Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Anonymous Reveals Plot To Bring Down WikiLeaks

By Jerry Smith Feb 22 2011

When HBGary CEO Aaron Barr said he had discovered the identities of key members of Anonymous, he did this to provoke an attack from Anonymous, and he got one. Anonymous retaliated by compromising his servers, downloading and posting online over 50,000 emails from the company and defacing the HBGary website by replacing it with an image explaining their reason.

Among the emails is a report titled 'The WikiLeaks Threat'. It was commissioned by the law firm Hunton And Williams on behalf of Bank of America and details an extensive plan for the internet security companies HBGary Federal, Palantir Technologies and Berico Technologies to bring down WikiLeaks.

In the report the three security service companies suggested these ways to go after WikiLeaks:
“Create concern over the security of the infrastructure. Create exposure stories. If the process is believed to not be secure they are done. Cyber attacks against the infrastructure to get data on document submitters. This would kill the project. Since the servers are now in Sweden and France putting a team together to get access is more straightforward.”
The report contains a chart of people whose jobs could be threatened to silence them, including journalists and WikiLeaks supporters.

The report said:
“These are established professionals that have a liberal bent, but ultimately most of them if pushed will choose professional preservation over cause, such is the mentality of most business professionals”.

"Without the support of people like Glenn [Greenwald] WikiLeaks will fold."
Some of the people the security firms wanted to use in their plan to bring down WikiLeaks are Julian Assange, Kristinn Hrafnsson, Daniel Mathews, Jennifer Robinson, James Ball, Herbert Snorrason, Theodore Reppe, John Shipton, David House, Herbert Snorrason, Glenn Greenwald, Birgitta Jonsdottir, Jennifer Lee, Jacob Appelbaum, and Daniel Schmitt.

The report had Snorrason, Jonsdottir and Schmitt marked as “disgruntled”.

The report speculates on possible weaknesses in WikiLeaks saying:
“There is a fracture among the followers because of a belief that Julien [sic] is going astray from the cause and has selected his own mission of attacking the US.

“Despite the publicity, WikiLeaks is NOT in a healthy position right now. Their weakness are causing great stress in the organization which can be capitalized on.”
The conclusion of 'The WikiLeaks Threat' said:
"WikiLeaks is not one person or even one organization; it is a network of people and organizations acting in concert for the sole purpose of 'untraceable mass document leaking'.”

"Together, Palantir Technologies, HBGary Federal, and Berico Technologies bring the expertise and approach needed to combat the WikiLeaks threat effectively."

"In the new age of mass social media, the insider threat represents an ongoing and persistent threat even if WikiLeaks is shut down."

"Traditional responses will fail; we must employ the best investigative team, currently employed by the most sensitive of national security agencies."
The emails reveal Barr's attitude towards WikiLeaks and Anonymous and say:
“O [sic] believed in what wikileaks did when they released the helicopter video. I now believe they are a menace,”

“Its all about power. The Wikileaks and Anonymous guys think they are doing the people justice by without much investigation or education exposing information or targeting organizations? BS. Its about trying to take power from others and give it to themeselves. I follow one law. Mine.”
In his emails Barr suggests tracking and intimidating anyone who has given money to WikiLeaks and said:
“We need to get people to understand that if they support the organization we will come after them. Transaction records are easily identifiable.”
The emails also show they were preparing to disparage activist groups campaigning against the US Chamber of Commerce.

The US Chamber of Commerce and Bank of America have denied any involvement with the plans.

Palantir Technologies and Berico Technologies claim they did not know of the sinister aspects of the plan but were exposed when leaked emails between Barr and a Palantir employee showed discussions about their plan to target journalist Glenn Greenwald.

Greenwald said of being targeted:
“My initial reaction to all of this was to scoff at its absurdity."

“But after learning a lot more over the last couple of days, I now take this more seriously, not in terms of my involvement but the broader implications this story highlights."

“The real issue highlighted by this episode is just how lawless and unrestrained is the unified axis of government and corporate power.”
Palantir and Berico have cut ties with HBGary Federal.

Palantir CEO Alex Karp said:
"I have directed the company to sever any and all contacts with HB Gary. We do not provide - nor do we have any plans to develop - offensive cyber capabilities."
Penny Leavy, president of HBGary, an affiliate to HBGary Federal, said:
“Anonymous should be regarded as the criminal group it is. They have shown that they will go after security companies and anyone who works with the government.”
John Cole from balloon-juice.com said:
“One thing that even the dim bulbs in the media should understand by now is that there is in fact a class war going on, and it is the rich and powerful who are waging it."

“Anyone who does anything that empowers the little people or that threatens the wealth and power of the plutocracy must be destroyed."

“There is a reason they are targeting wikileaks and Glenn Greenwald. You have to understand the mindset - they are playing for keeps.”
HBGary Federal is a provider of classified cybersecurity services to the Department of Defense, Intelligence Community and other US government agencies,

Click here for a pdf file of 'The WikiLeaks Threat' presentation.

This is the picture Anonymous replaced the HBGary website with:

Anonymous also compromised Barr's Twitter account and had it displaying his home address, his social security number, his phone number as well as several offensive messages. Here is a picture of Barr's hacked Twitter account:

No comments:

Post a Comment