FBI in hunt for pro-WikiLeaks hackers: report

Jan 01, 2011
The WikiLeaks website. The FBI has joined the hunt for hackers who took down websites like PayPal, after they stopped processing payments to whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks, US media reports said Friday.

The FBI has joined the hunt for hackers who took down websites like PayPal, after they stopped processing payments to whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks, US media reports said Friday.

The Smoking Gun website published five pages of an FBI affidavit, detailing an operation that took US federal investigators to Europe, Canada and back to the United States as they hunted down the "Internet activists" who launched attacks "against perceived corporate enemies of ."

The attacks earlier this month targeted firms including site , and and Mastercard credit cards, which had suspended or frozen WikiLeaks’s accounts after the whistle-blowing website published thousands of sensitive Department of State cables.

In mid-December, the FBI traced Internet protocol addresses for the hackers to Canada and then back to California where a virtual server that was assigned one of the IP addresses used to launch the attacks was housed.

At around the same time, a separate investigation into the pro-WikiLeaks attacks by Germany's Federal Criminal Police (BKA) found that other commands to launch denial of service attacks on PayPal had come from an IP address assigned to a Texas-based company that hosts servers.

The FBI raided the Texas firm on December 16, according to the Smoking Gun, which uses Freedom of Information requests to obtain material from government and law enforcement sources.

During the Texas server-farm raid, FBI agents reportedly copied two hard drives inside a server, but "court records do not detail what was found on those drives, nor whether the information led to a suspect or, perhaps, a continuing electronic trail," the Smoking Gun says.

The FBI probes are ongoing, and are being coordinated from field offices in California.

agents were not immediately available for comment.

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User comments : 33

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iPan
4.1 / 5 (17) Jan 01, 2011
The Authorities are gettin' skeered of transparency.
Good.
The government should fear the people.
Mercury_01
2.8 / 5 (9) Jan 01, 2011
This is why I didn't participate in this fight. Now everyone who said yes to allowing their computer to be a part of this game against secrecy is labeled as, and will hereby be referred to as a "hacker". Im all for transparency, but this is pretty ridiculous. Most if not all of these people clicked their way into this mess as if they were participating in an internet poll in support of their favorite football team. Now there's going to be some kind of re*arted media hoopla over this "hacker alliance". Sounds like a great way to start the new year, right? Begin the war on electronic turrism!
Spatz
2.9 / 5 (8) Jan 01, 2011
Let me get this right - the FBI, an organization with a notoriously questionable morality, is investigating a bunch of hackers?

That's laughable!

That's like getting the fox to guard the chicken-house or the mafia to investigate a murder.
frajo
4.6 / 5 (10) Jan 01, 2011
Interesting. Guess, the FBI's activism will at least double the number of people who cancel their ties with paypal and their ilk.
You don't need to hack them when you can just leave them alone. It's absolutely legal.
Ophelia
3.2 / 5 (10) Jan 01, 2011
This is all about Assange now, anyway. Just visit the wikileaks website or just look at the picture above. What do you see? A big picture of Assange.

Even arrogant a$$es like Gates and Jobs don't have their pictures on their companies' home pages.

Governments doing the people's business are entitled to some level of secrecy in doing so, just as people and businesses are. Admittedly, they go overboard at times and may do things they shouldn't because of it.

But do you really want to let an ego like Assange - one person - decide for us all when the line has been crossed?
Skeptic_Heretic
3.6 / 5 (15) Jan 01, 2011
But do you really want to let an ego like Assange - one person - decide for us all when the line has been crossed?
Assange merely reports what is given to him by presenting it to the world, with no commentary. The content of the documents are those linked with people and actions in government. Good government doesn't have secrets of this nature. These cables and other leaked materials aren't anywhere near the level of the Pentagon Papers, there is simply a greater volume. The media has painted a target on Assange as he's exposing the fact that the MSM is wholly bought and paid for by corporate interests.

I see no issue with a little egotism in this instance.
Zahadum
3.4 / 5 (10) Jan 01, 2011
Let's see them investigate who was responsible for attacking the Wiki-Leaks site.
Ophelia
3.1 / 5 (9) Jan 01, 2011
@skeptic heretic:

People have always leaked things to the press in dribs and drabs. Government survives that and can still function in the people's interest. But when wholesale leaks occur that upset all of the apple carts, then we are all less secure and our interests frustrated.
Ophelia
2.8 / 5 (10) Jan 01, 2011
@skeptic heretic: "merely" Really?

He "merely" established Wikileaks. He "merely" encouraged people to steal trade secrets so he could publish them. He "merely" encouraged people to break the law so he could publish. He "merely" passed on information so it could be published by the press. He "merely" torrented the stuff or distributed it elsewhere to insure publication.

I really wish I could have taken that kind of responsibility. "Sorry, dad, but I was MERELY driving when the car hit the train."
sams
3.1 / 5 (10) Jan 01, 2011
"Even arrogant a$$es like Gates and Jobs don't have their pictures on their companies' home pages"

You mean like Obama on just about every government website.

But he's elected you say: no, not outside of the US, and these leaks are all about the influence of the US on other countries.

"But do you really want to let an ego like Assange - one person - decide for us all when the line has been crossed?"

He is doing an excellent job so far. And he is part of a team. To what extent he calls the shots is something you are not privy to in any case. His group offered to work with the US government to protect the innocent when formulating releases, but they declined.
nada
2.6 / 5 (8) Jan 01, 2011
The U.S. Government's reaction is more enlightening than any of the mundane cables!

Now we know the "democracy" of the U.S. Government - The federal agencies are in control, and the politicians are just puppets in the Circus Maximus - something to keep the masses content. Let them think they live in a democracy!

We live in Communist China people. Our government has shown its ugly face and it ain't the U.S. Constitution nor a Democracy.

I'm done voting.
la7dfa
2.7 / 5 (7) Jan 01, 2011
WikiLeaks are good news. By revealing more truth, it will change some behaviour for the better.
What we need now, is more leaks from other countries.

In the future we will know that, any war is dirty. Its not a video game, but bloody MDK.

We just have to face it. Democracy is not built in a few years. We have to let countries find their own way, even if they have oil...
Cheerio
2 / 5 (3) Jan 01, 2011
@Ophelia:

Broke the law, did he? Oh, heavens.
Skeptic_Heretic
4.5 / 5 (8) Jan 02, 2011
We live in Communist China people. Our government has shown its ugly face and it ain't the U.S. Constitution nor a Democracy.

I'm done voting.
Yeah, show them your disgust by giving up your rights. Sounds like a gem of an idea....
TheQuietMan
4 / 5 (3) Jan 02, 2011
I've heard a rumor he has a lot of material about countries like Russia (ok, specifically about Russia), but doesn't release because he knows his life is radically at risk if he publishes. These are the people that use Dioxin and Radioactive materials on people they have an agenda against, so I suspect he is right.

Says a lot right there, it is OK to attack countries that will not send assassins, but put his life at risk...
nada
1.8 / 5 (5) Jan 02, 2011
We live in Communist China people. Our government has shown its ugly face and it ain't the U.S. Constitution nor a Democracy.

I'm done voting. The only power we have left as citizens is in the court system. And the court system is continually under attack by the legislative and executive branches, BTW.
Yeah, show them your disgust by giving up your rights. Sounds like a gem of an idea....


What is voting when you have no choice but to vote for tweedle-dee or tweedle-dum.

As Dr. Phil would say, "How's that working for you?" Our current situation is the answer.

Your "right" has no power.
Skeptic_Heretic
4.3 / 5 (7) Jan 02, 2011
What is voting when you have no choice but to vote for tweedle-dee or tweedle-dum.

As Dr. Phil would say, "How's that working for you?" Our current situation is the answer.

Your "right" has no power.
The reason why the system is in such a state of disarray is partially due to people jsut tuning out, much like yourself.
CSharpner
4.5 / 5 (4) Jan 02, 2011
All governments do things that should NOT be done. They all also do things that SHOULD be done. Not everything is absolute though, so not all actions are absolutely right or absolutely wrong. There IS gray area and in those gray areas, there will be debate as to which way to go. Many times they are faced with options and they must take one (even the option of taking no action is a decision). No matter what action is decided upon, there will be people who think it was immoral, even when the people making the decisions have the country's best interest at heart. Of course, there are those that DON'T have their country's best interest at heart. At any rate, it makes it very difficult on the people trying to make the right decisions when ALL internal decision data is publicized. Don't get me wrong, when things are obviously wrong, yah, call them on it. But, on internal opinions like how honest our ambassadors think a foreign agent is... those are harmful to everyone when leaked.
CSharpner
4.8 / 5 (5) Jan 02, 2011
continued...

This whole wikileaks fiasco is not an all or nothing case either. Almost all I see are 100% pro or 100% against Assange. The fact of the matter is some of the leaks may be helpful, but some of them are very harmful, in particular, the ones where the U.S. ambassadors are giving the state department their opinions on the power and honesty of foreign leaders. There's no good reason to publish that internal information. Diplomacy is the external face of international communication and it's a REALLY bad idea to be completely frank 100% of the time. If you're dealing with someone you think is dishonest or you've discovered they're trying to trick you, why on Earth would it be good to expose that? It's not and it can start wars which can cause thousands or even millions of people to die. Diplomacy is how we walk on eggshells with communication to prevent unnecessary harm to whole civilizations and beyond the shadow of ANY doubt, THAT requires some level of secrecy.
frajo
not rated yet Jan 02, 2011
The fact of the matter is some of the leaks may be helpful, but some of them are very harmful,
And most are helpful for some and harmful to others.
in particular, the ones where the U.S. ambassadors are giving the state department their opinions on the power and honesty of foreign leaders. There's no good reason to publish that internal information.
Do you mind "collateral damages"?
Quantum_Conundrum
1.7 / 5 (6) Jan 02, 2011
We have to let countries find their own way, even if they have oil...


History shows that pacifism doesn't work, and it also shows that when left to "their own way" other nations end up with a dictator, and usually one that has no reservations about mass murdering entire nations or races. See Hitler and Saddam. See also North Korea, who now has Nukes because we just sat around for decades "talking" to them while they researched nuclear technology. If there is a second "Korean conflict" it will likely involve at least ~10kiloton bombs, which is enough to take out entire cities as we know, and enough to take out entire fleets of ships, at least killing the crews and destroying aircraft on aircraft carriers.
nada
2.8 / 5 (6) Jan 02, 2011
What is voting when you have no choice but to vote for tweedle-dee or tweedle-dum.

As Dr. Phil would say, "How's that working for you?" Our current situation is the answer.

Your "right" has no power.
The reason why the system is in such a state of disarray is partially due to people jsut tuning out, much like yourself.


No. The reason why teh system is in such a mess is because of corruption. The same corrupted powers have made voting a joke. And if you think that voting in the restricted environment presented to you, actually "steers" the direction of this country, your delusional.

The only power left to the people of the U.S. is the court system - which is HIGHLY acknowledged by our one party (republicans=democrats) system. Why do you think both sides are attacking the judicial system trying to stack the deck?

I have voted for 25 years. I'm done voting because its clear that there is no Democracy in the U.S. Its Federal agencies running the place.

Skeptic_Heretic
3.4 / 5 (5) Jan 02, 2011
I have voted for 25 years. I'm done voting because its clear that there is no Democracy in the U.S. Its Federal agencies running the place.
Make sure you stock up on tin foil while you're buying ammo.
History shows that pacifism doesn't work
So you're disregarding the Indian subcontinent? How worldly of you.
Jotaf
3 / 5 (4) Jan 02, 2011
Well, time to hack the FBI!
DamienS
4.8 / 5 (8) Jan 03, 2011
Well, time to hack the FBI!

You realize that they know you posted that and from which address, right? :)
frajo
5 / 5 (1) Jan 03, 2011
Well, time to hack the FBI!

You realize that they know you posted that and from which address, right? :)
We don't even know for whom he's working.
Time to read Wikipedia's article on the Okhrana.
nada
3 / 5 (2) Jan 03, 2011
Skeptic_Heretic says: Make sure you stock up on tin foil while you're buying ammo.


What does that have to do with sueing in court???

Skeptic_Heretic, you may want to take up arms against the FBI, but I don't.

I'm saying VOTING is a waste of time. The only power left to citizens is in the courts - which is under attack from both parties.

The only way to change things is by sueing.
Skeptic_Heretic
4.5 / 5 (4) Jan 03, 2011
What does that have to do with sueing in court???

Skeptic_Heretic, you may want to take up arms against the FBI, but I don't.

I'm saying VOTING is a waste of time. The only power left to citizens is in the courts - which is under attack from both parties.

The only way to change things is by sueing.
I'm calling you an outrageous conspiracy theorist. You commentary above is well into the cranktastic scale. As for armed conflict, I did my shooting for the country, not at the country. If you think you have no voice, travel the world and recognize how loud your voice is compared to the majority of others on this blue sphere.
nada
2.6 / 5 (5) Jan 03, 2011

I'm calling you an outrageous conspiracy theorist.


I'm outrageous because I say voting is a waste of time, huh?

Me and half the population of the U.S!

There is no cause and effect with voting. If you think there is (and this is a scientific forum), then prove it.

I say that if, instead of voting, we elected our leaders by flipping a coin, the outcome would be the same as our current system.

You disagree, so I suggest you keep buying Lottery tickets because if you're right, then there's no doubt you'll eventually win the lottery and be rich.

Regardless of which party is in office, there will be no change in the state of our country. Voting is vapor. The only way to change anything is through the court system.
frajo
2.3 / 5 (3) Jan 03, 2011
The only way to change things is by sueing.
Judges are not poor enough to change things substantially.
frajo
5 / 5 (2) Jan 03, 2011
There is no cause and effect with voting. If you think there is (and this is a scientific forum), then prove it.
Gradus ad parnassum:
First, you'll have to chose those who promote education (for everybody). One generation later and henceforth, you'll have to practice the principle of the smallest evil.
In case you don't, the imbalance within society will be enhanced until society breaks.
Skeptic_Heretic
1 / 5 (1) Jan 04, 2011
There is no cause and effect with voting. If you think there is (and this is a scientific forum), then prove it.
Gradus ad parnassum:
First, you'll have to chose those who promote education (for everybody). One generation later and henceforth, you'll have to practice the principle of the smallest evil.
In case you don't, the imbalance within society will be enhanced until society breaks.

Exactly. And we see how this practice worked in early America, and hasn't been followed since.
Au-Pu
5 / 5 (2) Jan 08, 2011
Is Ophelia an FBI stooge?
Certainly sounds like one.
As for Nada and his 50% of non voters.
I suggest you and your 50% have a pause to think.
If the other 50% who vote are in general divided between Democrats and Republicans then what you need are independents who all of the 50% of non voters could vote for.
In one fell swoop you would have demolished both the Republicans and the Democrats and you would have a very different government, possibly even one that just might have the interests of the voters at heart.
Why not have a call to arms of people who think like you and organise it.
What a coup that would be.