Friday, March 09, 2012

Human Demonology: The Betrayal of Sabu

LulzSec are the Daily Mail readers' wet dream and were probably dreamt up and promoted by like/right-minded journalists in the service of the Stazi State. -Guardian Comment 29 June 2011 6:09AM
By P. Emerson Williams
Last year was marked by a seeming endless thread of DDOS attacks and new video declarations, tying in or not, intersecting or not with boots on the ground protesting across the cities of the West. Common wisdom among anti-authoritarian types was that the establishment was too big and lumbering to ever catch up with or even understand any of this. (Also see: the "piracy" issue.) Large financial institutions, big media and government looked form the outside to be playing whack-a-mole, running defence against the actions of Anonymous and Wikileaks.

Recent acts of Anonymous, or more specifically Lulzsec include the interception and release of an FBI conference call, and a dump of five million emails exchanged between emplyees of intelligence firm Stratfor, the publication of which by WikiLeaks made headlines. Not the massive coverage the Cablegate release garnered, but after the loss of the Bank of America documents in a manner suspicious to all but the most credulous, this is understandable. The fact that these emails were supplied by Lulzsec did make the ears of conspiracy spotter prick up. This cooperation between Anonymous and Wikileaks fit the narrative that has both parties being part of a massive psyop.

Here is what the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center had to say in a bulletin drafted after the feds already had Sabu (Hector Xavier Monsegur) against the wall:
So far, Anonymous has not demonstrated any capability to inflict damage to critical infrastructure, instead choosing to harass and embarrass its targets. However, some members of LulzSec have demonstrated moderately higher levels of skill and creativity, evidenced in attacks using combinations of methods and techniques to target multiple networks. To date, their attacks have largely resulted in the release of sensitive documents and personally identifiable information. These attacks have the potential to result in serious harm, particularly to Law Enforcement and other Federal, State and Local Government personnel who may be targeted as a result. Also, this assessment does not take into account the possibility of a higher-level actor providing Anonymous, LulzSec or a similar group with more advanced capabilities. -A-0010-NCCIC -16002011071
On Tuesday we learned that the FBI had been directing the actions of Lulzsec from the shadows since June 2011, a month before the report quoted above, including the Stratfor email dump right up to the moment the infamous  Monsegur and a handful of his cohorts were arrested. What I find interesting is how looking back at all these chaotic threads interweaving and going back could give some idea of the story the FBI were trying to tell and why.

The method deployed here is similar to many recent operations to nab potential terrorists by giving support by pretending to represent terrorist groups. The difference here is that the main person of interest knew for whom he was working, even though reportedly under duress. By letting it be known they had turned the leader of the Lulzsec into their puppet, the FBI sowed the seeds of doubt to take root in any contact, project and action associated with Anonymous. Think of it, the FBI had a hand in those much publicised DDOS attacks and hacks, and some they initiated. One might speculate that the object here was less to catch a few digital miscreants than to introduce the DNA of a story of paranoia and mistrunst in to the greater environment in a way that makes participants and those who might be sympathetic or potential new Anons the ones who weave the tale. That the tin foil hat wearing brigade have been beating this drum since Anonymous and Wikileaks first grabbed international headlines only helps backdate narrative elements.

This is a war of storytelling. Some Anons had doxed (placing the real identity, address and other personal details in pulic using services like Pastebin) Monsegur long before his arrest, in fact even before LulzSec had even started operating in public. The word had been going out, which can be seen by searching for Sabu and Lulzsec on twitter and scrolling down to before the arrest. That Monsegur could be taunted and called out repeatedly in public and the FBI operation came as such a surprise to so many shows how much more would need to be done to effectively couteract the narratives put forth by the media and government. The fact that the fact that the FBI knew of all Lulzsec operation beforehand and warned some targets of the attacks and chose to let other be caught out has yet to be explored in great detail. Of course they did need to have some successful DDOS attacks, hacks and real credit card fraud happen to lend the needed gravitas to the story they were making unfold.

Our attention has been successfully directed where desired. This tale is too strange and manipulative for fiction, but it plays just fine in the real world.,0,6035597.story

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