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Attacked By Anonymous, HBGary Pulls Out of RSA

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the why-can't-we-all-just-get-along dept.

Security 415

itwbennett writes "HBGary Federal cancelled a talk the company's CEO Aaron Barr was planning to give at the BSides San Francisco conference on his investigation of WikiLeaks. 'I was receiving death threats,' Barr said in an interview Tuesday. 'There was lots of talk that was being made of in the Anonymous IRC channels of harassing us at our booth and sending people to heckle [HBGary speakers at the conference].' The company has also decided to pull its booth from the RSA Conference floor after it was vandalized on Sunday, said Jim Butterworth, HBGary's vice president of services. 'We... came back the next morning and it was very apparent that the group responsible for the activities in the news had decided to make another statement,' he said."

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Anatomy of the Hack (5, Informative)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 3 years ago | (#35221104)

Ars has a really good summary of the attack [arstechnica.com] that used really run-of-the-mill stuff from social engineering via e-mail to an SQL injection of HBGary's CMS using this URL: http://www.hbgaryfederal.com/pages.php?pageNav=2&page=27 [hbgaryfederal.com]

Re:Anatomy of the Hack (5, Informative)

cabjf (710106) | more than 3 years ago | (#35221270)

I liked this article [arstechnica.com] better. Not very technical, but it does show what kind of person Aaron Barr really is. The greatest part is that he tried to play Anonymous just to drum up government business and seemed to think there would be no repercussions.

Re:Anatomy of the Hack (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35221468)

While I agree that it sounds like this guy Barr is quite an ass it doesn't excuse the criminal actions of the folks attacking him and his company. (Not that I am claiming you are excusing them; you did not say that). I just have this feeling that there are folks out there cheering for the bad guys here just because Barr is a jerk. But the folks doing these attacks and vandalizing their booth are still criminals and there isn't an excuse for that.

Government fraud (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35221534)

I just have this feeling that there are folks out there cheering for the bad guys here just because Barr is a jerk

My impression from all this is that HBGary were incompetent and as a Government contractor, they should be investigated for fraud. Selling their services as a Government security firm only to be broken into with SQL injections and rainbow tables?!?

Plah- ease!

Re:Anatomy of the Hack (4, Insightful)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | more than 3 years ago | (#35221540)

I'm going to go out on a limb and say that putting a "large paper poster" on their booth doesn't really count as "vandalism".

Re:Anatomy of the Hack (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35221546)

That's because a lot of people are cheering on the "Bad guys". Sorry, but "bad guys" and "good guys" are perspectives, and history is written by the winner. Here in the US a lot of people consider our forefathers to be the "good guys" instead of "domestic terrorists".

it doesnt excuse that, that doesnt excuse this ... (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#35221584)

bleh and bleh.

we are not excusing ourselves as people, and not doing anything that the current law would shun as criminal, but those people whom you speak about are doing all the inexcusable criminal acts as government contractors, and getting away with it. this ranges from torture to censorship.

no. there is a certain point of assness at which things can be excused.

Re:Anatomy of the Hack (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35221636)

Yeah, just like there wasn't an excuse when the colonial militia started behaving like criminals in the eyes of the British Crown, who was being a jerk....until of course, the revolution started and they became heroes to their fellow Americans...

Barr is much worse than just a jerk or an ass. He's a dishonest sleazeball who, if left alone, would sooner or later be guilty of far worse crimes than vandalism...

Now, I'm not saying it is OK for this group to do what they are doing, but I am reserving judgment for who in this case should be called a criminal until the dust settles...

Re:Anatomy of the Hack (2)

DarkOx (621550) | more than 3 years ago | (#35221550)

Right a few things are evident from what has happened so far.

1. HB Gary is run by people who are arrogant, fool hardy, and hope to seek a public rent scoring themsevels a government security contract or two when they clear have nothing of value to add.

2. HB Gary as an organization is incompetent. When computer/network security is your business and you get hacked no matter how clever the hack is its a FAIL on your part. In this case while not exactly crude Anonymous ow3n4g3 of their site was not the most sophisticated crack ever seen either. HB Gary blew it big time.

3. Anonymous is in fact more than just a bunch of script kiddies, does have some organization, and does have some people of at least some sophistication. Dismissing them as a bunch of kids is worng just like dismissing the mob as a bunch of gang bangers is worng, yes there are alot of those in the organization but there betters are doing the thinking, They do represent threat if you become their adversary.

No, still not getting it (4, Insightful)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 3 years ago | (#35221610)

You are still in Fox mode, trying to see the conspiracy behind events because your mind cannot grasp that shit just happens.

Anonymous has no organization, it cannot by its very nature. Some people who HAVE grouped together have used the name for themselves BUT by that they have seized to become Anonymous.

Is it really that hard to grasp? Just because you know the identity of ONE A. Nonymous author doesn't mean that every other book written under that name is linked to it in anyway. Anonymous, the concept to give a mystic to the random actions of people that sometimes seem to work together and groups calling themselves anonymous are NOT the same thing.

Re:No, still not getting it (1)

Zironic (1112127) | more than 3 years ago | (#35221652)

The distinction is meaningless. If you kill/imprison the people calling themselves Anonymous the attacks stop either way regardless if they're one group or many groups.

Re:No, still not getting it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35221696)

FYI - It's "ceased to", not "seized to"

Re:Anatomy of the Hack (5, Interesting)

Azureflare (645778) | more than 3 years ago | (#35221648)

Just read the article. Is this guy for real? He sounds like he stepped out of a webcomic about wannabe-hacker IRC lurkers.

It's very frightening that someone could get 3 (potential?) innocents arrested with little to no evidence.

I mean honestly, using badly thought out heuristics to analyze social networking data and guaranteeing "100% Success"? This guy obviously never attended a CS class.

P.S. I am not condoning the actions of Anonymous in any way, this guy just seems like he could use some more schooling. (and he got some schooling in the great college of Real Life!)

Earth First! (1, Insightful)

sycodon (149926) | more than 3 years ago | (#35221466)

So Anonymous is kind of like Earth First folks. Loosely organized, with sociopathic tendencies.

Except instead of burning down construction sites and SUVs, they crash websites and break into systems.

They both apparently make death threats.

Re:Earth First! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35221630)

Everyone always says "death threats". You can't get on the internet without someone telling you to DIAF, and oh no that's now a death threat.

HBGary is the sort of sociopathic outfit that would actually hire someone to carry it out.

That's War (-1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#35221126)

Tell lies about Wikileaks? That's War [metrolyrics.com]
Want to mess with Anonymous? That's War

It's an all-out war between the forces of good and evil that has never stopped and will never stop. The price of freedom? Constant vigilance.

Re:That's War (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35221212)

It's an all-out war between the forces of good and evil that has never stopped and will never stop.

Wait, is that part of the Green Lantern Corps creed or something from the Thundercats?

I could take stuff like this more seriously if people didn't have such cartoonish perceptions of what "good" and "evil" actually mean, and stopped trying to pretend they are some sort of freedom fighters when all they are is vandals and bullies who get off on what they are doing

If *real* fascists ever took control in this country, most of these people would shit themselves on a continuous basis before the secret police killed them, their families, their pets, burned down their houses and killed a few others standing around just to send a message.

Re:That's War (5, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#35221296)

If *real* fascists ever took control in this country, most of these people would shit themselves on a continuous basis before the secret police killed them, their families, their pets, burned down their houses and killed a few others standing around just to send a message.

Which is why attempting to foil incremental steps in that direction, before they reach fruition, is sort of a good idea, no?

Re:That's War (4, Insightful)

spun (1352) | more than 3 years ago | (#35221436)

If *real* fascists ever took control in this country, most of these people would shit themselves on a continuous basis before the secret police killed them, their families, their pets, burned down their houses and killed a few others standing around just to send a message.

Which is why attempting to foil incremental steps in that direction, before they reach fruition, is sort of a good idea, no?

Yes, but there is the whole "boy who cried wolf" aspect to constantly calling everything you don't like "fascism." Not everything presages the immanent collapse of American civilization. And the AC has a good point about people's cartoonish perception of good and evil.

Re:That's War (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35221446)

You might want to consider the possibility of actively working in the opposite direction. [metagovernment.org] The main reason modern "democracies" don't have crushing authoritarian regimes is because the people are such sheep that force isn't necessary. Just give them McDonalds and TV (the modern bread and circuses), and they will take whatever the elites want to dish out.

Re:That's War (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35221660)

Anybody who thinks Anonymous is doing shit to protect their freedoms is delusional. Their attack on HBGary has done exactly zero for the efforts to protect the rights of the US citizenry. In fact, the only thing it has done is proven they are childish attention whores who have no regard for what is actually right or wrong. They just want to break shit. Not that HBGary shouldn't be humiliated because they should. All the security breaches were the result of blatant stupidity and hubris.

Re:That's War (3)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#35221730)

Do you think that the acquisition of documentary evidence(that would never otherwise have come to light) of the sort of dirty-tricks tactics used by entities like the "Chamber of Commerce" is actually of zero value? Or the revelation that comparatively well respected US contractors would be putting out proposals to do the hatchet work?

I have no wish to claim that every member of anonymous(to the degree that there are "members") is some sort of heroic altruist. I strongly suspect that many of them are just pranksters, vandals, or dumb kids. Similarly, I would be wholly unsurprised to discover that Assuage is a creepy attention whore with serious grandiosity issues.

However, judgement-by-personality is only relevant for people I have to deal with personally. In this realm, I only care about results. I care what they are doing, not why they are doing it.

Re:That's War (2)

Nethemas the Great (909900) | more than 3 years ago | (#35221412)

Tell that to Anonymous in Egypt.

Re:That's War (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35221614)

Oh, for the love of... you just have ONE fucking successful social uprising — just ONE, ONE SINGLE ONE — that you can assign SOME PARTIAL credit to the internet for, and every goddamned group of vandals, bullies, and trolls are suddenly a bunch of infallible FREEDOM(tm) FIGHTERS OF FREEDOM(tm) AND FREE(tm) FREENESS(tm).

Grow the fuck up. We'll all be here laughing when the mob's power trip keeps going and they decide you're doing something they don't like. Or have a name that sounds similar to someone doing something they don't like.

It's people like you who make me think Mikey Kristopeit might have a point about Slashdot's readerbase going downhill.

let me put it in cartoon context : (3, Interesting)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#35221642)

me knowing what my government is doing with my money : good.

anyone trying to prevent me from knowing what my government is doing with my money, for ANY reason : evil

anyone helping me know what my government is doing : good.

anyone defending those who are helping me know what my government is doing : good.

at our time and age, with the point our societal corruption has hit, unfortunately things are as black & white as this.

...............

and talking about fascism and lack of freedom - dont worry. fascists already have taken over your country long ago - you are just being repressed willingly, living only in proportion to your material wealth, while the rich has cornered the economy before you and controlling you through their bigger wealth, and you think that as freedom. you have nothing to fear - you are already willingly participating in what you fear.

Re:That's War (3, Interesting)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 3 years ago | (#35221260)

Want to mess with the NSA, DOD, CIA, and FBI? People talk about when dealing with Anonymous that you shouldn't "poke the bear".
In this case if they want to go to war it would be wise to take a good look at the bears that Anonymous is poking. So this is war... The problem is they are starting a war with people that fight wars for a living and have real guns.
Across the world thousands of basements will soon be going dark.
 

Re:That's War (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35221432)

You mean the FBI that keeps being proven to have just plain MADE SHIT UP to go after people?

Re:That's War (1)

kevinNCSU (1531307) | more than 3 years ago | (#35221498)

You mean the FBI that keeps being proven to have just plain MADE SHIT UP to go after people?

I don't think you understand the whole poking a bear concept. Your response is akin to saying "You mean the same bear that ripped a dude's arm off and ate it for NO REASON?!?" Yes kind sir, that is indeed the bear you should think twice before poking.

Re:That's War (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 3 years ago | (#35221666)

Humiliating a corporation is not "poking the bear". The FBI may or may not be interested in persuing this. This sort of problem is why there the likes of the RIAA and MPAA are running amok in the civil courts.

Sometimes, the G-Men just don't care. It's not glamorous enough or whatever.

Re:That's War (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35221668)

I don't want to spoil your wet dreams about government efficiency, but... NSA, DOD, CIA, FBI... on that list we have exactly 1 organization with experience in war. And exactly 1 organization that knows what "cyber-war" actually is. The CIA doesn't operate inside the USA, and the FBI is a glorified local police station. They have better resources, but they are still just cops.

So that leaves a serious threat from the DOD, which likely doesn't even know what Anon is, or much care, since there are real threats out there. And the NSA, whom, I can only assume, has better things to do than pursue a bunch of petty criminals over some flame war between a forum and a wanna be contractor. That leaves us back with the FBI being the only actual threatening agency, and while certainly an efficient law enforcement agency, they are far from prepared to fight this kind of war.

Now about that word... war. I don't think it means what you think it means. Because I can promise you, if Anon went to WAR, there would be home made bombs going off and infrastructure going down, and generally something approaching mayhem in the streets. Or... at least that would be the goal, the most likely reality is 1 or 2 bombs go off, a couple power grids go dark and pages and pages of /b/ get filled with images cropped from Fight Club.

In any case, the outcome here is the same as it has always been. A couple of dumb asses are going to take all the heat. 50% will martyr themselves, the other 50% will cry for their mommies. 5% random chance that any "caught" individual commits suicide. (1% chance that it will be live broadcast). The FBI and any one else working on this will hold up a couple of arrests as proof they found the leadership (ahahahahaha) and it will all fade away into the 24 hour news cycle.

Our legal system is woefully unable to deal with groups like Anon. We failed with the mafia. We failed with the next mafia (we call them corporations), and we will fail with "new age..." wait " NuAge" groups like Anon. Anon is worse than the rest, because there really isn't any leadership to speak of. You can't cut the head off (not that we've been terribly good at that sort of thing anyway).

   

Re:That's War (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35221344)

Comical. It really looks like a war of Evil vs Evil. I could care less who wins, the law or the packet kiddies, I simply wish they would stop believing they are doing this for some vague sense of justice.

Re:That's War (1)

NoSleepDemon (1521253) | more than 3 years ago | (#35221594)

Your post is confusing, you seem to imply that you couldn't care less, yet you say you could. Exactly how much less could you care?

Re:That's War (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35221360)

They fabricated facts and lied about everything else, most likely they vandalized their own booth.

But who is good and who is Evil? (2, Insightful)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 3 years ago | (#35221364)

Anonymous good?
Is making death threats because you do not like someone is going to say at a conference good? Is heckling and yelling them down good? Funny but I have seen those actions in old news reels from the 30s and from old news stories from the 60s. The folks using those tactics where the ones in the brown shirts and the white sheets.
I don't think MLK or Gandhi ever made any death threats to people or hecked them when they presented papers at conferences. I could be wrong but I am pretty sure about that.

Since when is when someone says something you do agree with you make death threats been a sign of being good?
Anonymous is a gang of bullies. People often see bullies and thugs as heroes if they themselves do not ones being bullied. There are people that think the KKK are a bunch of brave freedom fighters.

Anonymous is no differn't right down to hiding their faces. And their fans do not like they people they are abusing.
Anonymous are those peoples brave Knights in white sheets.

Re:But who is good and who is Evil? (1)

bdsesq (515351) | more than 3 years ago | (#35221438)

Death threats sounds like a good way for him to try and save face.
I doubt if anyone actually threatened his life. That would be stupid and these people seem to be anything BUT stupid.
I can imagine a lot of heckling and embarrassment during the talk.
For someone with his ego that might seem worse than death!

Re:But who is good and who is Evil? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35221638)

Read the IRC chat logs. I didn't see any death threats. They just tried to get his supervisor to fire him so that he wouldn't do their company any more harm. Really reasonable tbh, since the guy seems thinks he's a genius but is really a tard.

Re:But who is good and who is Evil? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35221758)

"That would be stupid, and these people seem to be anything BUT stupid"

Do you have any fucking clue as to who "these people" are?

http://boards.4chan.org/b/ (NOT SAFE FOR ANYTHING(ESPECIALLY NOT WORK))

I think maybe this is an education a lot of people need about Anon. Anon = some portion of the /b/ population. (something awful is more than slightly involved also, under the name goons, but that's another story altogether. It's a good one though, see, an MMO allowed /b/ and SA peeps to ally, and created VOLTRON.... er....)

Re:But who is good and who is Evil? (2)

Kell Bengal (711123) | more than 3 years ago | (#35221512)

Death threats seem incongruous when you consider that the clearly identifiable action Anonymous has taken here came in the form of 'vandalism', by which he means "A paper sign written with black sharpie."

Perhaps I'm mistaken, but people intend on actually doing you injury tend not to leave signs around saying they're in it for the fun of it.

Re:But who is good and who is Evil? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35221562)

I don't really care for him. He doesn't deserve to die, but deserves any shit he gets for being such an idiotic and smug asshole who is full of himself.

Re:But who is good and who is Evil? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35221542)

"... news reels from the 30s..."

Damn, great grampaw? Is that yooooooou???

Re:But who is good and who is Evil? (1)

bberens (965711) | more than 3 years ago | (#35221558)

Wait, you think it was non-violent speeches that put an end to the actions of those folks in the brown shirts and white sheets? I hate to break it to you but all justice begins with force. We have a reasonably fair court system in this country because we fought for it violently. Egypt is attempting something similar right now. And the comment about hiding their faces? Ever heard of the Boston Tea Party? Yeah, they wore Indian costumes. Anonymous may or may not be a bunch of schmucks, but at least in the case of supporting wikileaks they ARE on the side of freedom of speech and open democracy which hopefully we can all agree is a good idea. We might differ on degrees and Anonymous may be the on the fringe radical side that we don't really like all that much, but they ARE on team *good*.

They are behaving like a corporation or gov't (3, Insightful)

copponex (13876) | more than 3 years ago | (#35221600)

What happened when Assange started releasing diplomatic cables? Oh, that's right: he received public death threats from US officials. What happens when an individual starts complaining about a corporation, or about scientology? Oh, that's right: they get bullied by a team of lawyers that cost more per hour than the individual makes in a month.

I don't support making death threats or using baser harassment to get a point across, but the only thing newsworthy about the tactics of Anonymous is that now it's regular citizens making the threats and engaging in bullying tactics instead of governments and corporations. If governments and corporations only respect the law when they aren't the ones in power anymore, fuck'em.

Re:But who is good and who is Evil? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35221606)

You do not really seem to be in the know [arstechnica.com] . Also here [pastebin.com] is a lot [arstechnica.com] moreinformation [salon.com] . To sum it all up for you. Mr Barr was planning on selling false information to the FBI in the name of "Research" [hizost.com] which had wrong names connected to innocent people, and also wanted journalists of free press silenced.

Re:But who is good and who is Evil? (1)

MasaMuneCyrus (779918) | more than 3 years ago | (#35221680)

I'm pretty sure that anonymous does the things it does as retaliation for what it perceives as attacks on it and internet freedom.

The protesters in Egypt were peaceful, but when they were attacked they took up arms, attacked back, and set up neighborhood watches, detaining people that it deemed were "thugs" -- vigilante justice, in other words. Maybe you'll be on the moral high ground when you die as a martyr because you didn't defend yourself, but that doesn't mean that it's not incredibly stupid to just sit there and wait to get beaten to death.

The incremental and continuous aggressive actions taken not only against "piracy," but even against the possibility of piracy, the creation of thought-crimes (such as making the knowledge of breaking encryption illegal), and the whole notion of ending anonymity on the internet itself, as many of anon's "enemies" seem to want to do to -- these things are viewed as attacks on anon and its principles, and so they believe that it's acceptable to take up arms to defend themselves, their principles, and impose vigilante justice.

At least in my opinion, that's how this whole development of the anon underground is going, and the harder powerful entities try to stop them, the more angry and decentralized anon will become (unless the "powers that be" actually manage to find and detain the many multiples of leaders that anon has, some of which I have no doubt are in other countries with nicer laws than the US).

Re:But who is good and who is Evil? (2)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 3 years ago | (#35221694)

Oversimplification. Gandhi may have never made death threats etc., but I can guaranty you that some of his followers did (and don't even think of rebutting that with some variant of 'no true Scotsman'). That's the challenge of any movement's leadership, to keep people both motivated and controlled. Where a group has little to no leadership but is based on momentary consensus/buy-in like Anonymous, this issue can't even be solved.

The question becomes how does one judge a movement. Was the civil rights movement evil because groups like the Black Panthers advocated violence? Was Dr. King somehow negligent in being unable to stop the formation of the Black Panthers or control their (wholly separate) activities? (Granted MLK was assassinated two years after the Black Panthers formed.) The point is you should judge a movement by its core values, not its fringe actors. The civil rights movement was validated by the millions who worked for positive change, not the handful who sought to murder police officers. Anonymous, while by nature not unified by a standing cause or principle, should at least be judged by a majority of its actors and its primary effects. So unless HBGary is getting threats from thousands of different actors instead of one or two, I think it is disingenuous at a minimum to be comparing them to the KKK.

Re:But who is good and who is Evil? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35221750)

Yup. And Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay should've signed their names to the federalist papers [foundingfathers.info] . Fucking pussies acting like bullies to that innocent British government.

Anonymity has it's place. Some people use it for bad, others for good, but that doesn't mean you should condemn one group because another you don't agree with used the same tactics. Are we fighting for Iraqi freedom? Do all Iraqi's see it that way?

You can't reason with someone who is unreasonable, so many times the only recourse is to take direct action. I note you completely gloss over the fact that all of this action by Anonymous is ENTIRELY in reaction to the initial attack by HBGary, and more specifically Aaron Barr. If you start a fight and you lose it, that doesn't make you a victim, or in the right. And sometimes an example needs to be made to encourage others to learn from the mistake. Or for the lulz. Whatever.

Re:That's War (2)

ISoldat53 (977164) | more than 3 years ago | (#35221444)

Who would believe anything he says?

Re:That's War (2)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 3 years ago | (#35221738)

Which sounds all nice and fine. Unless you start really looking at where the lines of "good" and "evil" are drawn and who's drawing them. I'm wary of anyone who wants to put the signs of "good" and "evil" above any of these actors.

Vandalized? (5, Informative)

sureshot007 (1406703) | more than 3 years ago | (#35221152)

Vandalized booth = a sign that says "Anon...In it 4 The LuLz..." http://yfrog.com/gzbvtllj [yfrog.com] I was expecting the booth to have been burned to the ground or something.

Re:Vandalized? (5, Insightful)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 3 years ago | (#35221184)

Nice tidbit.

So a "security company" is afraid of a sign?

I'd sooner place my bets they're in the Long Con to paint "Anonymous" (there can be only one, right?) as a Threat. Then everyone in power profits when draconian measures come along.

Re:Vandalized? (3, Interesting)

Kokuyo (549451) | more than 3 years ago | (#35221324)

I think this is just another perfect example of just how full of himself AND how much of a crybaby Mr. Barr is.

Re:Vandalized? (2)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 3 years ago | (#35221392)

They were in the long con. Now they're outed and everyone's so sceptical when they cry "threat!" that people investigate, find out things like the nature of the vandalism, and they come out looking even stupider than they did before.

Re:Vandalized? (3, Insightful)

Sarten-X (1102295) | more than 3 years ago | (#35221426)

HBGary is not in the business of preventing or withstanding attacks. They're the guys who will investigate events after the fact, compiling nice piles of evidence to hand over to the FBI/police/whomever.

The sign on the booth is a threat. Note that "vandalized" was ITworld's chosen word. The message is clear: "Anonymous is here, and has the same utter lack of respect in real life as online." Given that there were many threats ranging from harassing the booth staff to heckling the speakers, and even up to death, the sign potentially serves as a last warning: Let Anonymous ravage whatever they want, or die.

It makes sense for HBGary to step out of the line of fire, just in case somebody's crazy enough to act on those death threats. Death is not their business. I expect that the sign is being checked for fingerprints, the conference attendee list is being subpoenaed, and security cameras are being reviewed.

I'd also expect that HBGary will use this incident to paint Anonymous as a group of people who constitute a real threat. They stalk and harass a target organization for as long as they're interested, with expenses and lost income costs rising daily. This dedication is as much a problem to Anonymous as to their targets, and HBGary is now playing a great game: they're trolling the trolls. With every public move HBGary makes, Anonymous is drawn into acting. That's another 4chan post, another analysis, another page in HBGary's final report on Anonymous, and another customer impressed by the company's thorough attention to detail.

Re:Vandalized? (1)

Spykk (823586) | more than 3 years ago | (#35221720)

the sign potentially serves as a last warning: Let Anonymous ravage whatever they want, or die.

No, the sign means that some kid on 4-chan saw that he was coming to his area and decided it would be funny. People who portray anonymous as some sort of sinister agency just don't understand what it is. There is no anonymous. There are no leaders or plans. There is only an anonymous forum where random strangers occasionally post suggestions. If enough people think they are funny they happen.

Re:Vandalized? (4, Funny)

jovius (974690) | more than 3 years ago | (#35221490)

)

Whew!

Re:Vandalized? (1)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 3 years ago | (#35221718)

I'd sooner place my bets they're in the Long Con to paint "Anonymous" (there can be only one, right?) as a Threat. Then everyone in power profits when draconian measures come along.

Right - and some Machiavellian government bureaucrat is sitting back in his high-backed chair, petting a white cat, repeatedly saying "excellent."

I'd call it differently. Barr has an idea - using public information gleaned to expose relationships and additional information. It's not entirely a bad idea. However, plenty of good ideas have met a sudden end when implementing them effectively proves to be difficult. Barr ignores warnings that his implementation is lacking and generates publicity. As things ratchet up, he discovers that his implementation isn't as good as he thought. But by now too many people are watching to simply bow out. He invokes the Anonymous boogie man to provide himself a way out of the corner he's painted himself in to. Anonymous complies because being scary boogie men appeals to them.

Let sleeping Agent Smiths lie. (3, Funny)

Even on Slashdot FOE (1870208) | more than 3 years ago | (#35221170)

Let sleeping Agent Smiths lie. Even if they don't have cool matrix moves, there are a lot of them, they are functionally identical for most e-combat related purposes, and of course, they have a record of pulling this kind of stuff off.

Some_Group: Hey guys, let's attack Anonymous! It'll make us rich if we can hack them, an our security can stop their counterattack, right?
Anonymous: No it can't. I'm putting all your embarrassing/incriminating email messages onto the net.
Some_Group: FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFUUUUU-

Anonymous booth visits/hecklers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35221172)

I'm not sure why they were concerned. These guys are confident when they're behind a laptop, not when they're face-to-face at a booth. There's no way they'd have done anything in person.

Re:Anonymous booth visits/hecklers? (2)

pcgfx805 (1750684) | more than 3 years ago | (#35221214)

You can't possibly label everyone in Anonymous as a coward in person.

Re:Anonymous booth visits/hecklers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35221522)

Every anonymous I have ever seen here at slashdot has been a coward

Re:Anonymous booth visits/hecklers? (2)

Tr3vin (1220548) | more than 3 years ago | (#35221342)

That is why they never carried out protests against the scientologists, right? I'd fully expect them to show up, though many of them would wear those Guy Fawkes masks.

Drama Queens (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35221194)

For supposed 'security experts' they do seem pretty weak.

Also I suspect this might well be a publicity stunt to get more attention.

Right..... (5, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#35221286)

So, let's take a look at this:

Option 1: Members or associates of a loose-knit group of hackers who are likely subjects of federal interest after illegally penetrating and utterly humiliating a private-sector spook shop decide that it would be a great idea to show up, in person, at an event with some amount of security likely to be in the vicinity, just to heckle somebody they have already pwned good and hard. They think that this is a good idea because showing up in crowded areas and making a disturbance is an excellent way to remain anonymous.

Option 2: Aaron Barr and the rest of the losers at HBGary really don't want to show their faces at RSA, after having been ruthlessly punked by a bunch of amateurs; but decide to cry about "security threats" in an attempt to look less than totally pathetic.

Y'know, I don't think that this is a terribly difficult decision...

Re:Right..... (3, Interesting)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 3 years ago | (#35221402)

I'm in no way associated with Anonymous, 4Chan, or any of the stuff that's gone on, but I've read through this saga with keen interest, and think Barr got exactly what was coming to him. To use the vernacular, he got "served" good and proper.

The great thing about Anonymous is that, had I been at RSA and placed that sign, I would have been in Anonymous for that time, despite having never been associated with them in any other way. It's an ideal, not a club you apply to join.

If you still don't get that, you don't get Anonymous at all.

Re:Right..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35221494)

. It's an ideal, not a club you apply to join. If you still don't get that, you don't get Anonymous at all.

Exactly, I was in Anonymous for the IRL Scientology protests, but now I'm not. I love the idea that he thought he'd found the ringleaders. What he found (well, he thought he'd found) was the people who ran one IRC channel. There are many anon IRC channels not just on anonnet.ru, but on rizon, irchighway, undernet, efnet etc.

Never Forgive, Never Forget.

Re:Right..... (1)

smelch (1988698) | more than 3 years ago | (#35221712)

That's the good thing about Anonymous? That it is an empty meaningless word invoked by everybody to mean something vague? Talk about an ineffective, cowardly way to protest. I can't wait until this pointless fad dies out, or somebody starts doing things the main actors claiming to be 'in' Anonymous are ashamed of. Then we'll get to hear the shrill protests that "thats not really Anonymous", which is completely contradictory to the line we've been told over and over about the nature of the "group". And they think they're working for social change? They're generic vandals from the internet all using the same pseudonym trying to feel a modicum of power, with visions of grandeur and Fight Club in their heads.

Re:Right..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35221430)

Option 3: Sit back with popcorn and appropriate alcoholic beverage of choice and watch as this carnival continues!

On a serious note, and I loathe using this particular word, but is this whole scenario the new 'Cyber-warfare' that the Governments been spewing about for the past half decade?

Re:Right..... (1)

Revotron (1115029) | more than 3 years ago | (#35221462)

They think that this is a good idea because showing up in crowded areas and making a disturbance is an excellent way to remain anonymous.

Your post seems to suggest that Anonymous is smart enough to not show up in person, and that HBGary is only using this as a scapegoat. You seem to think that Anonymous is logical and believes that staying online is the best course of action to preserve their anonymity.

I think [wikipedia.org] you [boingboing.net] have [indybay.org] some [tampabay.com] reading [slashdot.org] to [infoshop.org] do. [azcentral.com]

Re:Right..... (1)

Kell Bengal (711123) | more than 3 years ago | (#35221464)

Really, though, nobody has any illusions that any member of Anonymous is causally related to any other. "Anonymous" is just a name. A lot of the strength of anonymous as a concept comes from the vast majority of its members just being disaffected kids; which makes identifying the movers and shakers more difficult. It seems to me that the only way to 'stop' Anonymous would be to hold each and every member identified as such accountable for any/all of Anonymous' actions. Ie. make the cost of identifying as 'Anonymous' such that assuming the label is too expensive. You'd destroy 'anonymous' but they'd just choose other labels (and more of them) and you'd have to start again. Anonymous is a stable concept and anyone trying to stop them is playing whack-a-mole.

Re:Right..... (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 3 years ago | (#35221500)

*sigh* do people still not get anonymous?

Any action taken by people claiming to be anonymous is really just them acting alone. Maybe others inspired or encouraged but the simple fact is that no one represents anonymous and the actions of one individual do not represent anything other than themselves.

Re:Right..... (1)

Duradin (1261418) | more than 3 years ago | (#35221714)

If no one represents Anonymous then everyone represents Anonymous. With no command and control structure to say "that wasn't us" anyone flying the Anonymous flag is (to use some tautology) acting under the Anonymous flag.

Not having a leader doesn't make the group as a whole immune from responsibility, in fact, it makes the group more vulnerable as it is entirely the members' actions that determine what the group is responsible for.

Don't agree with some action Anonymous has taken? Too bad. By being a member of the group you supported it. Once they pull something big enough to seriously annoy the feds RICO laws and their ilk are going to have a heyday.

Sigh... (2, Interesting)

maliamnon (1848524) | more than 3 years ago | (#35221322)

Backing down from your beliefs due to threats and attacks will only breed more attacks and threats. While I'm not necessary against Anon, their acts are that of terrorism in this case, and unfortunately, those tactics work.

Re:Sigh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35221386)

Just.... just shut the fuck up, dude.

Re:Sigh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35221472)

I hope HBGary actually documented some of the real threats, beyond the simple vandalism.

Re:Sigh... (3, Insightful)

Nethemas the Great (909900) | more than 3 years ago | (#35221496)

Yup, this [yfrog.com] is definitely the work of hardcore terrorists. Time to extraordinarily rendition them and ship them to Git'mo.

Death threats and vandalism = NOT okay (3, Insightful)

davidwr (791652) | more than 3 years ago | (#35221330)

Protesting is one thing but wanton destruction of property is another. Death threats are well over the top.

These are not things responsible protests groups do in a situation like this. Next time, keep it to rhetoric and, if you are willing to be !Anonymous, picketing in person.

Re:Death threats and vandalism = NOT okay (1)

headhot (137860) | more than 3 years ago | (#35221378)

The only evidence of an actual death threat comes from the "security expert" who had his ass handed to him by a bunch of amateurs. He needed some kind of excuse to keep his embarrassed ass at home.

Re:Death threats and vandalism = NOT okay (4, Informative)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 3 years ago | (#35221382)

This doesn't look like destruction of property:

http://yfrog.com/gzbvtllj [yfrog.com]

Re:Death threats and vandalism = NOT okay (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35221398)

That's what the British told us a little over 200 years ago.

So what about the US Gov vs WL? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35221400)

So what about the US Gov vs WL? You know, where they said that they had to kidnap (arrest) all the people and try them for treason (when not a USA citizen) and that Julian Asange should be executed are things that responsible governments don't do in situations like this.

How about Saddam? They actually killed him. Not just threatened. Killed. For torturing people and killing civilians. Later, the USA is torturing at abu graib and killing civilians in Iraq.

Re:Death threats and vandalism = NOT okay (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#35221434)

Are you sure any of these things actually happened? Let's remember which company is making these claims...

Property = NOT destructed (3, Informative)

mangu (126918) | more than 3 years ago | (#35221442)

Protesting is one thing but wanton destruction of property is another

Do you want to see how much property was "destroyed"? Look here [yfrog.com]

That's it, what they call "vandalism" was a piece of paper with something written. If someone could prove they are "Anonymous" they would have grounds to sue HBGary for libel.

Re:Death threats and vandalism = NOT okay (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35221574)

Oh boo-fucking-hoo!

When you have nitwits running around all over the place telling Anon that what they're doing with the DDoS and the occasional breaking into of sites is ultimately not going to get them what they want, of course they're going to step it up a notch or two.

The long and short of it is that if you don't want any kind of repercussions, then don't act like a douchebag, or work for a company that routinely engages in acts of douchebaggery. If you ignore this, then don't be surprised when you start getting death threats.

Personally it wouldn't hurt my feelings a goddamn bit if they started publicly lynching people like Barr. They are the cancer that's destroying this country. Obama made empty promises of CHANGE, and now things are going to change the hard way.

In short: Fuck you.

Re:Death threats and vandalism = NOT okay (1)

bberens (965711) | more than 3 years ago | (#35221670)

I agree with you completely. Someone above posted a picture of the "vandalism" though, they added a sign to their booth that said "Anon.. in it for the Lulz" or something to that affect. From the looks of it, nothing was destroyed.

Additionally, it appears Anonymous at least believes they're fighting for freedom of speech and open democracy wrt the wikileaks stuff. It's not the first time Americans have threatened to kill people for those rights.

You can't beat the crowd (4, Insightful)

GoNINzo (32266) | more than 3 years ago | (#35221350)

Anonymous is just the first of many future darknets that will be nearly impossible to destroy. You might take out a ringleader or two, but 4 others would stand up to take their place if they felt that it was unjust. And in the end, it's death by a thousand harmless cuts, or in this case, 1,000 users that don't like something running the their Ion cannons under central control. In this case, this dude is using social networking like facebook to figure out who are hackers. I doubt they have many connections to other hackers on facebook or twitter. It's most likely random unrelated acquaintances, so I think the guy's research is flawed anyway.

The best example of what one of these organized systems could do is a story by Bruce Sterling called Maneki Neko. [tqft.net] It is what happens when people get organized but maintain some level of anonymity. We are not to this level yet, but I suspect it right around the corner. It will do strictly good at first, but eventually it will ruin someone's life. Just as Anonymous has ruined some people's lives, they've done a little good for some, like a great birthday [urlesque.com] . It doesn't justify the destruction, but it's bored kids on the internet, so what are you going to do?

The news media will make a big deal about future 'attacks', but some will be harmless kids having fun. But if you start to push that everyone involved in these groups must be destroyed, those people who are marginally involved will suddenly get VERY involved in your destruction. So be careful.

Re:You can't beat the crowd (3, Interesting)

Zironic (1112127) | more than 3 years ago | (#35221424)

Personally I suspect that if a number of "Anonymous" "Ringleaders" got caught by the FBI and sentenced to pretty hefty sentences the overall membership of their activities will probably sharply decline.

Most of them are in it for the lulz after all and lulz are not worth several years in prison or higher fines then you can pay off in your lifetime.

Re:You can't beat the crowd (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35221644)

You probably would have said the same thing about the RIAA and filesharers, but look how that turned out.

FYI, 'membership' in both 'groups' are roughly similar.

Re:You can't beat the crowd (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35221704)

Umm yeah whatever.. That worked great for mubar... ohhh

Re:You can't beat the crowd (1)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | more than 3 years ago | (#35221506)

Anonymous is just the first of many future darknets that will be nearly impossible to destroy. You might take out a ringleader or two, but 4 others would stand up to take their place if they felt that it was unjust

The government folks never learn. We are still after "al-Qaeda"

Re:You can't beat the crowd (1)

Zironic (1112127) | more than 3 years ago | (#35221608)

I was under the impression that Al-Qaeda was basically destroyed and currently used mostly as a scarecrow to wave around whenever someone questions military involvement.

Re:You can't beat the crowd (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35221676)

Anonymous is just the first of many future darknets that will be nearly impossible to destroy. You might take out a ringleader or two, but 4 others would stand up to take their place if they felt that it was unjust The government folks never learn. We are still after "al-Qaeda"

Good point. I think the "government folks" should be focusing tax-payer dollars on stopping a large collection of script-kiddies rather than actual terrorists.

Anonymous == hypocrites (1, Insightful)

davev2.0 (1873518) | more than 3 years ago | (#35221380)

Anonymous is trying to suppress information using death threats. That makes them no better than many governments and worse than the U.S. government.

I wonder what people would say if members of Anonymous were on the receiving end of death threats. Some how I bet it would be "Look! They are evil fascists!1!!!1!". Well, as soon as Anonymous used death threats, they became an oppressive, authoritarian group using terroristic tactics.

Re:Anonymous == hypocrites (1)

DinDaddy (1168147) | more than 3 years ago | (#35221520)

Anonymous is trying to suppress information using death threats.

And you know this because HBGary said so, no?

Re:Anonymous == hypocrites (1)

durrr (1316311) | more than 3 years ago | (#35221582)

There's no central Anonymous leader that approve what other anonymouses do. Any random troll from 4chan can mail in a death-threat under the name of anonymous. You could mail in a confession of your desire to make love to Aaron barr and a sheep smeared in fifty pounds of peanut butter under the name of anonymous and no one would care and claim your mail was from a different Anonymous source. The name anonymous, like the original meaning of it, is not a group tag, it's simply what you call yourself when you wish to not identify yourself yet still express yourself.

Re:Anonymous == hypocrites (1)

DavidTC (10147) | more than 3 years ago | (#35221734)

Dude, they put a paper sign on a table at HBGary's booth saying that they were there. That's it. That is not even legally vandalism.

Only in HBGary's deluded universe is this a 'death threat'.

Meanwhile, HBGray actually planned a campaign of harassment against friends and family of the people it was trying to 'take down'.

Dirty tricks for me, not for thee (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35221414)

The gall of a company who just got caught planning a massive campaign of harassment and dirty tricks whining about people potentially harassing them is amazing.

Irony of Anonymous' position (3, Insightful)

caseih (160668) | more than 3 years ago | (#35221474)

I can't comment on what kind of snobs HBGary folks are, but the actions of Anonymous seem quite hypocritical to me in general. So "Anonymous" fights for wikileaks, which is expressly set up for the purpose of sharing secrets and revealing things. Then I read about how someone tried to expose who various members of Anonymous were, after which Anonymous got all upset and attacked him for doing the very things that wikileaks does, which they work to support. Seems like they value secrecy above everything else, kind of like the people that feel the most threatened by wikileaks. Ironic.

Re:Irony of Anonymous' position (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35221624)

Apples and oranges much??? Your analogy is a bucket full of fail.

Re:Irony of Anonymous' position (1)

caseih (160668) | more than 3 years ago | (#35221656)

Funny. I made no analogy.

Re:Irony of Anonymous' position (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35221744)

It's not ironic or hypocritcal.
Privacy for the powerful is a bad thing.
Privacy for the powerless is a good thing.

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