“Anonymous is a hydra, cut off one head and we grow two back.”
It was one of thousands of micro-messages sent early Tuesday from Twitter accounts associated with the loose-knit yet internationally scattered and seemingly unstoppable hacking collective Anonymous. Seemingly unstoppable because a reign of high-profile assaults on governments, corporations and other entities with questionable connections has become a calling card of a group that has experienced few losses in a checkered online career that has at the same time spawned successful exploits against the likes of the FBI, CIA, SONY and the Motion Picture Association of America.
Seemingly, however, is a word absolutely worthy of emphasis in this instance.
Authorities announced early Tuesday that a handful of operatives allegedly involved with the Anonymous collective and a now defunct offshoot, LulzSec, had been arrested. What’s more, adds officials, is that an alleged ringleader, a hacker who used the alias Sabu over the Web, had been cooperating with the Federal Bureau of Investigation since June 2011.
In all, the FBI announced they charged five hackers in the US and abroad on Tuesday, with a sixth pleading guilty for related crimes. “We’re chopping off the head of LulzSec,” an FBI official close to the investigation told media outlets early Tuesday. “This is devastating to the organization.”
For Anonymous, however, the end is far from here.
The YourAnonNews Twitter account, an unofficial press liaison of sorts for the group, was quick to tweet to half-a-million followers that Anonymous will only get bigger. At a time when authorities are alleging that they have removed the center stone from the Web’s most feared foe, Anonymous is responding that their war is only beginning. The hydra’s second head was being birthed within mere moments; it’s angry, too.
Anonymous says they aren’t dead. It would even appear already as if they are opening up a second front: this time on one of their own.
Authorities say Sabu, born Hector Xavier Monsegur, plead guilty to charges relating to his involvement in the hacking group back on August 15. The FBI calls him an “influential member of three hacking organizations – Anonymous, Internet Feds and Lulz Security,” and links him to Anon-led attacks on Visa, MasterCard, the US Senate, PayPal and even the governments of Tunisia and Zimbabwe, among others.
Tag Archives: cyber
“Anonymous is a hydra, cut off one head and we grow two back.”
Hector Xavier Monsegur, aka Sabu, has plead guilty to several counts of computer hacking conspiracy, access device fraud and other crimes.
Monsegur’s charges and plea were unsealed by the FBI as they arrested 5 top members of hacktivist groups Anonymous and LulzSec. According to the Bureau’s statement, the 28 year old New York-based hacker was busted in August 2011 and convinced to work with the Feds. It is unclear whether his case will go to trial or whether his lengthy cooperation with the agents will see his sentence reduced. At the moment, the FBI indictment says his crimes can get him 124 years and 6 months of prison time.
The father of two pled guilty to three counts of computer hacking conspiracy, five counts of computer hacking, one count of computer hacking in furtherance of fraud, one count of conspiracy to commit access device fraud, one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, and one count of aggravated identity theft.
Allegedly, the hacktivist’s weak spot was his children. “He didn’t go easy,” a law enforcement official involved in flipping Sabu told FoxNews.com. “It was because of his kids. He didn’t want to go away to prison and leave them. That’s how we got him.
In the 6 months that Sabu cooperated with the FBI, the agents apparently got more than enough evidence to arrest and charge 5 top hacktivists. Sabu himself, although described as ‘distant and different’ by many of his fellow hackers, tried to keep up appearances to the very end with tweets like “The federal government is run by a bunch of fucking cowards. Don’t give in to these people. Fight back. Stay strong.”
Whether this was just Monsegur working on not being made for a snitch or a sincere regret for his betrayal and a veiled apology to his fellow hackers, only he knows. But the Anonymous community has certainly made up its mind, telling followers on Twitter that “We are done talking about Sabu. He is a person who is too scared for revolution. We will continue to fight and show that Sabu was no one.” Even more telling is the hashtag most frequently seen in Anonymous-related posts: #fuckSabu.
The loose-knit online collective Anonymous is going after another US government entity, but not with the hacks, attacks and other assaults on par with their usual Internet infiltrations.
Instead, Anonymous is saying that the National Security Agency (NSA) is guilty of propagating fear among America.
A popular Twitter account associated with the hacktivist group Anonymous is saying that the NSA is engaged in fear-mongering after a recent Wall Street Journal report alleged that government officials feel that the computer group could eventually disrupt power grids across the globe. According to sources close to the NSA, the Journal filed a report that reveals comments allegedly made by the agency’s director, Gen. Keith Alexander, during engagements at the White House and elsewhere.
According to the Journal, the NSA fears that Anonymous could “bring about a limited power outage through a cyberattack” within the next year or two.
Neither Alexander nor the NSA have publically addressed whether or not they feel that the hacktivist group poses an actual threat to the world’s power grid, but according to the YourAnonNews Twitter account, these allegations exposed by the Journal are both baseless and outrageous.
“Why would Anons shut off a power grid? There are ppl on life support / other vital services that rely on it. Try again NSA. #FearMongering,” reads a recent tweet from the account. Other tweets sent from the account on Tuesday call the alleged comments from Gen. Alexander “fear-mongering at its best” and “ridiculous.”
Although Anonymous has no official spokesperson, organization or membership, the YourAnonNews account has in the past confirmed and announced Anon-related activity. It is considered one of the most reliable conduits for events pertaining to the Anonymous agenda and has more than half-a-million followers subscribed to its tweets.
Alleged recording of call between FBI and Scotland Yard about operations against Anonymous is released on internet.
Last Modified: 03 Feb 2012 18:52
Hacker group Anonymous has released a recording of what appears to be a conference call between the US Federal Bureau of Investigation and Scotland Yard held last month to discuss operations against the group.
The audio of the nearly 17-minute conference call was posted on YouTube along with an email invitation from an FBI agent setting up the call for January 17.
The FBI did not immediately return phone calls or emails asking about the Anonymous claim. A spokesman for Scotland Yard told the AFP news agency: “We are looking into the reports.”
The email invites members of European law enforcement agencies to take part in a conference call “to discuss the on-going investigations related to Anonymous, Lulzsec, Antisec, and other associated splinter groups”.
The email, with details for accessing the call, was sent to law enforcement officials in Britain, France, the Netherlands and others. The only people who identify themselves on the call are from the FBI and Scotland Yard.
In a message on Twitter, Anonymous posted links to the audio recording and said the FBI “might be curious how we’re able to continuously read their internal comms for some time now”.
At various times during the call, the British and US participants mention Jake Davis and Ryan Cleary, two British teenagers who were arrested last year over hacking.
Davis is charged with hacking into websites, including that of Britain’s Serious Organised Crime Agency, which was out of service for several hours on June 20 after apparently being targeted.
Cleary was detained in connection with a month-long global rampage last year by the Anonymous splinter group Lulz Security.
- Ernesto December 13, 2011
With increasing lobbying efforts from the entertainment industry against BitTorrent sites and users, we wondered whether these companies hold themselves to the same standards they demand of others. After some initial skimming we’ve discovered BitTorrent pirates at nearly every major entertainment industry company in the US, including Sony Pictures Entertainment, Fox Entertainment and NBC Universal. Busted.
A few days ago we wrote about a new website that exposes what people behind an IP-address have downloaded on BitTorrent. The Russian-based founders of the site developed the service so people can show their friends how public their downloading habits are, and that is exactly what we’re going to do today.
Armed with the IP-ranges of major Hollywood studios we decided to find out what they’ve been downloading. As expected, it didn’t take us long before we found BitTorrent ‘pirates’ at several leading entertainment industry companies. Yes, these are the same companies who want to disconnect people from the Internet after they’ve been caught sharing copyrighted material.
First up is Sony Pictures Entertainment. As shown below, on this single IP-address alone a wide variety of music and movies have been downloaded. And this is probably just the tip of the iceberg, as YouHaveDownloaded only tracks only a small percentage of all public BitTorrent downloads.
The assumption that the US has the technological know-how to cripple a competing nation has always been just that: as assumption. In a recent sit-down interview, however, a former spy chief confirmed that America has already waged cyber attacks.
Mike McConnell, the former director of national intelligence at the National Security Agency under George W Bush, tells Reuters this week that cyber war is more than a distant possibility. According to the current vice chairman at Booz Allen Hamilton, the US has already launched attacks on the computer networks of other nations.
McConnell did not add any input as to what countries have been hit with American cyber warfare in the past, but he did confirm that the US has already used the ability. When asked by Reuters if the United States had the capability to destroy the computer system of an adversary, McConnell responded “Yes.” When asked if it worked, he confirmed“yes” as well.