Anonymous antics spark hacker feud

Aug 07, 2011 by Glenn Chapman
Anonymous members were lured into online video chats
Hackers bent on derailing Anonymous have clashed with members of the notorious group at a DefCon gathering in Las Vegas. Anonymous was accused of "bully behavior" and trying to pass of reckless opportunism as Internet-age activism.

Hackers bent on derailing Anonymous clashed with members of the notorious group at a DefCon gathering in Las Vegas late Saturday.

"Hubris" and "Asherah" of startup Backtrace Security condemned Anonymous for "bully behavior" and argued that the group was trying to pass of reckless opportunism as Internet-age activism.

"When Anonymous started it was a good idea," Asherah said during what exploded into the fieriest session yet at the infamous DefCon hacker get-together.

"Now, it is in violent freefall," she continued as the audience divided into opposing camps of hackers cheering in agreement and angry Anonymous fans heckling and shouting.

"We are trying to derail something that has gone wrong very quickly and is going to get worse."

Asherah presented a history of Anonymous, saying the same people were behind splinter Lulz Security.

The speakers laughed, cursed, and openly taunted Anonymous while telling of how they were able to identify some members of the group because they used their hacker names at other online venues such as and .

Backtrace told of luring Anonymous members into online video chats, capturing images of their faces and getting them to openly talk about illegal antics they have done and with whom.

The session turned into a shouting match when representatives of Anonymous interrupted from the audience and then joined Hubris and Asherah on stage to field questions.

"I believe what (Anonymous is) doing is for the good of everyone," said an Anonymous member with a mask similar to the one worn by the protagonist in the film "V is for Vendetta," sparking applause from one side of the large room.

Anonymous representatives, one in a toy bear costume, defended actions such as releasing looted including names of police informants or credit card numbers on the grounds networks should be better protected.

The Anonymous member with the mask, which he raised while answering questions, reasoned the cyberattacks conducted in support of whistle-blower website WikiLeaks were noble.

"Working together in the last year, Anonymous and WikiLeaks have done more for world peace than any government has done in the last thousand years," he maintained.

Asherah portrayed Anonymous as a formless mob that does what it feels and then justifies it after the fact, often under the guise of activism.

"They have become the monsters they are claiming to fight against," she said. "If anonymous wants to be taken as a legitimate activist group they need to excise the bullies and the jerks."

Hubris and Asherah said they share their findings with agents from the US Federal Bureau of Investigation.

"You can expect something pretty spectacular in the next few weeks," Asherah hinted.

"Anonymous thinks they can be jackasses because nobody knows who they are," she said. "Unfortunately, not many of them are truly anonymous. I know who a lot of them are."

Anonymous mouthpiece Gregg Housh scurried to the stage after the talk, noting that the session was filmed and quickly telling a companion "we have to photo bomb" the footage.

Housh, who contended he was not an official spokesman for the group, rejected what Backtrace laid out in the session and said members of Anonymous had showed themselves publicly to disrupt the presentation.

Hubris claimed victory for luring Anonymous members into a public forum.

Asherah said that Backtrace was welcomed in the DefCon community, where many people were unhappy with Anonymous and Lulz for darkening the already shady image of hackers.

"They are peeing in everybody else's pool," Asherah said of . "We want to hack in peace and these guys are coming in and making hackers into super villains."

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User comments : 29

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Vendicar_Decarian
3 / 5 (18) Aug 07, 2011
I'm with Anonymous on this one.
Isaacsname
3 / 5 (4) Aug 07, 2011

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
Tiocfaidh
2.7 / 5 (12) Aug 07, 2011
I'm with Anonymous on this one.


Im not with them, there is no different between them and the people they are trying to fight. SOme things are not meant to get out.
bindegal
3.1 / 5 (15) Aug 07, 2011
Anonymous make the web a better place, People who "share their findings with agents from the FBI" don't
BlankVellum
3.3 / 5 (16) Aug 07, 2011
Stealing credit card details and justifying it as highlighting security flaws? What next, a burglar who robs you and then claims it was only to highlight deficiencies in your home security? Fuck off Anonymous.
Pete1983
3.7 / 5 (15) Aug 07, 2011
@Blank - At what point did they sell or try to use the credit card details? They could have sold them, they didn't. Clearly these are not the actions of a criminal organisation.

Americans call them terrorists because they don't even understand what is happening.
nejc2008
3.8 / 5 (11) Aug 07, 2011
I'm with Vendicar. They also hacked into NATO's superprotected database and published none of it, with an argument that it was too scary.

Or did they?

Anyway, as long as they stay with Julien A. I stay with them.
evan_gallup
4 / 5 (4) Aug 07, 2011
So you all would prefer if REAL criminals and terrorist organizations obtained the sensitive information. Don't kid yourselves. If Anonymous can hack into it, so can people who are actually going to use that information with bad intentions.

All this is doing is causing a movement in companies to beef up their security, which is what they should have focused on in the first place. Their businesses don't exist without a stable network infrastructure. Take Sony for instance. How many people do you think went over to an Xbox console after PSN was taken down? Too many for a business to endure.
kuntur2k
2 / 5 (4) Aug 07, 2011
Hackers still think as they are doing the impossible, but their antics have not change for the last 50 years, they still work with software by changing web sites or stealing stored data. The NG of hackers should look beyond hacking software into hacking waves. Laptop microprocessors work at the GHz frequency range, now imagine hacking your cellphone, then figure the rest.
antonima
2.8 / 5 (6) Aug 07, 2011
@Blank - At what point did they sell or try to use the credit card details? They could have sold them, they didn't. Clearly these are not the actions of a criminal organisation.

Americans call them terrorists because they don't even understand what is happening.


Bin Laden never made a profit on the WTC, he was also rallying for some confused ideal.

How is exposing police informants any good, or releasing credit card numbers?

Thats the same idea behind modern p2p programs - the makers never do anything illegal so they can't get taken down!
Its abc easy
xznofile
3.9 / 5 (7) Aug 07, 2011
I'm pretty much with Anonymous too, because there has to be a counterbalance. Also it's not true that Bin Laden never made a profit from his attacks, he used them as publicity to attract donors and extremist. If he hadn't killed people to get attention, I might have thought more of him. Public shaming is easily survivable, and it shares "moral values" rather than imposes them.
Pete1983
2 / 5 (5) Aug 07, 2011
So you all would prefer if REAL criminals and terrorist organizations obtained the sensitive information. Don't kid yourselves. If Anonymous can hack into it, so can people who are actually going to use that information with bad intentions.

All this is doing is causing a movement in companies to beef up their security, which is what they should have focused on in the first place. Their businesses don't exist without a stable network infrastructure. Take Sony for instance. How many people do you think went over to an Xbox console after PSN was taken down? Too many for a business to endure.


@evan - If you read my initial post, you'll see I'm not making any statement about what anonymous ARE, I'm simply saying what they AREN'T. They are not just "a bunch of terrorists and criminals", and to say so (as many have done), is to show an extreme lack of knowledge about the subject.
Archetype
5 / 5 (6) Aug 07, 2011
Lmao "toy bear costume" is actually pedobear.... a pedophile bear.
Isaacsname
2.3 / 5 (4) Aug 08, 2011
Lmao "toy bear costume" is actually pedobear.... a pedophile bear.


pfft, whatever, the meme of pedobear has no ' bearing " in this battle, it is a distraction.
maxcypher
2.6 / 5 (5) Aug 08, 2011
It sounds like you guys have a "moral compass" that is revolving randomly.
evan_gallup
3 / 5 (4) Aug 08, 2011
@evan - If you read my initial post, you'll see I'm not making any statement about what anonymous ARE, I'm simply saying what they AREN'T. They are not just "a bunch of terrorists and criminals", and to say so (as many have done), is to show an extreme lack of knowledge about the subject.


First off, that post wasn't directed at you, it was directed at people who don't understand the value of what Anonymous and other "hacktivist" groups are doing.

What they're doing isn't illegal though? No, it IS illegal, they ARE technically criminals. However, I do agree with what they are doing, sorry if you didn't understand that from my post.

I'm a network security analyst for a large accounting organization. Trust me, I do have a firm grasp of what is being accomplished by the group, and of course, most network security personnel learn how to prevent attacks by first learning methods of attacks - I wouldn't be where I am today without being a hacker myself in the past.
indio007
2.7 / 5 (9) Aug 08, 2011
1 word for backtrace.
Pffft...
Hogglewart
2.7 / 5 (7) Aug 08, 2011
If Wikileaks/Anonymous/Lulz Sec etc. really did believe that they're agents for truth and justice, then why are some of the most brutal and secretive regimes, such as China, Iran, Sudan, Zimbabwe, North Korea etc., etc., immune from their 'righteous' attacks. A few words come to mind like hypocritical, cowardly, misguided, delusional, pathological, disturbed and pathetic. Hiding behind their ridiculous masks, playing pantomime anti-heroes in their little fantasies, compensating for their inadequate lives. I look forward to the day when we see them hauled out of their mummies' basement and condemned to a life of hell behind bars. I wish I could be there to see when all their bravado drains away as they realise they're bottom of the pecking order in a jail full of violent psychopaths.
mountain_team_guy
1.7 / 5 (11) Aug 08, 2011
These are kids playing with their toys. Meanwhile, the professionals in China are siphoning off our national and economic treasure. And nobody seems to care or want to do anything about it. How about putting a hellfire into the server?
SteveL
2.6 / 5 (7) Aug 08, 2011
If these bozos actually wanted to help, they would be helping rather than terrorizing humanity. Instead we all have to run anti-everything software - slowing down our systems and using more electrical energy to do so. These are the same no-life people who write phishing, spam, virus and other little goodies that cost our hundreds of millions of families, millions of corporations and all of our various governments plenty of real money and headaches. If they wanted to help, and actually were helping, they wouldn't have to hide.

These people remind me of mid-80's "eco radicals" who would go into new housing developments and tear up housing and equipment. What actually ends up happening is insurance rates go up, more construction debris goes into the landfill and generally the housing costs go up. All while they are trying to excuse their actions as an attempt to protect the very thing they are harming the most. Some people can be very smart, while in some ways very stupid.
Waterdog
2.1 / 5 (7) Aug 08, 2011
Wikileaks/Anonymous/Lulz Sec etc. are just as much terrorists as Bin Ladin. They just use cyberbombs. I'm sick of their stupid attacks and the trouble they cause. To me they are no different from the Spammers and malicious virus writers.
LuckyBrandon
1.5 / 5 (8) Aug 08, 2011
@bindegal-and how exactly is causing mass DoS attacks making the internet a better place?

@Pete1983-from what I've seen, they've openly ditributed this information. you rally think they held it on some moral highground...no...ethical hackers prevent things like this, not perpetuate them...

@antonima-exposing cc #s I agree with you on, not good...however exposing informants...that is good so the rats can be removed from society. you already know you cant trust the rats...
Javinator
4 / 5 (4) Aug 08, 2011
"Working together in the last year, Anonymous and WikiLeaks have done more for world peace than any government has done in the last thousand years," he maintained.


Doubtful.
Vendicar_Decarian
3.8 / 5 (5) Aug 08, 2011
"These are kids playing with their toys. Meanwhile, the professionals in China are siphoning off our national and economic treasure." - Mountain_Team

Awwwwwww... How dare China acquire information that is left unsecured.

I take it that you would rather not live in such an open society?

If not, then by all means become more secretive.

If so, then stop whining, and accept the fact that you are living in an open society.

antonima
1.8 / 5 (5) Aug 08, 2011

I'm a network security analyst for a large accounting organization. Trust me, I do have a firm grasp of what is being accomplished by the group, and of course, most network security personnel learn how to prevent attacks by first learning methods of attacks - I wouldn't be where I am today without being a hacker myself in the past.


So we are paying people like you to protect us from less immature versions of you... are you grateful to Anonymous for stimulating your field of work? This makes me very angry, and I think it should be punished.

Illegal actions remain illegal, so I would think its a better idea to practice elsewhere.

@Vendicar
Just because a house has a weak lock does not make it any less wrong to steal from its owners.

In China there is a proverb- Since the house is on fire let us warm ourselves. I suppose its a good idea to learn from these attacks then.
SteveL
1 / 5 (3) Aug 08, 2011
China does it because it's an aggressive nation and it makes no claim to wanting to protect us. Anonymous and others are simply doing this because they can and the bigger thier hack, the more bragging rights. If they actually wanted to help, they would only need to send e-mails to the owners of the systems they hack and tell how they did it and how to close the opening. No, instead their real motivations are to embarrass organizations and bully the less techniclly savvy. Yes, there are times when governments need to get a slap in the face and the people need to know some of the secret junk that goes on. But giving out personal information on people that can get people killed, that is going too far. But, I suppose that's fine for some until it happens to them.
Scilence
5 / 5 (3) Aug 08, 2011
@antonima
It IS possible to hack without breaking the law. Hacking into your own network or computer is perfectly fine. As long as you have the explicit permission of the system owners then you are allowed to attempt to break into their network. I never broke the law myself by hacking, I would usually just setup a small network of my own to test attacks against it as well as methods of securing it. You assume the word "hack" always means "obtaining access to a computer or network by illegal means", which couldn't be further from the truth.

Anonymous hasn't personally helped my career, I haven't had to deal with any of their hacking attempts. This is merely how demand works though - if more hackers are active, more people are needed to secure networks. You shouldn't be angry because I chose a lucrative field of employment, you could just have easily chose the same field.

Increased hacker activity doesn't warrant punishment to those who are paid to secure networks. That's nonsensical.
Great Blue Heron
not rated yet Aug 10, 2011
anonymous is a natural anarchistic reaction to growing government and corporate control, no different than somali pirates, mexican drug lords and london riots. more is coming, get ready to make a choice of who you support freedom and justice, or corporate tyranny.
Skeptic_Heretic
not rated yet Aug 10, 2011
Hackers still think as they are doing the impossible, but their antics have not change for the last 50 years, they still work with software by changing web sites or stealing stored data. The NG of hackers should look beyond hacking software into hacking waves. Laptop microprocessors work at the GHz frequency range, now imagine hacking your cellphone, then figure the rest.

Phone phreaking is tired and old. No one does it because it's all been done before, and highly tracable.