Saturday, February 12, 2011


Last week, Aaron Barr, a top executive at computer security firm HB Gary, boasted to the Financial Times that his firm had infiltrated and begun to expose Anonymous, the group of pro-WikiLeaks hackers that had launched cyber attacks on companies terminating services to the whistleblowing site (such as Paypal, MasterCard, Visa, Amazon and others). In retaliation, Anonymous hacked into the email accounts of HB Gary, published 50,000 of their emails online, and also hacked Barr's Twitter and other online accounts.
The next day, February 6, the attacks turned serious, and Barr realized the extent of what Anonymous had done to him and to his company, which was currently in negotiations to sell itself to a pair of interested buyers. This was no longer a game; it looked more like war. The sheer freewheeling raucousness of what follows illustrates as well as anything the nature of Anonymous, and it's worth quoting at length. (A few unimportant bits have been stripped for clarity, denoted by an ellipsis.)

[23:53:49] q> Ohai CogAnon

[23:53:56] Hello, Mr. Barr.

[23:54:12] Mr. Barr and his infiltration of Anonymous; "Now they're threatening us directly", amirite?

[23:54:16] I apologize for what's about to happen to you and your company.

[23:54:20] Enjoying the Superbowl, I hope?

[23:54:25] high one sec. please

[23:54:25] I really do, Mr. Barr.

[23:54:36] You have no idea what's coming next.

[23:54:36] tflow: How are things going with that, anyway?

[23:55:24] CogAnon is clearly super 1337 with his PM psyops skills in the Washington area

[23:55:29] ok...sure I figured something like this might happen.

[23:55:42] CogAnon: nah, you won't like what's coming next

[23:55:51] CogAnon: Can you guess what's coming next?

[23:56:00] Ooh, a fun game - guess!

[23:56:02] just don't get it. it was research on social media vulnerabilities...I was never going to release the names...

[23:56:11] LIAR

[23:56:14] as I told CommanderX last night.

[23:56:16] CogAnon: You went to press

[23:56:22] CogAnon: yeah we read the facebook conversation, and every other conversation

[23:56:23] With info that was largely false

[23:56:24] CogAnon: only that your research like totally failed and all your info was bullshit

[23:56:25] c0s> CogAnon: that article was a hit peice.

[23:56:27] ok whatever...whoever has done this has tied my hands now though.

[23:56:37] I suggest you go to Bloomberg and explain

[23:56:38] CogAnon: Don't you have a meeting with the FBI Monday morning?

[23:56:39] ok

[23:56:42] Sabu: he totally does

[23:56:44] CogAnon: I feel sorry for what's about to happen. I really do.

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