Did the FBI pay Carnegie Mellon $1 million to identify and attack Tor users?


Documents published by Vice News: Motherboard and further reporting by Wired News suggest that a team of researchers from Carnegie Mellon University who canceled their scheduled 2015 BlackHat talk identified Tor hidden servers and visitors, and turned that data over to the FBI.

No matter who the researchers and which institution, it sounds like a serious ethical breach.

First, from VICE, a report which didn't name CMU but revealed that a U.S. University helped the FBI bust Silk Road 2, and suspects in child pornography cases:

An academic institution has been providing information to the FBI that led to the identification of criminal suspects on the dark web, according to court documents reviewed by Motherboard. Those suspects include a staff member of the now-defunct Silk Road 2.0 drug marketplace, and a man charged with possession of child pornography.

It raises questions about the role that academics are playing in the continued crackdown on dark web crime, as well as the fairness of the trials of each suspect, as crucial discovery evidence has allegedly been withheld from both defendants.

Here's a screenshot of the relevant portion of one of the court Documents that Motherboard/Vice News published:

Later today, a followup from Wired about discussion that points the finger directly at CMU:

The Tor Project on Wednesday afternoon sent WIRED a statement from its director Roger Dingledine directly accusing Carnegie Mellon of providing its Tor-breaking research in secret to the FBI in exchange for a payment of “at least $1 million.” And while Carnegie Mellon’s attack had been rumored to have been used in takedowns of dark web drug markets that used Tor’s “hidden service” features to obscure their servers and administrators, Dingledine writes that the researchers’ dragnet was larger, affecting innocent users, too.

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Former Police Captain Ray Lewis joins Anonymous at Million Mask March


Meet the Anonycop!

A former Philadelphia police captain, Ray Lewis, joined the Million Mask March Thursday in Washington D.C. Donning the Anonymous mask, Lewis participated in the march from beginning to end. Speaking to the crowd before the march began, Lewis says that his position as a former cop makes him uniquely qualified to spread Anonymous's message to mainstream America.

Lewis has participated in several other activist causes, including Occupy Wall Street and the protests in Ferguson over the death of Freddie Gray.

News2Share has released several videos and photos from yesterday's "Million Mask March" in Washington D.C.

Protestors breaking a window at the EPA headquarters:

Anonymous fighting with security and police at Monsanto HQ:

Anonymous activists pausing march to give food and money to homeless man:

Highlight reel of clashes with police:

Article including full photo gallery Read the rest

Ex-Reuters social media editor Matthew Keys found guilty of 3 federal counts of hacking

Matthew Keys escorted by his legal team. Photo: Sarah Jeong

A jury in Sacramento, California, today found former Reuters deputy social media editor Matthew Keys guilty of computer hacking under the Computer Fraud & Abuse Act (CFAA).

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Journalist Barrett Brown sentenced to 63 months in federal prison

He's already served more than two years in prison on charges related to sources within the Anonymous hacktivist entity.

The invasion boards that set out to ruin lives

Internet harassment doesn’t just stay on the internet any more. Banned from 4chan, the 'net's worst trolls are making life hell for "social justice warriors."

How imageboard culture shaped Gamergate

That tell-tale wedding of relentless hostility and ethical affectation is a peculiar youth subculture spilling out into the open web. Get ready for more of it.

Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy: why only an anthropologist can tell the story of Anonymous

The Spectator has just run my review of Gabriella Coleman's Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy: The Many Faces of Anonymous , an anthropological recounting of the glories and disasters of Anonymous. Read the rest

London, Tue night: Cory and Biella Coleman talk about "Hackers and Hoaxers: Inside Anonymous"

Anthropologist Gabriella Coleman (author of the brilliant Coding Freedom) spent years embedded with Anonymous and has written an indispensable account of the Anonymous phenomenon. Read the rest

Hacker and FBI informant Sabu, aka Hector Monsegur, linked to cyberattacks abroad


From the NYT: "An informant working for the F.B.I. coordinated a 2012 campaign of hundreds of cyberattacks on foreign websites, including some operated by the governments of Iran, Syria, Brazil and Pakistan, according to documents and interviews with people involved in the attacks." The informant was Sabu; his helper Jeremy Hammond. Read the rest

Caption competition

Head over to the BBS and win nothing but the approbation of your peers! The true caption will be posted at 6 p.m. today. [Photo: Umit Bektas/REUTERS] Read the rest

How UK spies committed illegal DoS attacks against Anonymous

A new Snowden leak, reported by NBC, documents the UK spy agency Read the rest

LulzSec's Jake "Topiary" Davis interviewed

How did he get caught? "VPN provider ratted me out." [ask.fm] Read the rest

Onion Pi - Convert a Raspberry Pi into a Anonymizing Tor Proxy, for easy anonymous internet browsing

About this nifty "Onion Pi" HOWTO just published at Adafruit, Phil Torrone says, "Limor and I cooked up this project for folks. We are donating a portion of any sales for the pack we sell that helps do this to the EFF and Tor."

Browse anonymously anywhere you go with the Onion Pi Tor proxy. This is fun weekend project that uses a Raspberry Pi, a USB WiFi adapter and Ethernet cable to create a small, low-power and portable privacy Pi. Using it is easy-as-pie. First, plug the Ethernet cable into any Internet provider in your home, work, hotel or conference/event. Next, power up the Pi with the micro USB cable to your laptop or to the wall adapter. The Pi will boot up and create a new secure wireless access point called Onion Pi. Connecting to that access point will automatically route any web browsing from your computer through the anonymizing Tor network.
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Anonymous declares religious war on Westboro Baptist Church

Some people using the Anonymous banner have declared religious war on the Westboro Baptist Church.

How Anonymous broke its own rules to break free

Before the summer of 2011, Anonymous was an amorphous collective of hackers and pranksters ready to pour cold water on members' nascent political aspirations. By 2012, a growing antiauthority, anticensorship, anti-surveillance sentiment asserted itself, and everything changed.

Where Anonymous actions come from

Quinn Norton reports in depth on Wired with a careful, important account of where Anonymous's actions come from -- how coordinated activity (political, lulzy, legal and illegal) can emerge from noise, randomness, bombast and joking. This is the best description of how decision-making works in decentralized movements, and has important implications for the future of activism, governance, politics, crime and security:

But it’s a mistake to identify Anonymous entirely with these arrestees, some of whom were blackhats and others who were guilty of just using the LOIC. The hacks draw their power from the support of the wider collective, not the other way around. The majority of Anonymous operations are conceived and planned in a chaotic and open fashion. At any given time, a few thousand people are congregating on the Anonymous IRC channels, figuring out for themselves what it means to be an anon. And together they embody whatever Anonymous is going to be that day.

Most of the time, in most of the channels, there’s little more than conversation; sometimes a whole channel will consist of lurkers, with no one contributing a thing. But when some offense to the net is detected, anons will converge on one or more of these “chans,” with hundreds or thousands arriving within hours—many of them new to Anonymous and yet all primed and eager to respond. What looks in one moment like a sad, empty chat room can quickly become the staging ground for a major multipronged assault.

Consider OpBART, which flared up in August 2011 and dealt with an unlikely issue for Anonymous: the messy offline world of race relations and police violence.

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Effective and disorganized: a new thing upon this earth

My latest Guardian column is "Disorganised but effective: how technology lowers transaction costs," a piece about a new kind of group that has been enabled by the Internet -- a group with no formal structure that can still get stuff done, like Occupy and Anonymous.

The things that one person can do define what is "human". The things that transcend the limits of an individual – building a skyscraper, governing a nation, laying a telecommunications network, writing an operating system – are the realm of the super-human.

The most profound social revolutions in human history have arisen whenever a technology comes along that lowers transaction costs. Technologies that makes it cheaper to work together lower the tax on super-human powers.

Language (which allowed for explicit communication), writing (which allowed for record-keeping), literacy (which allowed for communication at a distance and through time) and all the way up to assembly lines, telegraphs, telephones, cryptography (which lowers transaction costs by reducing the amount of energy you have to expend to keep attackers out of your coordination efforts), computers, networks, mobile phones and beyond.

Decreasing transaction costs means that the powerful can do more. If you've already organised a state or criminal enterprise or church with you at the top, it means that you've figured out how to harvest and distribute resources effectively enough to maintain your institutional stability.

Disorganised but effective: how technology lowers transaction costs Read the rest

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