. Ullah, as we reported on Friday, was caught with, among other things, a USB cufflink loaded with a copy of the Linux distro. The former insurance worker pleaded guilty to five terrorism charges, including being a member of Islamic State …

  1. Your alien overlord - fear me

    Is hosting on ZeroNet really encrypted? It sounds more like a service the internet was built for - keeping resources alive despite nodule failures.

    1. BebopWeBop Silver badge
      Facepalm

      security through obscurity perchance? And we all know ho well that works....

  2. NoneSuch
    Coffee/keyboard

    Who will bet the list of banned organizations will get shorter every year?

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Thank goodness storing linux in weird places isn't illegal.

    1. Ole Juul Silver badge

      Yeah, I've got linux isos up the ying yang.

  4. Kubla Cant Silver badge

    Clickbait headline

    In what way does the possession of a copy of Linux Mint on a USB device qualify somebody as a "Linux Mint terrorist"? I have copies of Mint on several devices, including laptop and desktop computers. Does that make me a Linux Mint battlegroup?

    I dare say he also had a smartphone - could he also be an Android terrorist?

    1. 1Rafayal

      Re: Clickbait headline

      He used Linux Mint on a USB drive to store documents relating to terrorism.

      Seems pretty straight forward to me.

      1. asdf Silver badge

        Re: Clickbait headline

        >He used Linux Mint on a USB drive to store documents relating to terrorism.

        If he had use OpenBSD with FDE on a USB stick they may well have never gotten access to those documents (though UK forcing you to give up passwords is some bullshit). Thing is they would have found other ways to nail this dick head (like using Wordpress (hello malware) to spread that garbage).

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Clickbait headline

          @asdf ... getting access to encrypted documents can be much easier than you might think. Check out xkcd #538

          1. 1Rafayal

            Re: Clickbait headline

            Yes, and if he had stored them on an EC2 instance running veracrypt, things could have been harder.

            The point is that this guy learned enough about cyber security to make his plans a reality.

      2. Kiwi Silver badge
        Black Helicopters

        Re: Clickbait headline

        He used Linux Mint on a USB drive to store documents relating to terrorism.

        Seems pretty straight forward to me.

        I might be a bit odd but... I've often managed to store documents and even movies on USB drives without the need to have an OS on them!

        But what might really scare the authorities is that I have a USB stick that has Mint, Falcon4, an older Fedora and a Win7 installer. It also has documents that may "be of interest to a terrorist organisation" - help files for F4, instructions on how to install Mint or 7 and a few other things (hey, I'm sure some of those people in Daesh etc would love to know how to install an OS or fix a broken computer! :) )

        I better head to bed now. There's been a military-looking chopper circling my place on a regular basis these last few weeks.1 They must have found my secret mountain lair!2 They're on to me! 3

        1 True - there has been a military-looking (ie grey) chopper making regular overflights and some circling in the area above me. But a) I'm in a common chopper flight path (get several every day) and b) there's actually another relevant reason for it.

        2 Well it would be my secret mountain lair if I lived on a mountain. And if this place was secret.

        3 Course they're on to me! Not like I keep my activities secret...

      3. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

        Re: Clickbait headline

        "He used Linux Mint on a USB drive to store documents relating to terrorism"

        um , its not clear to me why you need to store an OS with your document.

        1. JCitizen
          Holmes

          Re: Clickbait headline

          @Prst. V. Jelzt

          I can think of one reason - using that technique, he could use libraries and/or web cafes to run his system in boot mode, completely separated from the host machine. This would negate needing to always have a hardware device with whatever OS would be installed. It would make him device independent. Not a 'bad' thought for a terrorist.

          Personally, I'd want a separate device to save the files to, except that partitioning may help wrangle most malware variants during the write session. I'm not sure if any of these devices have a feature with one non writable partition, and other write capable partitions or not. That would be the best option, if it is possible.

          If he were caught with an original computing device, there would be an even more permanent trail for authorities to back track his movements and activities; I assume using it as a "Live CD" would automatically remove all files and traces of web surfing, except for only those things saved into a file location.

          This technique is also used by folks interested in having a safe method of online banking. Each boot session is clean as a whistle because malware and tracking cookies, ect. cannot survive the next boot session. To save files would require temporarily removing the USB and switching the write protect on and off as required for saving documents, and ect.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Being Welsh

    Was that really relevant in the headline? Or is it like Wimbledon or the Olympics etc?, when they win they are British, when the lose they are Scottish/Welsh/Northern Irish?

    A bloke from England.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Being Welsh

      Being Welsh is inherently funny. Imagine Allahu akbar in a Welsh accent.

      1. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

        Re: Being Welsh

        Ay, mun, tidy!

        But it does need to be in arabic - "Iesu Annwyl!" just doesn't have the same ring about it as a battle cry when driving a suicide tractor at a flock of infidel sheep.

        1. Stevie Silver badge
          Pint

          URe: Suicide Tractor

          Pint for you.

        2. handleoclast Silver badge

          Re: Suicide tractor?

          You can't be Welsh if you could contemplate the idea of a suicide tractor.

          I've visited Wales. More importantly, I've been in newsagents in Wales.

          Top shelf of a newsagent in Wales: 50% wank mags, 50% tractor mags. And the wank mags are only there for tourists. The Welsh have an unhealthy obsession with tractors.

          Dim ysmygu ar y bws, diolch.

          1. ploppy

            Re: Suicide tractor?

            > Dim ysmygu ar y bws, diolch.

            Surely Dim rhyw ar y tractor, diolch.

            I've happened to be trapped in a newsagents in Carmathen looking at such a combination of wank mags and tractor mags, while the local tractor rally has had their annual drive-through the town. Surreal.

            But I have to admit there were some nice tractors there too mind.

            And I am Welsh, but not from Carmarthen.

            1. Bernard M. Orwell Silver badge

              Re: Suicide tractor?

              "I've happened to be trapped in a newsagents in Carmathen looking at such a combination of wank mags and tractor mags, while the local tractor rally has had their annual drive-through the town."

              If the magazines are of any indication, I think you attended during the correct annual festival....

            2. Jamie Jones Silver badge

              Re: Suicide tractor?

              At least wasn't an ice-cream van.... https://vimeo.com/117672124 NSFWish

            3. jelabarre59 Silver badge

              Re: Suicide tractor?

              I've happened to be trapped in a newsagents in Carmathen looking at such a combination of wank mags and tractor mags, while the local tractor rally has had their annual drive-through the town. Surreal.

              What, no wank mags with pictures of tractors?

        3. mstreet
          Coat

          Re: Being Welsh

          "...just doesn't have the same ring about it as a battle cry..."

          Try yelling it backwards. Lots of things sound scarier when you say them in reverse, though sometimes you need to remove then re-add the qualifiers for plurality...

          For instance, what sounds more terrifying:

          The Canadians are coming!

          The Adanacs are coming!

          Only one of those lines gets me worriedly looking at the horizon....

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Being Welsh

        "Being Welsh is inherently funny."

        With comments like you need to careful otherwise the Welsh-Lambic State will give you a right proper blowing up boyo.

        1. Bernard M. Orwell Silver badge

          Re: Being Welsh

          Only ignorant Englishmen say "Boyo".

          Us Welsh say "butt" instead, which is clearly better.

    2. Jamie Jones Silver badge

      Re: Being Welsh

      Being Welsh, I wasn't offended that his Welshness was mentioned.

      1. Captain Badmouth
        Holmes

        Re: Being Welsh

        What offended me was the "boyo" bit. FFS, nobody says that anymore wuss.

    3. asdf Silver badge

      Re: Being Welsh

      For us Yanks being Welsh is a bit of a mix between West Virginia (where many Welsh actually settled) and Iowa.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Root-de-toot

      "Was that really relevant in the headline?"

      Came here to say this. Guy in question is an odious **** who deserves everything he gets- and a lot more- for what he did, but that's nothing to do with him being Welsh.

      Wasn't so much the mention of his nationality as it being an excuse for the usual "funny" stereotyping that it probably wouldn't have occurred to the staff to include if the guy in question had been a fellow up-his-own-arse Londoner. If you're going to do this, at least do it to everyone.

      I put this criticism to The Register's London-based editor, and this was his response.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Root-de-toot

        "an excuse for the usual "funny" stereotyping that it probably wouldn't have occurred to the staff to include if the guy in question had been a fellow up-his-own-arse Londoner. If you're going to do this, at least do it to everyone."

        It's El Reg,, and they do do it to everyone if they can find a humorous stereotype link. If he'd been a Laaandoner, then no doubt some sort of cock-a-ney reference would have been raised. If he'd been a Wearsider, no doubt a pun on "going down" would have sufficed. I'd he'd been from Newcastle, something about "on the up" and a link to financial shehanigans would have been slipped in.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Root-de-toot

          "If he'd been a Laaandoner, then no doubt some sort of cock-a-ney reference would have been raised."

          Not true- else every third Register story would be full of references to Pearly Kings and Queens and jellied eels....

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    6.1terabytes seized.

    That's a serious amount of HD video, many hundreds of hours, and most of the Jihadist video I've seen on the news wasn't that high quality. I can't think of any data that would be that large other than video, and I'm therefore presuming a lot of it wasn't Jihadist.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      So, 5.9 TB of Welsh Tractor Porn then?

      1. Chronos Silver badge

        In the context of this discussion, Land Rovers from Series 1 to Defender == extremely provocative tractors.

        1. BebopWeBop Silver badge
          Coat

          The original Landrovers (steering wheel in the middle) were promoted with pictures of them pulling harrows and small ploughs

          1. Bernard M. Orwell Silver badge
            Gimp

            "The original Landrovers (steering wheel in the middle) were promoted with pictures of them pulling harrows and small ploughs"

            Utter filth! You go and wash your mouth out right now, young man!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "6.1 terror-bytes", surely?

  7. GrapeBunch Bronze badge

    Push Pull

    I wonder if Islamic State could get more "traction" by declaring its supporters "citizens", issuing passports etc? Or would that not work because the community of nations hasn't welcomed IS into its ranks? Surely that sort of manoeuvre was on their mind when they named themselves a "State" ? I'm not a supporter of IS, just wondering out loud.

    1. 1Rafayal

      Re: Push Pull

      To do that would mean creating a nation state.

      Creating a new state means that people can go to war with them directly etc.

      Plus, why would an organisation want to equip its members with passports that no country would honour and identify the holder as an ISIS supporter?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Push Pull

        Just for shits and giggles really . or to go through the motions. They make thier own money as well.

        Actually i think they already do , they probly use slaves . or severed heads.

  8. Brian Miller

    Threat level: soft and fluffy

    Every time legislation gets passed to allegedly get the masterminds and the guys making and setting the bombs, all we invariably get are these low-level non-threat motormouths. Or the police/feds/____ are running an illegal entrapment operation.

    As for ZeroNet, their motto is: "We believe in open, free, and uncensored network and communication." So how is "open, free" hidden and encrypted? Bit of a stretch, there.

    1. Kiwi Silver badge

      Re: Threat level: soft and fluffy

      Every time legislation gets passed to allegedly get the masterminds and the guys making and setting the bombs, all we invariably get are these low-level non-threat motormouths.

      You sometimes have to wonder eh.. So much cannon-fodder found, so few real targets. Like how the unending "war on drugs" catches the mules and some of the street sellers, but never the higher-ups (well, almost never, they have to have a token one every now and then or the pundits might get suspicious!).

      I have no doubt that terrorism is real. But so much western stuff is "Iraq has WMD's that could be deployed in as little as 15 minutes" or whatever it was. And seeing what we have for "news" media here in NZ, I doubt most of what they mention on there. In fact if they were to mention my name I'd even doubt that I exist, their reporting is so often so false!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Threat level: soft and fluffy

        As long as we keep providing the hook handed ring leaders with a constant supply of legal aid and council houses, we're really not going to make progress.

        Thats not how we beat the nazis!

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hosted P2P?

    What exactly is a "hosted [...] peer-to-peer service"? I assume it's a P2P content distribution platform where some basic configuration or control/management services have a central authority. Can someone shed some light?

    For example, I think of Hola as a P2P "VPN" service that has centralized node management. Is this similar?

  10. Winkypop Silver badge
    Devil

    Cufflinks?

    How 1970's

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Steve Ballmer was right

    Linux is the devil

  12. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

    subject to close supervision by the British authorities.

    We're fucked! Pretty much every terrorist attack across the UK and the wider EU has been carried out by people later announced as having been "known to the security services".

    1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

      Re: subject to close supervision by the British authorities.

      Ah, but these days, we are all "known to the security services"...

  13. tiggity Silver badge

    Given how much stuff they monitor just about everyone is known to the security services.

    More seriously, it's a common complaint - never mind the mania for more monitoring of everyone (so making a far larger haystack to find your needles in), lots of security services criticism has pointed out the high number of "known" individuals involved in incidents after the fact, suggesting either not enough resources to properly monitor those who are "properly suspect" e.g. IsLAMBic state supporters (token Welsh gag) or if a "known" person does not seem to do much for a while then they take their eye off the ball a bit.

  14. Bob Hoskins

    Innocent until proven Welsh

    And Muslim.

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