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Anonymous Claims Possession of Stuxnet Worm

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the now-they-can-really-damage-your-nuclear-program dept.

Security 234

An anonymous reader writes "Last night, a member of hacker group Anonymous announced on Twitter that the group was in possession of the Stuxnet worm. Recently, Anonymous has been in the news for its high profile attacks on software security firm HBGary, after Aaron Barr, the CEO of HBGary's sister firm HBGary Federal, claimed to have acquired the names of senior Anonymous members and threatened to release them to the public. This is where the possibility for Anonymous getting its hands on Stuxnet increases."

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Good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35192064)

N/t

Senior anons? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35192074)

NIGGA WHAT? Someone is clearly not getting the core concept here.

Re:Senior anons? (1)

newcastlejon (1483695) | more than 3 years ago | (#35192238)

Anonymity does not imply a flat hierarchy. It simply means that screen names cannot (in theory) be tied to real ones. For example, Spartacus may be notionally equal to everyone else in Anonymous, but if he/she is well-respected in the group you might well find other members happy to follow his/her lead in coordinated actions.

Similarly, anarchy does not automatically imply disorder, only a lack of rulers. There's nothing to stop people self-organising into whatever organisational structure they desire.

Re:Senior anons? (4, Insightful)

hoggoth (414195) | more than 3 years ago | (#35192308)

"Anonymous" is not simply a group that uses anonymity.

Anonymous is an un-group. It is the collection, at any single moment in time, of people attempting to achieve a common goal loosely organized via anonymous internet communications. The anonymous people working on a common goal, can change from day to day or moment to moment. The goal(s) being worked on can change from day to day and moment to moment. A call for action is thrown out in various anonymous Internet places, and some people who frequent those places decide the goal sounds worthwhile to them for various reasons, different for each person. Others decide the goal is not worthwhile and ignores it or calls out the original poster for having selfish reasons for the call to action ("We're not your personal army").

To say there are "members" and a "hierarchy" or even an actual group called "Anonymous" in any normal sense of the word reveals a lack of understanding of the phenomena.

Re:Senior anons? (2)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 3 years ago | (#35192356)

To say there are "members" and a "hierarchy" or even an actual group called "Anonymous" in any normal sense of the word reveals a lack of understanding of the phenomena. Yes well, here on earth we call that "indoctrination". Help is available!

Re:Senior anons? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35192576)

It's probably easier to introduce Anonymous as a culture. Saying "Anonymous DDoS'd a website and the FBI is now trying to identify them" is like saying "Punks spray-painted a wall and now the FBi is trying to identify all punks" (you can replace 'Punks' by 'Rappers', 'Goths', 'Bikers' and whatever else).

Once you think of Anonymous that way, you can then try to understand what they really are. Comparing them to an organization or an open, drop-in/drop-out group is much less accurate.
There's lots of 'Anonymous' people who did not take part in any DDoS attacks. Lots of those involved in Project Chanology did not take part in Operation: Payback and many involved in Chanology probably did. Some people call themselves 'Anonymous' because they share the same views or ideals, the same mindset...

Culture is definitely the best way to define Anonymous. Some (many?) adherents of this culture just happen to take part in those DDoS attacks because it fits in with the ideology of their culture. Just like eco-terrorists all happen to have strong environmental beliefs, and yet that doesn't mean that ecologists are all closely tied to eco-terrorism activities.

Re:Senior anons? (0)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 3 years ago | (#35192618)

The reality is that while you entertain yourself with semantic fantasies about your pet org the rest of the world just it sees a mindless mob acting like a petulant child. Which it pretty much is.

Re:Senior anons? (3, Interesting)

shiftless (410350) | more than 3 years ago | (#35192638)

To say there are "members" and a "hierarchy" or even an actual group called "Anonymous" in any normal sense of the word reveals a lack of understanding of the phenomena.

To say that there are NOT members and a hierarchy or an actual group called Anonymous reveals a lack of understanding of human social dynamics. There most certainly IS a group called Anonymous, composed of members (some more active than others), and organized in a hierarchy.

Someone who just posts random ideas to IRC and is never listened to by anyone is not a high ranking member of the hierarchy. Another guy whose many good ideas are listened to and followed is de facto a high ranking member of Anonymous. Some other guy who often works for the cause, and has carried out many successful attacks, also has status within the group. Just because nobody is able to view the whole system from the top down transparently and SEE who is who and who has status, and judge this based on concrete terms like facts and numbers, since the whole thing is based on anonymity, doesn't mean that said status/ranking does not exist. It is an inherent property of ANY humans working together socially in groups of two or more.

Re:Senior anons? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35192354)

Anonymity implies lack of hierarchy, because a hierarchy needs identifiers. What you have in mind is pseudonymity. Pseudonyms can be names or even encryption keys which are used for signing messages, but with actual anonymity there is no way to tie a message to a person, and without that you can't have a hierarchy.

(Anarchy does not imply disorder, but it does imply lack of willful structure. When people willfully self-organize, than that is no longer anarchy.)

Signed, AC.

Re:Senior anons? (1)

Znork (31774) | more than 3 years ago | (#35192710)

A hierarchy needs identifiers if it's led by merit of names rather than merit of message.

A hierarchy built on message can exhibit structure, yet be anonymous and without persistent leadership.

Re:Senior anons? (1)

poity (465672) | more than 3 years ago | (#35192396)

Those who would fit the label of "senior member" would be ones who make the greatest contributions in its high profile exploits (and I'm not talking about wearing Guy Fawkes masks in public) or those who are given the greatest trust, for instance the handful who possessed HBG's email archives before it was put up as a torrent. We can call it a confederacy of individuals if it makes you happier, but you choosing to buy into their mythology does not make such a distinction any less valid.

There clearly are security experts within this confederacy who stand out from your typical school-aged males on 4chan, and the LOIC-using kids who get caught up in the emotions (or the lulz if you wish) behave not unlike human shields for those few individuals who have the both ability and willingness to cause real damage. Some 16 year old kid gets arrested in Europe and takes the brunt of the media attention, and a sliver of sympathy for being a dumb kid, while the provocateurs and black hats remain in operation likely behind proxies and public access points.

Re:Senior anons? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35192520)

Too bad said "senior members" can be replaced in 2.5 seconds.

I'm Spartacus! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35192084)

Oh look, I post a comment without logging in. I must belong in some kind of terrorist group or something.

Seriously, when did we forgot the meaning of the word "anonymous"?

Re:I'm Spartacus! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35192142)

Case sensitivity. anonymous !~ Anonymous

Though by that I'm some sort of cowardly DDoSer right now...

What does possession mean? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35192086)

TFA doesn't say if they have the source code or not.

Iran was in "possession" of the worm too, btw.

If Anonymous was all that, why don't they take out the NSA? Hmmmmmmmm?!?

I double dog dare them!

So? I have a copy of Code Red (3, Insightful)

thomasdz (178114) | more than 3 years ago | (#35192092)

Yeah, so? I have a copy of the Code Red and Nimda somewhere in my office. Am I dangerous? No. Because they are known viruses and the holes the exploits used have been patched shut now.

Re:So? I have a copy of Code Red (2, Funny)

alphatel (1450715) | more than 3 years ago | (#35192222)

But are you code red reseller? Anonymous is now an official Stuxnet Gold affiliate [nyte.com]

i r have stuxnet source code (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35192282)

NOW do you feel safer
thats what the article means to say. YA knwo if this guy has some knowledge he can play with and alter it.

Re:So? I have a copy of Code Red (0)

camperslo (704715) | more than 3 years ago | (#35192324)

Hmmmm, someone needs to give those guys the worming tablets that get used on dogs... maybe that would help.

Someone with Stuxnet might be very dangerous.

If this is the same family of code that migrates through Windows but alters configuration of specialized industrial control systems (like Iran was using for centrifuges) I'm concerned that this may have or could hit other infrstructure.

It's already been shown that software can cause abnormal functioning of natural gas pumping systems. Operating normally but programmed to operate out of tolerance later there'd likely be no obvious signs of a problem beforehand.

http://www.zdnet.co.uk/news/it-strategy/2004/03/01/us-software-blew-up-russian-gas-pipeline-39147917/ [zdnet.co.uk]

There were a couple of explosions in the eastern U.S. last week, and one in San Bruno, California last September. In the last one, utility company P.G.&E. (Pacific Gas and Electric) has been inconsistent with the story given. Last night NBC Nightly News claimed the cause was a bad weld. P. G.& E. has made claims of brief elevated pressure tests stressing the pipe causing later failure. They also mentioned a malfunction causing a surge.
(It rupture the indication of a failed test???)
Some reports say that periodic running up of the pressure was enough to avoid some more costly testing requirements. Some reports say P.G.&E. though it was seamless pipe having no welds to fail.

http://it.slashdot.org/story/10/11/18/140253/Stuxnet-Virus-Now-Biggest-Threat-To-Industry [slashdot.org]

The San Bruno explosion and reports of Stuxnet affecting operations in Iran occurred around the same time.

Re:So? I have a copy of Code Red (3, Informative)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 3 years ago | (#35192376)

The San Bruno explosion and reports of Stuxnet affecting operations in Iran occurred around the same time.

And the same time Mubarak resigned, I drove past Washington DC with no traffic delays.

Re:So? I have a copy of Code Red (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 3 years ago | (#35192528)

Or, infrastructure tends to fail occasionally and someone is throwing this out there for some attention (as to whether it is someone who has operated as 'part' of Anonymous in the past or someone just trying to make them look bad, who knows).

Re:So? I have a copy of Code Red (1)

DurendalMac (736637) | more than 3 years ago | (#35192538)

I seriously doubt they'll be able to modify it in any meaningful way. The thing seems to have been designed specifically to hit Siemens centrifuges, which would imply that the creators had some very, very good knowledge of the software used in those centrifuges. I doubt there are too many Anons out there with enough knowledge of how natural gas systems or other dedicated industrial hardware works to do much with Stuxnet.

Not to mention just having the virus doesn't mean much of anything. Stuxnet was all over the place a while back. Big whoop.

And? (1)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 3 years ago | (#35192094)

Is Anonymous planning to deploy Stuxnet on, um, hacked sites? Stuxnet is really bad for people who tend to collect centrifuges, but it's just another virus when it comes to people with PC's. Doesn't every AV application check for this yet?

Re:And? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35192342)

I thought Stuxnet was written specifically for Siemens control systems, not Windows.

It's a sad day for the authorities (1)

poity (465672) | more than 3 years ago | (#35192466)

They thought those centrifuges they've gathered were finally going to take down WikiLeaks and spin Assange into prison, but Anon will now put an end to such dreams.

No such thing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35192096)

There is no such thing as an "Anonymous Hacking Group". There are no senior members, or official members of any kind. You are only a member of anonymous while actively participating. The media has blown this way out of proportion. Most people don't actually understand what Anonymous is(or rather, what it isnt).

Re:No such thing... (1)

lordandmaker (960504) | more than 3 years ago | (#35192148)

Didn't we go through this with Al Quaida not many years ago?

Whelp (1)

Leraika (1749124) | more than 3 years ago | (#35192100)

I don't know why Slashdot is still tagging this 'wikileaks' when it's clearly no longer about wikileaks at all.

Re:Whelp (1)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 3 years ago | (#35192110)

I don't know why Slashdot is still tagging this 'wikileaks' when it's clearly no longer about wikileaks at all.

Where have you been? In 2011 everything is about WikiLeaks.

Re:Whelp (1)

jdpars (1480913) | more than 3 years ago | (#35192224)

I wonder if eventually Wikileaks will just post the news.

Re:Whelp (1)

Noughmad (1044096) | more than 3 years ago | (#35192366)

And then people will register an account there, and comment on these news, or just, you know, post anonymously.

at this point who hasn't got a copy of stuxnet (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35192104)

it's been available for ages.

It's a great PR move by Anon in that it's garners a stack of press due to the combinations of:

"shadowy hackers"
"stuxnet"

Well played anon.

What is actually more significant is the upcoming http://anonleaks.ru
The potential for them to claim the popular mindshare that wikileaks has had is very real.
None of the other groups have managed (openleaks, crowdleaks, abcleaks, xyzleaks, 123leaks, etc etc etc).

Re:at this point who hasn't got a copy of stuxnet (1)

lordandmaker (960504) | more than 3 years ago | (#35192158)

"The potential for them to claim the popular mindshare that wikileaks has had is very real."
Really? I'd have thought that, given your last sentence, it's less so. To your average person anon is a bunch of kids DDoSing websites, and I'm not sure they're viewed in any better light in techy circles. I really don't see what anon has done to build up confidence in the sort of trust you'd need to be a successful *leaks.

To over-stretch the military analogy, they're much more the light infantry than the intelligence corps.

Re:at this point who hasn't got a copy of stuxnet (4, Funny)

hey! (33014) | more than 3 years ago | (#35192454)

"shadowy hackers"

With each passing year of hacking I've become so increasingly shadowy that by now I'm not just *shadowy*, I'm positively *shady*. On summer days people position themselves so that I'm between them and the sun.

I prefer to think of myself as "attractive". When my daughter entered the science fair, I used my attractiveness to help her win. Her rival was explaining the Cavendish experiment, but I sabotaged his demonstration by standing next to the apparatus.

Some people say I'm self centered. They say I've lost touch with the outside world. But look at it from my point of view: I've been hacking so many years that my arms are now shorter than my Schwartzchild radius. I'm not fat, though. They say if you're not fat if you can see your feet. Thank $deity for gravitational lensing.

don't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35192120)

it's a virus, it's supposed to be distributed. I'm sure lots of people have this virus ...

OH NOES! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35192124)

What a complete waste of an article.

Genital Herpes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35192140)

So?
I'm in possession of a sample of genital herpes, you don't see me going around bragging about it.

Re:Genital Herpes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35192328)

Yet, you just did...

So basically, (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#35192144)

Anonymous found out who produced the stuxnet worm, and the other parties are trying to threaten anonymous to keep silent ...

Same Anonymous? (1, Insightful)

Ynot_82 (1023749) | more than 3 years ago | (#35192150)

This can't be the same Anonymous (off-shoot of 4chan) that thinks writing an aggressive Windows GUI ping program is "hacking"

Some proper organised crime group has usurped the name, surely.

"Hey, we announce ourselves as Anonymous, then all these script kiddies, who just DOS websites and leave blazingly obvious trails for authorities to follow, get sent down for our criminal deeds"

Re:Same Anonymous? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35192208)

Not everyone on 4chan is a bunch of script kiddies and/or simple cracker/hacker types.
There are actually pretty damn smart people on the boards. (whether it is making hacking tools, making general programs, translating languages, making games and other stuff like that. And i don't mean preset game making tools like RPG Maker, which there are quite a few of)

Looks like someone fell for the Deliberate Stupidity thing.
While it is true that most of the site is pretty thick these days compared to a few years back, there are still a large number of smart people there.
Also, please do not use /b/ are a reference point for the rest of the site. That place is where most of the actual stupid people come from.

Also, the whole Anonymous thing never was 4chan.
While it started there as a joke, and then got blown up by Fox and the like, it was merely the starting grounds for where other people from other sites joined in with it.
4chan is a conversation and recruiting place mainly, along with loads of other sites.
But it IS the same people. People from all walks of life. There is also no such thing as the same people when it comes to Anonymous.
The term itself is a blanket term for people with the same goals.

Re:Same Anonymous? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35192390)

"Also, the whole Anonymous thing never was 4chan."

Back in the day, it was all about /i/, and they were attacking little girls etc.. Eventually /i/ was removed from 4chan so everyone exiled to 420chan and others. That's when the attacks on Nazis started happening iirc., that's when it started gaining momentum in the more official form.

Re:Same Anonymous? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35192240)

Wait. So are you telling me that if I run "ping -t" that I am NOT hacking? I will have to ask my mommy about that.

Re:Same Anonymous? (1)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 3 years ago | (#35192330)

This can't be the same Anonymous (off-shoot of 4chan) that thinks writing an aggressive Windows GUI ping program is "hacking"

I always thought it was the media who came up with that in order to try to explain to Neanderthals what a DDOS is.

Now I wonder who came up with "Hacktivism"

Re:Same Anonymous? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35192344)

Anonymous is anyone that does something remotely in-line with the chan culture and calls themselves Anonymous. It's better to get under that umbrella, put a few "lulz" here and there, than to be some other easily targeted group or individual.

When people in Anonymous start stepping up and claiming that certain actions are against the nature of Anonymous, then authorities will know who's calling the shots too.

Re:Same Anonymous? (1)

JamesP (688957) | more than 3 years ago | (#35192406)

... that thinks writing an aggressive Windows GUI ping program is "hacking"

Well, I thought that was brilliant.

A non-anonymizing DoS program flooding big names with identifiable aggressor information;

lamer magnet

Re:Same Anonymous? (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 3 years ago | (#35192532)

Anonymous' reputation for quality has been sullied, eroding its brand equity! Heads will roll at its corporate headquarters!

Anonymous is getting out of hand.. (1, Insightful)

Ziekheid (1427027) | more than 3 years ago | (#35192152)

Anonymous is no longer related to any chans, it has become something on its own full with scriptkids wanting to belong to something bigger. Anonymous can officially be clasified as a terrorist group in my book with threats and attacks all over the world to defend their points of view.
It has totally lost the anarchistic feel it had and has become a group consisting of a handful of 'smart' guys giving out orders to the masses of zombie idiots who give up their connection voluntarily.

I hope everyone realizes that eventhough it recruits on sites like 4chan this version of anonymous is now out of their hands and became a radical splinter cell of the original anonymous.

Re:Anonymous is getting out of hand.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35192182)

Be careful! Someone over there has been posting Slashdot threads and commenters who have been criticizing them and posting non-anonymously. Looks like there is going to be some retribution...

Re:Anonymous is getting out of hand.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35192464)

I'd like to see that day, when Anonymous attacks hardcore geeks such as the slashdot crowd. Expect nothing short of armageddon, rofl.

Re:Anonymous is getting out of hand.. (1)

lyml (1200795) | more than 3 years ago | (#35192712)

Yes, because that's how it works. When you "hack" someone it's a fight between the pure intellectual, the one who concentrates the hardest manages to infest the other persons computer through use of pixies and fairy dust.

The moment anonymous attacks slashdot will gain the great super brain power of all it's members and lash out and counterstrike against a distributed network of millions of individual nodes.

It's not like slashdot is a message board riddled with bugs. Hell even if the backend has ten times less bugs it would still be a bug-riddled nightmare.

Let's face it, even if anonymous had the ability to ddos slashdot it would be incredibly boring and nobody would participate.

Re:Anonymous is getting out of hand.. (1, Insightful)

hsmith (818216) | more than 3 years ago | (#35192184)

Sarah Palin, is that you?

Re:Anonymous is getting out of hand.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35192192)

It has totally lost the anarchistic feel it had and has become a group consisting of a handful of 'smart' guys giving out orders to the masses of zombie idiots who give up their connection voluntarily.

Lots of potential there.

Hey guys, I'm your new leader, it's very important you each put $50 into this offshore account for, um freedom, yeah thats it.

Re:Anonymous is getting out of hand.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35192202)

The "original" anonymous hasn't been active for at least the last five years. And to talk about "anonymous" as a single entity is completely meaningless at this stage. Mostly, it is as you say, more or less a voluntary botnet with a few brainy guys (and some not-so-much) at the top, but there are any number of people who do write-ups, media contact, and barely tangentially related stuff calling themselves Anonymous, and there's nothing wrong with that. The whole point of calling yourself "anonymous", is, of course, to actually be anonymous.

Now.. Classifying any group of anonymous as a terrorist group? Really? Are you even aware of what you are suggesting by that? They may be pathetic lowlifes launching DDoS-attacks and hacking unsecured e-mail accounts from their mother's basements, but terrorist? Surely, some care should be warranted before using that label. I understand that US governments labeling of Wikileaks as "high-tech" terrorists (and many many earlier and later examples) have muddied the waters somewhat, but still, shouldn't at least some kind of violence be required?

Re:Anonymous is getting out of hand.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35192260)

Surely, some care should be warranted before using that label. I understand that US governments labeling of Wikileaks as "high-tech" terrorists (and many many earlier and later examples) have muddied the waters somewhat, but still, shouldn't at least some kind of violence be required?

What is terrorism. It is through fear to change peoples behaviour or politics or whatever. If someone blows a bomb to kill plenty of people that is not terrorrism. If the another person blows a bomb to make people not buy windows, then that is terrorism.

If someone fears the tooth fairy and by showing pictures of the tooth fairy, that person can be averted from a certain tooth paste, then that is terrorism, no violence needed.

Re:Anonymous is getting out of hand.. (1)

Jahava (946858) | more than 3 years ago | (#35192362)

What is terrorism. It is through fear to change peoples behaviour or politics or whatever. If someone blows a bomb to kill plenty of people that is not terrorrism. If the another person blows a bomb to make people not buy windows, then that is terrorism.

If someone fears the tooth fairy and by showing pictures of the tooth fairy, that person can be averted from a certain tooth paste, then that is terrorism, no violence needed.

You seem to have a grossly-simplified take on the matter. While the definition of terrorism is (understandably) difficult to state [wikipedia.org] , legally-accepted definitions range from straight-up "harming large amounts of people" to coercion. Your example suggests you see terrorism as identical to Coercion [wikipedia.org] , which is one naive take on the matter. However, all of your examples fall under one legal definition of terrorism or another.

Here are a few definitions from the Wikipedia article:

  • "Terrorism sprouts from the existence of aggrieved groups. These aggrieved groups share two essential characteristics: they have specific political objectives, and they believe that violence is an inevitable means to achieve their political ends. The political dimension of terrorist violence is the key factor that distinguishes it from other crimes." - L. Ali Khan
  • "Terrorism is the deliberate, negligent, or reckless use of force against noncombatants, by state or nonstate actors for ideological ends and in the absence of a substantively just legal process." - David Rodin
  • "Terrorism is the deliberate use of violence aimed against civilians in order to achieve political ends" - Boaz Ganor
  • "An act is terrorist if and only if (1) it is committed by an individual or group of individuals privately, i.e. without the legitimate authority of a recognized state; (2) it is directed indiscriminately against non-combatants; (3) the goal of it is to achieve something politically relevant; (4) this goal is pursued by means of fear-provoking violence." - Daniel D. Novotny

So is Anonymous (or, rather, are those who have operated under that pseudonym) a terrorist organization? Core to all of these seem to be violent acts by non-state actors against noncombatants. It seems to me that Anonymous actors and targets match, so the real question is whether or not Anonymous' actions qualify as violent acts.

While some things (like hacking websites) seem more akin to vandalism, in that they are not intended to cause harm, others, like DDoS attacks, could very well be the Internet equivalent of a violent attack. However, putting a DDoS attack against Mastercard on the same level as a subway bombing so grossly trivializes the latter. I think, rather than attempt to pervert words by drawing Internet parallels, the Anonymous actors should be regarded as persons sympathetic to terrorist ideals, but not actually terrorists. Idealistic Internet Vandals seems more appropriate.

Re:Anonymous is getting out of hand.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35192736)

Careful when calling Anon's targets 'noncombatants'. What is and is not a combatant depends on context. I assume you were thinking Combatants = Military when you wrote this, but that is only true in the situation of violent conflict. I think a combatant is anyone fighting any kind of fight, whether it be a violent fight or an intellectual one. For example, if a group is fighting against some corporations because they bribe politicians, then these corporations are indeed combatants in the fight for corrupting the system.
I also think the means used to fight these 'combatants' are important and must be proportionate to the people you are fighting and their actions. If a corporation bribes politicians, the conflict is not a violent one. If those fighting this corporation use violent methods, they turn the conflict violent. That conflict is then no longer the one the corporation was fighting in, and thus the people targeted by violent attacks are noncombatants. On the other hand, if a corporation bribes politicians to get permission to dump toxic waste in a fashion that kills dozens of people, then that corporation just created a violent conflict.

I'm not saying whether or not Anonymous is targeting noncombatants, I just think assuming Combatants = Military or armed people is a simplification. There are different kinds of fights, and thus different kinds of combatants.

Re:Anonymous is getting out of hand.. (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 3 years ago | (#35192290)

Sorry, but in today's world, no care need be exercised when labeling people as "terrorists". Hell, even schoolteachers label their more rowdy students as terrorists. Overheard by an elementary school teacher: "Hey, punk, I'm going to whip your ass til your mother cries after school!" The headline read statewide, the following day: "School teacher busts terror network, and exposes possession of WMD" The WMD being described was a pile of rocks, for god's sake.

Can you see Anonymous from your house? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35192226)

How else would you know so much about them?

Re:Anonymous is getting out of hand.. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35192228)

"Anonymous can officially be clasified as a terrorist group in my book with threats and attacks all over the world to defend their points of view."

You can be classified as an idiot with fascist leanings who doesn't even know how to spell "classified" correctly.

Re:Anonymous is getting out of hand.. (1)

newcastlejon (1483695) | more than 3 years ago | (#35192264)

It has totally lost the anarchistic feel it had and has become a group consisting of a handful of 'smart' guys giving out orders to the masses of zombie idiots who give up their connection voluntarily.

*Emphasis mine*

So the kiddies are doing this all voluntarily and they're free to stop whenever they want. Isn't that a workable definition of anarchy?

Re:Anonymous is getting out of hand.. (1)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 3 years ago | (#35192420)

So the kiddies are doing this all voluntarily and they're free to stop whenever they want. Isn't that a workable definition of anarchy?

I think the GPs point was that while the foot soldiers are free to come and go as they please, that the actual direction of the group is being controlled by a shadowy cabal of leaders with an agenda. So that these leaders are using the gullibility of the foot soldiers (ie belief that they are part of some altruistic group that is ridding the planet of evil) to achieve their desires. And I don't think that this falls under the auspices of anarchy.

Re:Anonymous is getting out of hand.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35192272)

Anonymous can officially be clasified as a terrorist group in my book with threats and attacks all over the world to defend their points of view.

I think you mean it can now be classified as the USA.

I disagree (4, Insightful)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 3 years ago | (#35192288)

Lets look at the situation properly:

Anonymous is a group composed of [Members N], lead by [Leader L] of [belief X], who attempt to attack [Company Y] over [Reason Z].

Now, we know nothing about L or N. We don't know who took part in DDOSing mastercard (or who lead it), we don't know who hacked into the site (or who lead it), nor do we know their link to whoever DDOSed scientology, google bombed scientology, or protested in the streets. We don't know anything.

So assuming that N and L are variable. X changes with L.

So Anonymous isn't really a group. Its not a 'group of people which are now becoming a terrorist group'. Its an ever-changing grouping of different people by a different leader who chooses their target and their method. Do they have a master plan? Not really.

So viewing how anon changes is rather useless, since pretty much everything changes all the time.

This is the equivalent of looking at the human race at a whole and claiming that "The human race attacked Iraq, after attacking Poland in 1942, and Troy at some point in history" and trying to draw a conclusion.

Re:I disagree (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 3 years ago | (#35192604)

The term leader suggests some sort of authority. Anon has none. The only way direction is decided is by an anon suggesting something and other anons deciding to join in. The idea stands purely on its merits, not who suggested it.

Re:I disagree (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35192686)

1942?! Poland was attacked in 1939. I wonder where 1942 came from?

Re:Anonymous is getting out of hand.. (1)

Yetihehe (971185) | more than 3 years ago | (#35192296)

Anonymous can officially be clasified as a terrorist group in my book with threats and attacks all over the world to defend their points of view.

In such case almost every big country can be classified as a terrorist group.

Re:Anonymous is getting out of hand.. (1)

Thing 1 (178996) | more than 3 years ago | (#35192646)

Anonymous can officially be clasified as a terrorist group in my book with threats and attacks all over the world to defend their points of view.

In such case almost every big country can be classified as a terrorist group.

Well, yeah.

Re:Anonymous is getting out of hand.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35192322)

>...attacks all over the world to defend their points of view.

"points of view" sounds like you can still argue with them. Maybe you shouldn't call people who are just headstrong, terrorists. There has been an inflation of that lately and it doesn't lead to proportionality in responses from either party.

Terrorist? Get a clue! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35192450)

Anonymous can officially be clasified as a terrorist group [...]

I'm getting tired of those tasteless exaggerations. Whenever soomeone defaces a Website, (s)he is compared to someone blowing himself up and taking 26 other innocent people with him.

Defacing a Website might be obnoxius. You could argue that it might be counterproductive. But terrorism? Get a grip.

Re:Anonymous is getting out of hand.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35192648)

Who gives a fuck if you call it a terrorist group?

Terrorism is using VIOLENCE to affect a political agenda. Name ONE GODDAMN TIME when somebody has gotten violent with somebody else in the name of Anonymous? You can't.

Go fuck yourself, stupid.

Re:Anonymous is getting out of hand.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35192662)

Will people stop calling other people terrorists whenever they disagree with their political views? Terrorism implies *violence*, like in blind bombing a civilian crowd, spreading a virus in city or an airport, shooting people in the street with a machine gun... not like in DDOS-ing a fucking web server, releasing a bunch of documents on the web or pushing source code on github. If it does not *directly* kill or physically harm people to spread fear in a population, then it is not terrorism. It might be other kind of illegal activities but it cannot be called terrorism. By calling everything terrorism you are slowly eroding the meaning of that word.

Mountains out of mole hills much? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35192154)

Barr never threatened to release anything to the public. He did some research on how social media can be exploited to positively identify people and was going to present his methods at a few conferences; proof of concept level stuff. No names of actual people released whatsoever. But the hyper paranoid hacker punks of Anonymous got all in a dither and decided to lash out. I give them a rating of "Meets Expectations." Nobody is out to get them. It would be hard for the world to care less about this group of dipshits fucking around on the Internet to make themselves feel powerful and relevant.

That's like... (1)

QuantumBeep (748940) | more than 3 years ago | (#35192164)

That's like having possession of the ultimate supervirus, which will KILL ALL HUMANS who have blond hair, brown eyes, a beard, and a vagina.
The thing is so damned specific it's useless.

Re:That's like... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35192316)

Quick! Hide your centrifuges!

Re:That's like... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35192632)

speak for yourself... now i better go shave

possession (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35192200)

Anyone know a good exorcist?

In other news (5, Funny)

mseeger (40923) | more than 3 years ago | (#35192234)

In other news: Iran claims posession of the Stuxnet virus as well

Re:In other news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35192384)

ROFL! Oh to have mod points...

What is the target of the announcement? (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 3 years ago | (#35192248)

They could have the source or not, the vulnerabilities that it used to spread could have been patched already (starting with the disabled autorun). Was safe to spread it at the very start because the specific hardware for that payload wasnt very used afaik, and all the techniques that it used to hide itself should now known by security products vendors.

So, it will should be able to damage only the windows users without updates nor running antivirus? Is the target of this announcement people that can't tell if a gun made of soap is real? Or with that (and very little extra effort/knowledge) they could do something close to undetectable that target normal windows systems used in critical environments?

Well, even in the worst case are good news, if there are reasons to be scared then could force to migrate critical environments to safer OSs.

From a IT security perspective. (5, Informative)

AftanGustur (7715) | more than 3 years ago | (#35192262)

This has to be one of the dumbest posts on /. since I started reading it (and that was a loooong time ago)

Anyone can get a copy of the Stuxnet worm, just create an account on the right security forums and download a copy.

Re:From a IT security perspective. (0)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 3 years ago | (#35192440)

This has to be one of the dumbest posts on /. since I started reading it (and that was a loooong time ago)

I'd almost like to say "Are you new around here". Unfortunately the quality of this site has been dropping and I have no iea how low it will go in the end. I know I am starting to look to other aggregators for more timely and relevant news.

Re:From a IT security perspective. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35192742)

This has to be one of the dumbest posts on /. since I started reading it (and that was a loooong time ago)

I'd almost like to say "Are you new around here". Unfortunately the quality of this site has been dropping and I have no iea how low it will go in the end. I know I am starting to look to other aggregators for more timely and relevant news.

AftanGustur (7715) --- (7715)

So, no, not very new.

Hacker group Anonymous (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35192284)

The Chaos Computer Club [www.ccc.de] is a Hacker group. Anonymous is a bunch of rude kids growing up on the internet.

Senior members of Anonymous? (1)

ndogg (158021) | more than 3 years ago | (#35192286)

That's the most hilarious thing I've read in a while!

Re:Senior members of Anonymous? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35192326)

Yeah, they should have written oldfag.

There is no anonymous (5, Insightful)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 3 years ago | (#35192292)

If you are talking about the Anonymous from 4chan, then there isn't any group like that. That implies to much organisation, a hierachy, an organization.

The idea originally was related but NOT the same to "I am Spartacus". And many people don't even understand that statement.

The "I am Spartacus" statement is this: "I hereby declare that I am the person you are seeking and accept all responsibility for my actions." If you state this, you BECOME Spartacus, you are it and LOOSE yourself with it. You can't say, "I smallfurrycreature represent Spartacus", you surrender yourself to the cause and become it. In the movie, the people all nailed up, are ALL Spartacus and by doing so the idea of Spartacus if not the person becomes invincible. No matter how many Spartacusses you nail to a cross, there is always one more just around the corner. It is the undying hero, the person dies but the idea goes on.

This doesn't sit well with our individual culture.

Anonymous takes this even further, if people understood it. You cannot state "I am Anonymous" for this is silly. The moment you tie yourself to this concept, you are no longer anonymous. You can speak with a thousand voices, you can at best be one voice representing a thousand but never a thousand. You cannot be anonymous only be a non-significant part of it.

The real idea behind it all on 4chan was to give a name to the movements/actions that were observed. It is like watching the migration patterns of animals and calling them Bob. Just because it now sounds like a person doesn't mean that a wildebeast migrating represents Bob or is controlled by the motives of Bob.

Does any of this rant matter

Yes. The Muslim brotherhood, are they the protesters in Egypt? Some western "news" stations would have you believe this. BUT this has NOT been an Islamic revolution. It might or might not become one but the protests where NOT guiden or orchastrated by them... some PROTESTERS might have been but not the "protest". It can be hard to grasp the difference. It is the difference between the resentment of the masses and individual grievances. Same as the protests in Tunesia were not about a closed vegetable stand or in Egypt about the beating of a youth or in France about cake or in the USA about tea.

Anonymous is not a group that exists on 4chan in /b/. If anything it is the behavior of individual but unknown people who use the web to do something in a minimally organised way to have a far reaching effect. It is the mob effect on the internet.

That means that there is no point in ousting its leaders. You can get the leaders of one mob and might even be cheered for that by the mob next to it. Anonymous cheers cat killers and hunts them down. It is not a singleton, it is a class. You can spawn things from it but almost by its nature, the moment you do that is ceases to be the idea and it becomes Anonymous XYZ the group.

Anonymous doesn't have its hands on anything and has its hands on everything because we can all be Anonymous and we all aren't.

But media doesn't grasp that since they need to put a face to the name. But ultimately this means that Anonymous will just get more legenday. Strike one group down and another will take its place. Just as killing a few hundreds protestors, and arresting/torturing far more, did NOTHING to stop the protest in Egypt. Or killing all the buffalo stopped Bob.

Re:There is no anonymous (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35192422)

Cut off one head and two more will take its place! Hail HYDRA!

-
Bob

Re:There is no anonymous (1)

hoshino (790390) | more than 3 years ago | (#35192470)

In reality, there are multiple independent groups acting under the banner of Anonymous, along with a much larger group of passive participants who identify themselves with the cause. One of the most prominent and active groups runs the anonops.ru IRC server and these are the ones who are/were at war with HBGary Federal. Sure, they are not that structured or organized, but they clearly exist as an independent sub-group of the "Anonymous" movement. Aaron Barr tried to identify them and supposedly almost came close on a few counts, although his methodology was more or less random guesswork.

So the real issue is just a matter of what to call this sub-group, because calling them "Anonymous" conflates one single sub-group with the larger social movement. We can label individual al-Qaeda cells by their base of operation, but it's pretty unwieldy to do the same for Anonymous.

I am Anonymous (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35192624)

I am Anonymous /The Anonymous Coward

There is no Cabal! (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 3 years ago | (#35192716)

There is no Cabal, I say!


PS. I think saying "This doesn't sit well with our illusory individual culture." would be somewhat more accurate, BTW.

And I can't help but wonder how similar all those revolutions ultimately might be... in past examples - whatever ideologically-guided people like to believe (and would like you to believe) - economic reasons were the major motivation for uprisings behind the Iron Curtain, for movements of the 80s. Ordinary people simply wanted better pays in relation to rising prices, better benefits, more free days, keeping holiday company funds & assets. They were fed up with some crisis of the moment, when the system was having problems providing goods and services they were used to, at the cost (to them) they wanted.

Political postulates were mostly added by "intelligentsia", piggybacking on mass discontent (and not without support of CIA funds, at the least)

(ironically enough, many former protesters sort of reversed their views when they got what they "wanted", during political & economic transformation - but by then, huge unprofitable workplaces were no longer kept alive by the state, protests directed at the latter couldn't do much)

Re:There is no anonymous (1)

guyminuslife (1349809) | more than 3 years ago | (#35192784)

That means that there is no point in ousting its leaders

I don't think that's necessarily accurate. It may prove to be the case, but it's certainly not a foregone conclusion.

It's a risk/reward structure. People participate in Anonymous, they get some sort of ideological or social reward for it, and they view their risk as being fairly minimal. (WE ARE ANONYMOUS. YOU CAN'T CATCH US. BLAH DEE FUCKING BLAH.) It's entirely reasonable to posit that there is a relatively small group of die-hard Anonymous types, who are ideologically driven to...mayhem, for whatever reason. And that there's a much larger group of sheep in the flock, who are either attached to a particular social milieu or just think DDoSing makes them cool. The way that Anonymous works (for the moment, at least), it needs some sort of critical mass of participation. So if you're the Feds, you increase the risk of participation, you make some high-profile convictions, then you grin and say, "Hey, dude, you're next." You won't scare off the wolves, but the sheep might think twice if they're actually putting their asses on the line...for something as meaningless as bringing down the MasterCard website.

And it's not just about chipping away at the morale of the extant Anonymous. The point is to spread FUD. Anonymous is "recruiting." Setting an example may curb that growth.

Of course, this sort of thing doesn't always work. (See, the drug war, for instance, or even the *AA's attempts at curbing file-sharing.) The difference, I think, is that the incentives are relatively soft compared to the punishments that the Justice Department is capable of doling out. The anarcho-lunatics will keep doing what they're doing, which is more or less okay, because without massive participation Anonymous is toothless.

Anonymous could do something useful--heaven forbid (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35192312)

Revealing all of the HBGary emails (whoever named the company this had better not admit it) revealed other things such as the Chamber of Commerce's involvement in a smear campaign. They could turn into a more active form of Wikileaks pretty easily, providing lots of skeletons to gawk at. Truth is far better than fiction.

Do you not understand? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35192334)

Anonymous isn't people. Anonymous Isn't organized. Anonymous doesn't have members. The person who claims anonymous has "senior members" is merely antagonizing the assembly that is anonymous, and feeding into the fear of the public regarding what it dose not understand and wants gone for that sole reason. There are no rules for anonymous, because there is no anonymous. IT IS A STATE OF MIND NOT A FACTION OF WAR.

Am I missing something? (5, Insightful)

devnull17 (592326) | more than 3 years ago | (#35192346)

Wait, so they have a copy of something that was designed to replicate itself and is known to have spread to literally hundreds of thousands of unsecured machines? And they have a binary copy of it? I'm going to write the rest of this post from my bomb shelter.

The media talk about Anonymous like it's some shadowy terrorist super-villain collective, but that's really missing the point. Anonymous is, at its core, the world's most prolific troll. Look at the sites they attacked in the whole WikiLeaks affair. Visa.com and MasterCard.com? It's obvious to anyone with a clue that these are symbolic targets. If they'd had the desire (and arguably the capability) to inflict real damage, they'd have gone after the payment processing infrastructure instead. But their goal isn't to break stuff. It's to do something relatively inconsequential, and see how many media organizations they can get to shit their pants over it.

This is (roughly) the same group whose crowning achievement was getting Oprah to say "over 9000 penises" on national TV. Even if they have the capability to inflict real damage—and some members clearly do—they seem to be more interested in getting attention and playing the media for complete fools. Which is way more entertaining than indiscriminately wreaking havoc on the world.

And that's the bottom line. Everything they do is for entertainment value. Because they're not terrorists; they're trolls.

Oh Shit (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35192348)

You mean I wasted all that time tweaking Gentoo to run on my centrifuges? Should I switch to Yellowcake Linux instead?

Wait, wat? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35192378)

So people who don't log into /. to post comments get a free Stuxnet worm?! That's almost as good as a new car!!!

The whole world has Stuxnet (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35192518)

https://github.com/Laurelai/decompile-dump

Why is this an article? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35192606)

Who the fuck cares if they have copies of the code?
So do many other private analysts.

And HBGary is a joke of a company.

not anon, but gov't "press release"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35192714)

"Anonymous" claims that the "group" has possession of [insert dangerous thing here]...

Since no one else seems to have pointed out this particular point (at the time of my posting this, obviously), allow me:

As we all know, claiming Anonymous is a group is silly, and playing this up as though "the group" got their hands on the digital equivalent of nukes is even sillier.

So what this leads me to believe (tin-foil hat on) is that it is possible someone in the government actually issued the announcement on twitter, counting on the press to stupidly jump all over it (because they still can't wrap their heads around the concept of what Anonymous really is) and "copy/paste" your typical scare-tactic press release, substituting Stuxnet for "dirty bombs" or whatever ("oh noes! the [organized bad people] have [dangerous thing(s)] that threaten the safety of America! ), and are therefore giving themselves an excuse to justify treating Anonymous as any other terrorist and going after them without any due process. Note also that by continuing to treat them as an actual organized group, they can even claim that anyone they arrest belongs to that group and ship them off to Guantanamo, because as far as the gov't is concerned, Anonymous is just a new word for Terrorist.

And THAT is something to be wary of, because now it's an even shorter leap from Anonymous to Citizen.

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