Why are hackers so political?

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Gabriella Coleman is the "hacker anthropologist" whose book on the anthropology of Anonymous is among the best books on hacking I've ever read; her new paper in Current Anthropology, From Internet Farming to Weapons of the Geek, poses a fascinating question: given that hackers are as well-paid and privileged as doctors, lawyers and academics, how come hackers are so much more political than other members of the professional elites? Read the rest

Martin Shkreli offers a bailout to ailing 4chan

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Meme factory/Anonymous birthplace/alt-right breeding ground 4chan is facing challenges similar to those plaguing all ad-supported sites, but as with all things channish, 4chan's problems have their own unique and grotesque wrinkles. Read the rest

Anonymous Analytics: self-proclaimed Anon "faction" that tanks companies through stock reports

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Anonymous Analytics describes itself as "a faction of Anonymous" that uses its "unique skills to expose fraud and corruption among public companies." Read the rest

Philippines electoral data breach much worse than initially reported, possibly worst ever

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In late March, the Philippine Commission on Elections website was defaced in an Anonymous op, and a few days later, Lulzsec Pilipinas dumped its voter database. At the time, the Commission claimed that no sensitive information was exposed in the breach, but that is clearly not the case. Read the rest

Ultra-coordinated motherfuckery

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In 2013, a hacktivist group calling itself Konstant kOS raided one of the government’s most secure computer networks. Their target was a list of more than a million American citizens monitored as potential terrorist threats. The list was classified because it was feared that making it public could result in widespread violence.

Konstant kOS, on other hand, believed information needed to be free. They thought citizens should know about potential terrorists amongst them. Also, they thought stealing and publishing the list would be fun. Marcus Sakey's Written in Fire is available from Amazon.

So they did. As a result, thousands of innocents were assaulted or even murdered.

This didn’t happen, of course; it’s a small detail in my novel Written in Fire, the final book in the Brilliance Trilogy. The premise of the series is that since 1980, 1% of people have been born with extraordinary gifts, essentially a form of savantism that lets them see patterns the rest of us can’t. Some spot rhythms in the stock market and amass vast fortunes; others read body language so minutely they can intuit your thoughts and fears. The stolen data was a nearly complete list of these “brilliants.”

While Konstant kOS is my invention, they’re obviously based on hacker collectives like Anonymous, which fascinate me. Shadowy organizations of rogue anarchists waging private wars resulting in everything from surreal silliness to rough justice to reprehensible and mistargeted damage? Tell me more.

At this point, I should say that while I’m tech-savvy, by the standards of this fine publication, I’m at best a journeyman. Read the rest

Hacker suspected in Anon raid on Boston hospital rescued at sea by Disney cruise ship, then arrested

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Martin Gottesfeld and his family were rescued at sea, near Cuba, by a Disney cruise ship, then Gottesfeld was arrested by FBI agents dispatched from a Bahamian field office. Read the rest

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

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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.

Read the rest

Former Police Captain Ray Lewis joins Anonymous at Million Mask March

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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).

Read the rest

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

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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

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