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The Empire Strikes Back

Bad boys, bad boys, what you gonna do when they come for you?

Nobody saw this coming:

FBI Raids Texas Company in Hunt for Anonymous

The FBI has raided a Texan hosting company and seized equipment believed to have been used in the distributed denial of service attacks that targeted supposed “enemies” of Julian Assange and WikiLeaks, which included the likes of PayPal and MasterCard.

It was actually PayPal that set the wheels in motion, as investigators working for the company supplied the FBI with eight IP addresses that had hosted an IRC chat of Anonymous members. Agents operating out of the Bureau’s San Francisco office then began to trace at least two of the IPs, with help from law enforcement organizations in Europe.

The first IP was traced back to a company called Host Europe, which is based in Germany. The German Federal Criminal Police investigated further and discovered that the server in question belonged to a man in France, but that it had been compromised by a third party. The IP of this third party put the ball back in the FBI’s court, as it originated from a dedicated server hosting company based in Dallas, Texas. Agents copied the contents of two hard drives from inside the server on December 16th, but the Bureau not revealed what – if anything – it has discovered.

The second IP that PayPal handed over was traced to a server held by a Californian hosting company. It’s not known at this time if the FBI has also seized data from this second site, but it seems a reasonably safe assumption that it did.

It was inevitable that the government would do something like this. There is no such thing as “anonymous” on the Internet anymore (if there ever was.) Anything you do online can be monitored, traced and/or tracked. The feds have the resources and the will to do it.

I said before that those 15 year old hackers from 20 years ago are now 35 year old cyber-security experts. Some of them work for the government.

Before the usual suspects start calling me an authoritarian again, this isn’t about what I think should happen. This is about what I think WILL happen.

The feds are gonna catch some of these wannabe revolutionaries. Not all, but some. Then they are gonna make an example out of the ones they catch.

You can read the warrant affidavit here.

24 Responses

  1. No Pardon for Billy the Kid

    Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico announced Friday that he would not pardon Billy the Kid, prompting a sigh of relief from descendants of the sheriff who killed the Old West outlaw as well as the frontier governor who appeared to hold out the possibility of clemency about a century ago.

    This story is almost Booman-level stupid.

    • The Empire Strikes Back”

      I have to give it to you on the byline…

      I said before that those 15 year old hackers from 20 years ago are now 35 year old cyber-security experts. Some of them work for the government.

      And yup, the youngest sibling (former military dude) works for a top security firm (won’t say, may get me in trouble), but he was never into hacking, just into html and code etc., and as a kid he slept with his GI Joe (not kidding, in fact he still has ’em).

      • Star Wars is science fiction. Real world is rarely divided that neatly between bad guys and good. 🙂

        • Yeah, but if these hackers really thought they were going up against the Evil Empire what did they think would happen?

          • One turned out to be a kid of 15 or 16 years (in Europe), and more likely their parents are going to be going the hell, trying to get their kids released or their sentence reduced.

        • Some would list me as a ‘bad’ person because I think a Free Press and Freedom of Expression is an essential part of a Free Society.

          Now, is releasing every thing right? No, of course not, but I do think that if governments hide behind secrecy and simply call some one unpatriotic as a defense when they get us into WARS with lies (NO WMDS found!), that that is wrong, as it is simply shielding them from questions. We have a right to know, but Nancy Pelosi didn’t ask the questions as to what led up to the WAR and well you will have young people doing acts that normally they wouldn’t do, but then if the draft comes into play it would be these very same young people sent of to WARS!?!

          Where does the truth end up, in a shelf gathering dust and do we have a right to know why we are in wars and why the WARS seem NEVER ENDING.

          • No one would think you a bad person we all want the same. But were any of those questions answered with a Wikileaks leak? I remember the Knight-Ridder newspapers doing a good job of asking those questions prior to the war. Did Wikileaks answer them for you?

            And here is another question. Did Wikileaks help or hurt the war effort to release known information? By that question, I am asking did Wikileaks HELP the US war excuse by firing up the opposition in the Middle East? Can’t have a war if no one is engaging our military.

            And remember, the resistance didn’t start until we fired the Iraqi army in the de-Baathification order by the Bush Admin. We left open weapons depots and upset an army.

            Instant resistance.

            So, you know where the problem was – with the Bush Admin. Wikileaks isn’t going to solve that endless wars mystery because it isn’t a mystery. War-profiteering and control of resources.

            Is Wikileaks a Trojan Horse? That is the mystery I am trying to solve.

  2. I have to admit the one let down is there doesn’t seem to be anyone leaking out information about the location of Osama Bin Laden’s cave. In fact all the information seems to be traveling in one direction, and no one has a copy of

    “Los señores del narco”(‘Men ofTheNarco’) by Anabel Hernández in PDF


    I am wondering if the author is OK, as I would think the author would have a copy. Today is the first time I heard about said book and the current situation South of the US is not looking too good.

  3. The Smoking Gun used FOIA to get the information.

    IOW – they did investigative reporting.

    • The Smoking Gun does the MOST Public Records investigation of any media outlet.

    • The old fashion way still works. That can also involve the “deep throat” types of course. And whistle blowing is vital. But what always made me wonder about wikileaks is there seems to be no journalism component. No investigation component. Just a funnel for any and all leaks. And instead of filtering, they appear to just slow things down to a trickle for marketing reasons. But who knows.

  4. Obvious

    There’s a Huge Difference Between What is Good for American Companies Versus What is Good for the American Economy

    OT but I’m bored to tears with Assange and this actually effects people.

  5. O/T – “Tricky Call for New Governors: Price of Their Inaugurals”


    “Others are embracing conspicuous frugality. In New York, Andrew M. Cuomo, a Democrat, is having a small preinauguration dinner for close friends at the governor’s mansion, and has parceled out so few invitations to his no-frills swearing-in ceremony that even some top aides have not made the cut.

    Jerry Brown of California has issued guidelines: no paid entertainment (a school choir will sing) and a rent-free evening reception (in a state-owned building). To highlight his thrift, Mr. Brown, a Democrat, plans to stop at a cookout after he takes the oath to snack on hot dogs and chips.”

    The media last night stated that Brown’s inaugural would cost $64,000.

    Subtle on a few different levels.

  6. How WikiLeaks Enlightened Us in 2010

    The United States

    – The U.S. Army considered WikiLeaks a national security threat as early as 2008, according to documents obtained and posted by WikiLeaks in March, 2010.

    – Then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and his top commanders repeatedly, knowingly lied to the American public about rising sectarian violence in Iraq beginning in 2006, according to the cross-referencing of WikiLeaks’ leaked Iraq war documents and former Washington Post Baghdad Bureau Chief Ellen Knickmeyer’s recollections.

    – The Secretary of State’s office encouraged U.S. diplomats at the United Nations to spy on their counterparts, including collecting data about the U.N. secretary general, his team and foreign diplomats, including credit card account numbers, according to documents from WikiLeaks U.S. diplomatic cable release. Later cables reveal the CIA draws up an annual “wish-list” for the State Department, which one year included the instructions to spy on the U.N.

    – The Obama administration worked with Republicans during his first few months in office to protect Bush administration officials facing a criminal investigation overseas for their involvement in establishing policies that some considered torture. A “confidential” April 17, 2009, cable sent from the US embassy in Madrid obtained by WikiLeaks details how the Obama administration, working with Republicans, leaned on Spain to derail this potential prosecution.

  7. wikiweewee just seems to me to be a massive data dump wrapped in a brain fart signifying nothing while parading as a white knight. I am not buying it. Stealing data and dumping it seems to me to be a far cry from intelligent data analysis for significant reason.

  8. SITIC head Stefan B. Grinneby about the hacker attacks on the websites of the Swedish Prosecution Authority and lawyer Claes Borgström (primo december 2010):

    This was a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack. Technically, we could see that the request load to the prosecutor’s website rose sharply and stayed at a constant and high rate for several hours.
    The purpose of such attacks is apparent by the name. It means you won’t be able to communicate with the site during the attack. As to what that lack of service might mean, it’s hard to speculate on.

    Marcus Murray from the IT security firm Truesec:

    The sites crashed because Swedes on sites like Flashback and other similar (internet forums) offered to have their computers controlled remotely in order to direct traffic to the homepages in question.
    It’s normal for individual hackers to send traffic. Now several WikiLeaks sympathisers could use their computer without doing anything. This is like a popular movement and contributed to the sites being knocked out.

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