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How Sabu Orchestrated the Hack of FBI Contractor ManTech

Unknown Lamer posted about 4 months ago | from the security-through-marketing dept.

Security 34

Daniel_Stuckey (2647775) writes Weeks after he started working quietly as an FBI informant, Hector Xavier Monsegur, known by his online alias "Sabu," led a cyber attack against one of the bureau's very own IT contractors. In July 2011, at Monsegur's urging, members of AntiSec, an offshoot of the hacking collective Anonymous, took advantage of compromised log-in credentials belonging to a contractor with a top secret security clearance employed at the time by ManTech International.

According to chat logs recorded by Monsegur at the behest of the FBI and obtained by Motherboard, the informant directed hackers to pilfer as much data as possible from ManTech's servers as investigators stood by. Stolen data was published as the third installment of AntiSec's ... collection of leaks intended to embarrass the same federal agency that presided over the hack and others.

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Morons (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47263533)

The existence of Anonymous/LulzSec/AntiSec/etc. is a false flag. Only idiots would think otherwise at this point.

Re:Morons (1, Funny)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about 4 months ago | (#47263783)

CONSPIRACY THEORY! TINFOIL! TINFOIL!

Now, exactly when did you stop lying to us? I want to know when I can begin my trust.

Re:Morons (1)

Aighearach (97333) | about 4 months ago | (#47265033)

Stop trusting, geeze.

Even in the modern world, you're still asking who to trust? Stop trusting, and STOP ASKING . The answer is "never" and it will always be "never." If you want to lie to yourself, you can start that wherever you can; you don't even have to trust yourself for that. ;)

Re:Morons (0)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about 4 months ago | (#47265095)

WHOOSH!

Re:Morons (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47268737)

I can't wait until people are trustworthy. Captcha, passwords, 2-factor authentication, confirm this is your browser, etc etc, websites needs a gazillion verification, now we have (stealable) fingerprints on phones, bah, you gotta lock your house, get an alarm, an alarm for your car, low-jack, gps tracking on everything, cops everywhere, wars, cameras everywhere, etc. It gets tiring and annoying. The old internet used to have such simple things, too, now that's gone

Re:Morons (1)

fuzzywig (208937) | about 4 months ago | (#47270291)

So you're telling me I shouldn't trust anybody, but why should I trust you eh?
Nice try buddy, I'm going to be trusting everyone from now on.

Re:Morons (2)

davydagger (2566757) | about 4 months ago | (#47266823)

I think you can't call it tinfoil, when the facts confirm the "conspiracy".

The FBI *did* order an attack on an FBI contractor. That fact has been established. That by definition, is a false flag.

Unless by "tinfoil" you mean talking about hard truths that do not portray the US government or its agencies in a flattering light.

Re:Morons (1)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about 4 months ago | (#47267071)

'Zactly.

Re:Morons (1)

davydagger (2566757) | about 4 months ago | (#47268371)

in addition, I am wonder if extreme punishments, and the system of paid informants is little nothing more than a ploy by the FBI to making recruiting of black bag job squads easier.

Modern law enforcement (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47263547)

Instigating crime. Nice one.

Who did ManTech piss off? (4, Insightful)

jandrese (485) | about 4 months ago | (#47263615)

I guess someone at the FBI was not happy with ManTech? Did ManTech know about the hacks ahead of time? There's so much weird with this story.

Re:Who did ManTech piss off? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47263935)

I guess someone at the FBI was not happy with ManTech? Did ManTech know about the hacks ahead of time? There's so much weird with this story.

This.

I'm all for good old-fashioned police work, and sometimes that includes the use of informants.

This goes far beyond that. It's one thing for the FBI to use an agent provocateur to see if a wannabe-terrist is radical enough to press the fake detonator on a fake bomb in order to get a conviction.

It's quite another thing to actually harm American businesses in order to get a conviction. How much collateral damage is the FBI responsible for? I have no love for ManTech, but what happened here would be like letting the terrist deliver a real attack in order to get the conviction. That's a practice that it ought to be unacceptable even to those in the LEO community.

Re:Who did ManTech piss off? (1)

TheCarp (96830) | about 4 months ago | (#47264831)

> This goes far beyond that. It's one thing for the FBI to use an agent provocateur to see if a wannabe-terrist is
> radical enough to press the fake detonator on a fake bomb in order to get a conviction.

Except they don't even do that, its more like they look for people who can be conned into putting themselves into bad situations.

There was one guy, wasn't even a terrorist, was just a guy that if you asked him if he could get X for you, he would say yes, no matter what it was. They asked him for some shoulder fired missles, of course he said yes. Then....then they watched him try...ineptly, for MONTHS to try. Until they helped him behind the scenes, he barely was able to produce more than a brochure downloaded off the internet.

It wasn't his idea, it wasn't something he was after, they 100% initiated, they assisted him, they basically handed him a missle to sell back to them because he couldn't even do it on his own.

Then since their case was clearly so flimsy, they have him do the "delivery" in a hotel by the airport and get him to pose wioth the missle to make him look like a real bad guy.

This isn't justice or protection....its justification for their jobs.

Re:Who did ManTech piss off? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47265785)

It wasn't his idea, it wasn't something he was after, they 100% initiated, they assisted him, they basically handed him a missle to sell back to them because he couldn't even do it on his own.

Again, the point is that with cases like the one you cite, the FBI nevertheless takes great pains to ensure that the public was never in any danger. In the ManTech case, American civilians - both individuals and corporatoins - were permitted to be harmed while the "cops" sat by and did nothing to protect them.

Re:Who did ManTech piss off? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47264069)

I guess someone at the FBI was not happy with ManTech? Did ManTech know about the hacks ahead of time? There's so much weird with this story.

Maybe the owners donated to a Tea Party group and the IRS was already busy?

Re:Who did ManTech piss off? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47264315)

I think its more about the FBI blackmailing hackers into working for them. However with this "Sabu" sellout, mouthing off to the press, I seriously doubt he has anything to do with anything, I would take it the FBI have provisions in his club fed deal that should he say anything about what he did for the feds, he could be facing full prison time.

It makes me wonder if this Sabu sellout was in fact a black hat hacker or just some mouthy geek that was working with and or for the feds the entire time!

Shocked Shocked! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47263631)

Shocked I say! I would have never thought that the police paying criminals is a bad idea.

Seriously though. When does paying "informants" ever really work out? Sure they throw you a bone every once in a while and you get to have some convictions... which looks good on the resume for individual agents and directors. But as we saw with Whitey Bulger in Boston it can turn small time criminals into crime bosses when they suddenly are working with the power of the FBI behind them. The "informants" rat out the competition and protect a small inner circle and therefore they get more powerful. The criminals who are given payments to be informants are therefore given incentive not just to inform on other criminals, but to continue or even further criminal activities so they have more information to sell the FBI. This is even true of undercover detectives who are often found to be instigating crime.

Maybe using an informant once in that person's lifetime would be okay, since the tit for tat incentive is a bit more clear, but having an ongoing relationship with an informant just seems like it will always increases the likelihood of creating more crime than it reduces and blurs the line between police and criminals far too much.

Re:Shocked Shocked! (4, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | about 4 months ago | (#47263729)

You are working under the impression that dealing with people works smoothly like a software program, and there exists a fully working solution. Real life is about finding the path where the benefits are better then the costs.

Your example of the informant who rats out all his enemies and competition, while means he is still scum causing problems, it does prevent the others from doing so.

But what is even as common is the low level criminal, who isn't actually trying to be a bad person, but just to make a living because he doesn't know of an other way. Getting paid to rat out other criminals, including much higher level ones, can give him money to survive the next week and avoid crime until he needs the money again.

Re:Shocked Shocked! (1)

davydagger (2566757) | about 4 months ago | (#47266869)

>Getting paid to rat out other criminals, including much higher level ones, can give him money to survive the next week and avoid crime until he needs the money again.

you make it sounds like criminals hate committing crimes, and won't see it as extra money.

Conversely, it lets the worst of the worst walk, and good people who get caught up in bad situations thrown in jail.

Honey Pots (4, Interesting)

tomhath (637240) | about 4 months ago | (#47263693)

Several of Anonymous' "hacks" looked a lot like they were stepping into honey pots.

How do they prosecute? (4, Interesting)

TheCarp (96830) | about 4 months ago | (#47263881)

So if agents were involved in the plannning, then this hack was a de-facto FBI operation. All of the hackers involved should be paid, not prosecuted; or the FBI agents should ALSO be prosecuted.

Re:How do they prosecute? (1)

Aighearach (97333) | about 4 months ago | (#47265013)

Grampy, you forgot your meds!

Hey, but if you find them, look up undercover investigation precedents. It might turn out that this has already been covered by the Courts, and that you're wrong.

If you want it to be different in the future, it would violate their rights to prosecute them for things that were legal at the time. If you want the rules to be the same for everybody, you don't get very far by tossing out the rights of those you would hold as equal.

Re:How do they prosecute? (1)

TheCarp (96830) | about 4 months ago | (#47265399)

> Hey, but if you find them, look up undercover investigation precedents. It might turn out that this has already been covered by the Courts, and that you're wrong.

Or the courts are wrong, which is pretty typical as far as I can tell.

> If you want the rules to be the same for everybody,

You mean like, the rules against breaking into other people's systems to damage them and release their data? Doesn't sound like they had a warrant, does sound like they were conspirators.

If the courts rule this is ok, then the rules not being the same for everybody is exactly what they are ruling; which, to my mind, would make the courts themselves illegitimate.

Re:How do they prosecute? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47266953)

It isn't an undercover "investigation" if the cops are actually the ring leaders. Especially if actual damage was caused by the conspiracy.

Re:How do they prosecute? (1)

rtb61 (674572) | about 4 months ago | (#47269463)

Worse is they were also targeted minors. Luring them into commuting crimes, provide the tools, providing the knowledge and providing the targets, that is not only entrapment but also child abuse as they were minors. So that FBI not only participated but orchestrated child abuse and then sought to prosecute their victims, to which the courts turned a blind eye in the zeal to prosecute crimes that would never have happened without the FBI involvement. The FBI were off in lah lah land, pursing the global fiendish terror organisation 'Anonymous' with hundreds of thousands of members and secret underground laboratory all over the world in the fiendish plot of global domination and people laugh tin foil hatters with their conspiracy theories, the FBI was right up their with. After all that investigation, after all those crimes, after entrapping and abusing all those minors (it is child abuse to lure children into crime), they only got what they started, that child molester Sabu and his victims, the minors who he got to do his dirty work (very reminiscent of Fagin in Oliver twist, perhaps the FBI should make reading the classics compulsory before decide to participate and recruit children into crime). Worst of all the British police joined in on the persecution of the victims, those children tempted into crime by US authorities. Sabu has yet to be charged with that crime and it is a criminal act for an adult to recruit minors to commit crimes for them. So some of those hackers where actually victims under proper application of law and justice.

well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47263931)

When I worked in the Intel field during the late 80s and early 90s, the Mantech personnel I worked with sucked. They were like the bargain basement contractor. If you wanted quality (if there is such a thing in federal contracting) you went Grumman, Lockheed, CSC, or bizarrely enough Ford Aerospace.

This is like beating the retarded kid at chess.

History books (1)

ThatsNotPudding (1045640) | about 4 months ago | (#47264247)

I still think old Hector stands an outside shot of eclipsing Benedict Arnold in the history books (assuming we will still be allowed truthful books in the near future).

Damning evidence (1)

Mike Buddha (10734) | about 4 months ago | (#47264277)

A few cherry picked lines from a chat log and it really looks like Sabu is the mastermind behind everything... or not. Even with this garbage that's being presented out of context it looks like he's just doing what people do on chatters, answering questions and talking crap.

Re:Damning evidence (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47264619)

Due to recent advancements in the total surveillance of social media it is strongly advisable that you keep quiet at all times, never complain about authorities, never make jokes about revolutions or bombs, and otherwise fully conform with the authorities.

compromised log-in credentials (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47264285)

Ok - so someone (probably a FED) stole the credentials..

Which begs to question; why the need for a hacker? You already have access..

Re:compromised log-in credentials (1)

davydagger (2566757) | about 4 months ago | (#47268507)

because you don't have bona fide FBI agents do the dirty work. Just in case things go south, and someone needs to take the blame having an outside team really helps.

You also need a bad guy, because the FBI's funding is controlled by congress, and often debated by the public. Creating a need for enforcement and scaring the shits out of people is a great way to do that.

It also came out that the FBI was doing most of the work in so many "terrorist" cases they busted. In fact, most of the terrorists had to be either talked, threatened or bribed into comitting terrorism, so they FBI could have a dog and pony show.

The FBI has admitted they don't have the skills or resources to go after the real bad guys. So they make something up to present to congress.

If you think the "war on terror" is bad. The drug war is far larger, far more peverse, and far less talked about in its scope.

HA, Used by the US Gov. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47265011)

So is this where all my respect for antisec gets flushed?

Re:HA, Used by the US Gov. (1)

davydagger (2566757) | about 4 months ago | (#47266917)

This is where the FBI is trying to flush your respect for anti-sec.

expect infiltrators and turncoats in every org that opposses the government on any level. That shouldn't diminish your respect for what they do, or the org as a whole.

Hector didn't run to the cops. They caught him on some other beef, after he posted some pics online, and then they squeezed him until he cracked.

Why should we give a rat's ass? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47268043)

We know sabu is a basement hacker turned FBI wannabe. This is not news. Why should we give a rat's ass?

captcha: frauds

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