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1 Lord Baron Viscount Duke Earl Count Planckton  Fri, Dec 10, 2010 9:07:18am

Barrett, what do you make of the claim that Anon is using botnets to attack?

2 Lord Baron Viscount Duke Earl Count Planckton  Fri, Dec 10, 2010 9:10:56am

re: #1 Sergey Romanov

Note that if the claim is true - and it's hard to see how otherwise the attacks would have been possible - Anon does not simply attack sites (one could argue about the justifications or lack thereof in this case), they actually using the unwitting users' computers to do it - without the users' permission.

3 Barrett Brown  Fri, Dec 10, 2010 9:18:17am

re: #1 Sergey Romanov

I can't confirm that claim. I can tell you that Anonymous is a formless group that consists of anyone who wishes to join and who thereafter cannot be controlled by anyone else, nor can their actions be confirmed by anyone else. If someone is using botnets to attack the same sites that are being targeted by the faction of Anonymous with which I'm involved, they are doing so in an unethical manner of which neither I nor most others in the movement would approve.

4 Killgore Trout  Fri, Dec 10, 2010 11:00:59am

Sorry but Wikileaks and Anonymous are not the wave of the future. Wikileaks is only going to result in new laws and tighter restrictions on leaked government documents. Anonymous is only creating a need for new laws and harsher punishments for hacking and internet activism.

5 Gus  Fri, Dec 10, 2010 11:06:12am

Definition of NAIVE

1. marked by unaffected simplicity : artless, ingenuous

2a. deficient in worldly wisdom or informed judgment; especially : credulous

6 Killgore Trout  Fri, Dec 10, 2010 11:21:04am

I also think it's horribly irresponsible for "adults" to encourage young people to throw their lives away for this stupid ideology. Manning is a young man and threw his life away over nothing. The 16 year old Dutch kid arrested yesterday over the Botnet attacks is facing 4-6 years in prison over nothing.
It's like the Imams who encourage young Muslims to blow themselves up and create chaos that only creates anti-Muslim sentiment. The Imams aren't going to throw their lives away, they just encourage other people to do it. It's stupid and cowardly.

7 Charles Johnson  Fri, Dec 10, 2010 11:22:35am

re: #2 Sergey Romanov

Note that if the claim is true - and it's hard to see how otherwise the attacks would have been possible - Anon does not simply attack sites (one could argue about the justifications or lack thereof in this case), they actually using the unwitting users' computers to do it - without the users' permission.

It's not possible to stage a DDOS attack against a modern website (like Visa's or Mastercard's) without using some kind of botnet. You can't just get a couple dozen friends to help -- that won't generate anywhere near the kind of high-volume rapid-fire requests you need for a successful DDOS against a distributed server setup.

You've identified something that bothers me about these attacks as well. I believe Barrett when he says the people he knows are opposed to using zombie computers and botnets, but I don't know of any way these attacks could work without using large networks of coordinated computers.

8 Barrett Brown  Fri, Dec 10, 2010 11:23:50am

re: #4 Killgore Trout

Kilgore, you keep making assertions. That's fine, but I don't know what you're trying to accomplish by doing so. I've been studying Anonymous from the inside since 2005 and was among the first commentators to discuss and cover Wikileaks. I accurately predicted all of this a year ago, as someone reminded me yesterday, which is why my essays from that time are currently being twittered and sent around and otherwise redistributed by people like Andrew Sullivan and Michael Hastings. I don't have special insight into many subjects but on this, I do. So, again, there's no point in just making claims to me on this subject unless you at least have an argument rather than merely assertions. As I told someone else yesterday, you don't need to bow down to my authority on this, but you need to bring either a track record or substantive points.

9 Barrett Brown  Fri, Dec 10, 2010 11:26:02am

re: #7 Charles

Charles, it's not just a few dozen people and their friends. It is thousands of people who coordinate via a loose network of forums and IRC channels. No botnets are required in such circumstances. If you want to talk to Gregg Housh you're more than welcome to join us in my IRC channel and he will be happy to explain further.

10 Randall Gross  Fri, Dec 10, 2010 11:44:22am

Doesn't matter if its thousands, or a handful. What they've accomplished to date is really the equivalent of digital graffiti, here today, forgotten tomorrow in the rush to be topical on teh innernets. If they ever attempt anything truly damaging they will get hunted down, just like the Dutch kid.
In the meantime I find what they are doing unethical - they are interfering with the internet for everyone [true, it's in a very minor fashion,] and just like the Dutch kid, if any of them does anything truly destructive or highly disruptive they will get hunted down.

11 Charles Johnson  Fri, Dec 10, 2010 11:52:40am

re: #9 Barrett Brown

Well, again -- I believe you when you say Housh and associates are using a voluntary botnet. (Still a botnet, by strict definition, since it's an organized network of computers acting in concert.)

But even with thousands of people running coordinated scripts, I'm not convinced you could seriously affect one of the highly distributed systems run by companies like Visa and PayPal using that kind of network alone. You can be annoying, and get their attention, but criminal botnets that can do real damage usually consist of many more networked zombie computers -- hundreds of thousands.

So far, it looks like for all the publicity, the real damage from these attacks has been very minimal.

12 Randall Gross  Fri, Dec 10, 2010 12:02:04pm

What this will eventually force if it ever becomes steadily more than annoying is a full move to IPv6 and a true end to internet anonymity on most business networks. They aren't going to allow you on to the "good nets" without secure credentials and confirmed mac addresses etc. etc.

13 Barrett Brown  Fri, Dec 10, 2010 12:26:05pm

re: #11 Charles

They took down Mastercard, Visa, and Paypal's sites for a long enough time to get the nation's attention. The intent was not to paralyze these companies. Meanwhile the emphasis is now changing to new operations as I noted today and I will provide updates on the nature of further operations as they are launched.

14 Barrett Brown  Fri, Dec 10, 2010 2:06:53pm

re: #6 Killgore Trout

I also think it's horribly irresponsible for "adults" to encourage young people to throw their lives away for this stupid ideology. Manning is a young man and threw his life away over nothing. The 16 year old Dutch kid arrested yesterday over the Botnet attacks is facing 4-6 years in prison over nothing.
It's like the Imams who encourage young Muslims to blow themselves up and create chaos that only creates anti-Muslim sentiment. The Imams aren't going to throw their lives away, they just encourage other people to do it. It's stupid and cowardly.

Dude. Manning didn't throw his life away for "nothing." And to compare Wikileaks admins to imams who encourage suicide bombings is simply beyond the pale.

15 prairiefire  Fri, Dec 10, 2010 5:01:01pm

re: #13 Barrett Brown

They took down Mastercard, Visa, and Paypal's sites for a long enough time to get the nation's attention. The intent was not to paralyze these companies. Meanwhile the emphasis is now changing to new operations as I noted today and I will provide updates on the nature of further operations as they are launched.

WTH. "Updates on the nature of future operations"? To what end?

16 tracon  Fri, Dec 10, 2010 7:59:11pm

It looks like LOIC was used

[Link: en.wikipedia.org...]

Its just a basic DOS script written in JavaScript. Can be run over the net as an App as well meaning you just click twice and your DOS'ing your target.
The IRC channel that was up had a population of 4000 at peak yesterday but that was only one of them

[Link: online.wsj.com...]

that kid was running the server i guess and the LOIC doesn't hide IP's so your giving your self up the second you use it.

The mood has shifted after 2600 released its protest letter and the Reddit community you linked to is now speed reading and disseminating in text and supposedly audio when that gets working.

that and reddit also found a wiki-leaks mirror that is hosted on CIA ip's so that's also pretty funny.

[Link: www.reddit.com...]

either way this whole debacle will only serve to get more and more restrictions on the net and hype dumb-ass idea's like the kill-switch or government run/approved DNS.
The leakspin org on reddit is pretty harmless in its approach because its not taking down websites but processing information and summary as fast as they are released.

Just a note I think that Operation: Avenge and Leakspin are two different groups. One is dumb enough to use LOIC the other one is reading and disseminating.

17 Dancing along the light of day  Fri, Dec 10, 2010 8:35:42pm

re: #3 Barrett Brown

I appreciate the information that you know and are sharing here.
Please do keep posting.
We may not all agree with you, but the information is priceless, as is the perspective and knowledge.

18 laZardo  Fri, Dec 10, 2010 8:59:30pm

It is despairingly humorous to imagine a global society that worships Mudkips, has Caturday in place of the Abrahamic "weekend", speaks in broken-english memes and hates racial minorities and Jews despite the fact that racial minorities and Jews will probably also engage in all that alongside the so-called "master race" (i.e. people that use PCs for their games instead of consoles) in the slurring just for the lulz.

What?


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