Disgraced security firm asked Bank of America to fund anti-Wikileaks/anti-Glenn Greenwald campaign

Last week, hackers operating under the Anonymous banner broken into servers for HBGary, a security firm whose COO, Aaron Barr had declared his intention to reveal the identities of key people operating as Anonymous. The hackers released 50,000-some emails from HBGary, including a series of slides presented to Bank of America by HBGary and two other security firms, Palantir Technologies and Berico Technologies.

The slide presentation proposes a series of dirty tricks to neutralize Wikileaks and its supporters, including targetted attacks on Salon's Glenn Greenwald, as well as infrastructure attacks, disinformation campaigns, and sabotage. There's no indication that Bank of America signed off on this plan.

Data intelligence firms proposed a systematic attack against WikiLeaks


  1. Cyber attacks against another person’s system? When are they getting charged with criminal conspiracy?

    1. I wonder if the local DA has seen this…

      “Palantir is headquartered in sunny downtown Palo Alto, CA with offices in Tysons Corner, VA and London, UK.”

  2. My favorite part was their accusation of a “liberal bent”. I got a liberal bent with their name on it….


    Lackeys attempting to suckle at the teat of the Military / Nat’l Security budgets. Good work Anon !

  4. People get paid to come up with crap like this? The whole presentation boils down to publicly available information, some superficial data gathering attempts and then just a single page dedicated to an actual strategy which consists of vague ideas of what type of activities would need to take place. It would have be fantastic if it turns out BoA actually sigend on to this as we’d then have verifiable information that its run by idiots. Holding off on releasing the BofA leak is turning out to be a great strategy, though, as the build up brings more characters like this out of the woodwork.

  5. What I like is the touchingly quaint idea that neutralizing an opinion leader will take the heat off them. It’s similar to the Goodfellahs of Egypt thinking they can buffalo the Street by co-opting yesterday’s leaders.

    Parts of the document read like L. Ron Hubbard’s instructions to the OSA (Office of Special Affairs) for dealing with “Suppressive Persons.” See “dead agenting.”

    Strictly amateur-hour. We’re losing to these guys why?

      1. Because at the end of the day they have bigger guns and are not afraid to use them See: Wackenhut, Dyncorp, Cassolaro, etc.

  6. I wonder if Palantir Technologies have licence to the use of “Palantir” from the Tolkien Foundation.

  7. “Palantir Technologies”? An imaginative name for your company, guys, but it doesn’t have entirely positive associations.

  8. That hero’s name is Glenn Greenwald with 2 N’s in the first name, btw.

    The following is my fanboy review of Glenn:

    Reading his stuff always cheers me up, maybe because of the fact of how brilliant his exposure of the nakedly corrupt system is. He says sometimes his readers ask him why he sounds so angry, and he replied by saying, how could he not be angry at the evil done all around the world done by the government that “represents” him.

  9. Any security firm named Palantir should watched closely, if you know what I mean. You might recall that looking through a palantir is not a good idea….

    1. Sauron and Saruman are gone. The danger of using the palantir vanished with them.

      Also, remember that initially the palantir were used by Gondor and Numenor for secure communication. It wasn’t until long after they were lost that Sauron started using them for his own purposes.

      1. For long after Denethor died, all but the strongest would only see his withered hands in the Palantir. Aule only knows what you would have seen in Sauron’s.

  10. My own little pet theory is that HBGary has an employee or two that is 4channer.

    I mean these internet kids eventually grow up and get real jobs working with computers and stuff. I think it’s funny that infosec companies just assume none of their extremely nerdy and socially awkward employees is a /b/tard or member of anon. All it takes is one guy to give up some admin information for the lulz

    1. You don’t need a pet theory actually, we already know how anon did it.

      They compromised an administrator’s email account, then they simply sent emails impersonating as that administrator, simply asking for any further access they required and being blindly granted it.

      Wolf in sheep’s clothing, among retarded sheep.

      1. They claimed the administrator’s account was hacked via “social engineering”.

        My theory still holds.

  11. The best part is that after the Anonymous attack, a representative of the company made sure that after the public had been shown how vulnerable the company is to attack and how easily their own vital systems were compromised, he drew attention to the fact that this company vies to be contracted to protect our government’s electronic systems.

    This is somewhat like Pinkerton running a TV commercial with footage of one of their guards accidentally firing their holstered weapon into their own leg.

  12. I love how a gaggle of overweight 50-year-olds in suits think they’re going to be all ‘secret agenty’ and shit.

    Their whole job is pretending they’re doing something worth getting paid big money for, rather than doing anything.

  13. I think most of us are unaware of how the wealthy, people or corporations, can attack real people. And do. (Supreme Court decisions aside I don’t consider the wealthy or corporations to be real people.)

    I am reminded of The Greatest Vendetta on Earth (on Salon) about how the head of Ringling Brother Barnum and Bailey paid former top CIA agents to torment a writer for 8 years because she wrote an article he didn’t like.

    Some of the actions proposed by HBGary seem very like what has happened in the 911 truth movement. I wonder if HBGary has former CIA and FBI agents on staff.

    1. You’ve got to love the fevered imaginations of a bunch of folks who grew up during the Cold War, read about COINTELPRO, and thought “That’s awesome! I’d love to get paid to do that to someone someday!”

  14. I really thought that Palantir was made up of basically good guys. I personally know enough of them to be shocked that their company would ever put together a slide like this. (Heck, I’m almost ready to believe that this slide is a fake document, disinformation spread by their competitors). They apparently suggest… Disinformation? Sabotage? Fake documents? Cyber-attacks to violate the privacy/anonymity of submitters? Good grief, I want to write these guys and ask; What would your mothers think of this?

    And for anyone who’s curious, and for the sake of balance; In the articles below, they are portrayed far more positively, much more in tune with my personal experiences of them.



  15. (Supreme Court decisions aside I don’t consider the wealthy or corporations to be real people.)

    If you’re an American citizen with your own 3000 MHz personal computer and a place to plug it in, you’re already wealthier than about 80% of the people on Earth. Let’s hope those downtrodden billions consider you a real person.

  16. It appears that the US Chamber of Commerce did buy into the plan:

    US Chamber’s Lobbyists Solicited Hackers To Sabotage Unions, Smear Chamber’s Political Opponents

    And the company name is HBGary Federal which is a separate entity of HBGary according to ARS, as they flesh out the back story:

    How one man tracked down Anonymous—and paid a heavy price

    (Virtually) face to face: how Aaron Barr revealed himself to Anonymous

  17. you know that this sort of stuff goes on behind the scenes, but when you actually see it…

    …sends shivers down my spine

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