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Archive for 2010/12/12
Update: Second Dutch Anonymous suspect released after confessing additional attacks on MasterCard, MoneyBookers and VISAPosted: 2010/12/12 in Cybercrime, Education / Awareness, Enforcement, Network Security, Organized Crime
The Dutch Public Prosecutor’s Office is reporting that a 19-year-old suspect from Hoogezand-Sappemeer who was arrested yesterday in relation to an attack on the website of the Dutch Public Prosecutor’s Office, has been released on Sunday after he had been interrogated by investigators of the Dutch Team High Tech Crime. The suspect has provided a confession.
The suspect also confessed to having attacked the websites of MasterCard, VISA and MoneyBookers. Investigators were able to track down his IP address. He is facing a maximum prison sentence of six years.
The report does not indicate why the suspect has been released. Typically the authorities revert to such a decision whenever there is no significant chance the suspect will leave the country while awaiting trial. It is also not known whether the suspect will be allowed access to computer equipment and internet connections.
(my summary and translation)
Dutch language press release: http://www.om.nl/actueel/nieuws-_en/@154597/verdachte_van_aanval_0/
Speaking of Holland, the University of Twente there has just performed a piece of research that revealed to them that Anonymous members are readily identifiable.
The researchers took a close look at the LOIC (Low Orbit Ion Cannon) software used by Anonymous and concluded that, if an Anonymous member uses this software from his or her own machine, their identity becomes knowable.
“The current attack technique can therefore be compared to overwhelming someone with letters, but putting your address at the back of the envelop (sic),” says the researchers’ report.
The report also warns that, if anonymization networks such as Tor are not employed, the members of Anonymous can be traced for months after an attack has been launched. (Although: WikiLeaks Intercepted Private Communications via TOR proxy network, Maintains Access )
“In two cases it appears the defendant is in default, in three others there is simply no evidence proceedings have been served and I refuse to find that they have been and in the final three cases the defendant has responded to the claim, filed a defence and is not in default at all.
I should end by recording that I am not sorry to have reached the conclusion I have in refusing all the requests for default judgment. In all these circumstances, a default judgment arrived at without notice by means of an essentially administrative procedure, even one restricted to a financial claim, seems to me to be capable of working real injustice.”
Low Orbit Ion Cannon comes to the slab – or any browser
How to prevent a pro-WikiLeaks DOS attack – DOSarrest
E-commerce sites will have to track and block repeat sellers of fakes through their sites or be liable for trademark infringement if the Court of Justice of the EU (ECJ) follows the recommendations of an advisor.
An ECJ Advocate General has published an opinion that says that electronic marketplaces such as eBay lose their exemption from liability for a seller’s trademark infringements if they fail to stop repeat offences.
“The stuff that goes on on the Internet does not go on because the authorties can’t stop it, it goes on because the authorities are choosing what to stop and what not to stop”Posted: 2010/12/12 in Education / Awareness, Public Policy
Rushkoff told Raw Story that the authorities have the ability to quash cyber dissent due to the Internet’s original design, as a top-down, authoritarian device with a centralized indexing system.
Essentially, all one needs to halt a rogue site is to delete its address from the domain name system registry.
“This is not rocket science,” said Rushkoff, who also teaches media studies at The New School University in Manhattan.
For example, the Dutch teenager arrested Thursday for helping to organize a denial of service attack on an ‘Operation Payback’ online chatroom: “They just took him off. He had his own server, and they just go, ‘Oh, nip this one!’” Rushkoff said.
”This is a tightly controlled network, and you know, that’s why I think the Chinese do have it right in that they understand, ‘Oh, we can control this thing. We just censor the fuck out of it.”
The professor confirmed that Assange studied math while enrolled at the university between 2002 and 2005. He was not a graduate student, as some reports suggest, but merely an undergraduate who, while pursuing a bachelors of science degree, took some courses in math. Assange never completed the degree. This means, incidentally, that the currently 39-year-old Assange began his undergraduate studies at the age of thirty-one and abandoned them when he was thirty-four.
Sydney Morning Herald:
“He spent four years studying maths, mostly at Melbourne University but never graduated, disenchanted, he says, with how many of his fellow students were conducting research for the US defence system.”
For many Europeans, Washington’s fierce reaction to the Wikileaks flood of secret diplomatic cables displays imperial arrogance and hypocrisy contradicting American principles.
While the Obama administration has done nothing in the courts to block publication of documents, or tried to indict WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, US officials and politicians have been condemned in the European news media for calling the leaks everything from ”terrorism” to ”an attack against the international community”, as described by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Defence Secretary Robert Gates called the arrest of Assange on rape charges ”good news”.
NY officials Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and Rep. Yvette Clarke want President Obama to launch a global effort against online attacksPosted: 2010/12/12 in Cybercrime, Education / Awareness, Network Security, Privacy / Data Protection, Public Policy
PwC: hackers were trying to maximize the disruption for popular online retailers, payment processing businesses and credit card companies during the busy Christmas shopping periodPosted: 2010/12/12 in Cybercrime, Education / Awareness, Organized Crime, Stats / reports
MasterCard’s payment processing systems were affected during the first DDoS attack on Wednesday, with many consumers reporting that they were unable to pay for goods online. Businesses reported a corresponding drop in trade during that first attack.
Anonymous struck out against MasterCard after the credit card giant announced a move to ensure that WikiLeaks would not be able to accept payments using MasterCard-branded products. Anonymous also tried to attack Amazon.com in retaliation for terminating WikiLeaks’ EC2 web hosting services, but the first attempt did not succeed.
This second attack against MasterCard was announced in IRC channels, on Twitter and on http://anonops.eu. The group’s previous website was suspended on Wednesday. The new site is hosted at OVH in France, where wikileaks.ch is also hosted.
Dutch author Pieter Siebelt, who wrote the book ”The Fourth World War: The Path From Marx to Allah” (2005) has published an article on the website hetvrijevolk.com as a response to the recent WikiLeaks events, citing several sections of his book and providing an interesting and in-depth view of the Dutch techno-anarchist hackers scene. Rop Gonggrijp pops up again, as well as Michael Polman. The following section provides a good example of the issues at hand:
1.5.1 THE HACKER THREAT FROM THE NETHERLANDS
The hackers made sure that the upcoming squatter movement would have technical means available to access confidential information electronically. To improve the internal communication, various electronic user platforms and international networks were established. This provided a boost to the exchange of data, calls for action and close cooperation.
Concepts such as: the right to technology and information, made hacking of computers an (inter)national pastime. One characteristic of their ideology was – and still is – that software needs to be free and the internet an economy of sharing.
A follow up to the ideals which Bluf! participants (P.S. the old club of Wijnand Duivendak) had described so eloquently in their magazines such as the right to social security, free shopping, traveling et cetera. Ideals which essentially could be realized through ‘legalized’ theft, subsidies, social services and schizofrenic government policies.
Now Wikileaks suffers its own leaks – an Icelandic-Australian-Swedish website was never going to be able to provide the defence that was needed for BradleyPosted: 2010/12/12 in Education / Awareness
- Pte Bradley Manning, said they had not seen a penny of tens of thousands of dollars raised by the site to help pay for his defence and promised to them three months ago;
- a senior WikiLeaks activist told The Sunday Telegraph that she and others had resigned from the organisation because of their deep concern about its treatment of sources and “lack of transparency with relation to large sums of money”. Birgitta Jonsdottir, an Icelandic MP and transparency campaigner, said she and several other senior WikiLeaks activists had serious concerns about the group’s structure;
- one of WikiLeaks’s main funding channels, the Germany-based Wau Holland Foundation, has been issued with two official warnings by charity regulators after failing to file financial records;
- the online payment service PayPal, which last week cut off donations to WikiLeaks, suspended the site’s account twice before, once under money laundering regulations;
Mr Patterson said Wikileaks’ failure to pay was “unfortunate”, but added: “I attribute it to their fiscal disarray as the world closed in on them. I have spent many years defending military personnel. My concern was that an Icelandic-Australian-Swedish website was never going to be able to provide the defence that was needed for Bradley.”
Futurists have long speculated about the notion that the Internet would eventually erode the power of the nation as the primary way we organize ourselves and exert power and influencePosted: 2010/12/12 in Education / Awareness
That point was always just over the horizon.
But as I watched the escalating hostilities that erupted over the WikiLeaks controversy last week, I debated whether we were getting a glimpse of that world much sooner than anyone expected. As anonymous and state-less groups have launched cyberattacks on a handful of giant corporations, it appears we’ve seen the limits of the power of nations to combat organizations that have a decentralized structure enabled by the Internet.
“There’s something epic about watching this in real time,” said Jake Dunagan, a research director at the Institute for the Future in Palo Alto. “We’ve been talking about this for a long time. And now it’s here.”
The only opinion that is implicitly conveyed by WikiLeaks’ exposures is the boringly prosaic anti-Americanism of the average Guardian comment writerPosted: 2010/12/12 in Education / Awareness
So there is nothing democratic about this at all. It is an arrogant, defiant provocation of international conventions by a tiny handful of unidentifiable people that involved no consultation or popular mandate. Who are they? Apart from their self-publicising editor, Julian Assange, they are nameless and faceless. To whom could a society or an electorate – even if it was overwhelmingly opposed to such actions – protest or present its arguments?
If, as it claims, WikiLeaks has set in motion mechanisms for further disclosures that cannot be disabled, then the peoples and elected governments of all countries are powerless against it. Where is the democracy in this? Whose freedom has been enhanced? Who elected WikiLeaks and to whom is it answerable?
What is available now is the technology to make that dissemination instantaneous. Perhaps that also helps to make it mindless.
Americans have developed no credible defenses, according to former White House counterterrorism czar Richard A. ClarkePosted: 2010/12/12 in Cybercrime, Education / Awareness, Enforcement, Network Security, Privacy / Data Protection, Public Policy
“The United States is currently far more vulnerable to cyberwar than Russia or China,” said Clarke, speaking to Philadelphia’s Foreign Policy Research Institute last week. “We may even be at risk some day from nonstate actors . . . who can hire teams of highly capable hackers.”
Our risk is high because we are more dependent on computer networks than any other nation. “All our critical infrastructure depends on computer networks working,” Clarke said, including trains, planes, truck dispatchers, the electricity grid, hospitals, pipelines, supply chains, banks, and the stock exchange.
“A sophisticated cyberwar attack by one of several nation-states,” Clarke said, could bring all that to a halt in 15 minutes. The effect “would be just the same as if you dropped a bomb.” Things would break, crash, burn, explode, or go dark. High-tech weaponry and communications satellites also depend on computer networks. Yet the former director of national intelligence, Mike McConnell, told a Senate committee in February: “If we were in a cyberwar today, the United States would lose.”
Our vulnerability lies in the characteristic that has made the Internet so attractive – its openness. A would-be attacker can plant “trapdoors” or “logic bombs” – code that can be triggered in the future to cause damage. The attacker can take advantage of flaws in software to propagate so-called malware – computer viruses and worms.
The Pentagon is developing the capacity to wage offensive cyberwar – on Oct. 1, 2009, a general took charge of the new U.S. Cyber Command – yet there is no coordinated civilian-military strategy to defend against attackers. Concerns about Internet openness, along with the private sector’s resistance to regulation, have stood in the way.
But we fail to listen to Clarke at our peril. Recall that he was the White House Cassandra who fruitlessly warned in the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations about the danger posed by al-Qaeda.
Much more: http://tinyurl.com/2vokfs3
253 Messages: http://marc.info/?a=90366098000002&r=1&w=2
The journalist Suelette Dreyfus collaborated with Julian Assange to create Underground, a 1997 book about hackers in Australia and around the globe. Here she reveals the inside story on Assange, the geek who founded WikiLeaks and became the scourge of world governments.
A society that has lost its ability to address the world as it is rather than the world as it believes it is, embarks on a dangerous journeyPosted: 2010/12/12 in Education / Awareness
Today, we Americans live in an anti-Intelligence community. We have become a nation of ideologues. We have no time to listen to what the other side has to say. Increasingly, we don’t even have time for facts. Obama was born in Kenya. Global Warming is a hoax. We don’t care if it is true or not. We are going to believe it anyway.
As the soaring ratings for Fox News continue to prove that Americans prefer their “news” packaged in their beliefs, the future bodes ill for America. We have become lazy and are allowing our opinions to be spoon-fed to us. We are better than that. We need our facts. We need critical thinking. Like it or not, we need to hear the other side of the argument.
70 percent of Americans think the leaks are doing more harm than good by allowing America’s enemies to see confidential and secret information about U.S. foreign policy;
22 percent think the leaks are doing more good than harm by making the U.S. government more transparent and accountable;
Republicans: 81 percent call the leaks harmful;
Liberals: 58 percent called the leaks more harmful than helpful, 35 percent of think the leaks do more good than harm;
59 percent of Americans think those who publish secret U.S. documents should be prosecuted;
31 percent of Americans said the publication of secrets is protected under the First Amendment guarantee of a free press.
-Among those age 18 to 29, 52 percent said the publishers were protected by the First Amendment and 47 percent said they should be prosecuted.
-Among those age 30 to 44, the numbers shifted to 37 percent for First Amendment protection and 50 percent for prosecution.
-Among those age 45 to 59, it was 25 percent for protection and 65 percent for prosecution.
-And among those 65 and older, it was 20 percent for protection and 68 percent for prosecution.