LOIC Downloads Update – BlueHat FaceBook Attack Planned?

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25 Jan 2012 UPDATE: Total downloads since 20 Jan now over 110,000 copies and still going.

This story on CNET about a video allegedly from Anonymous threatening to take FaceBook down on 28 January has been denied by …  @AnonOps! Once again (as on 5 November 2011) Anons are being set up as wanting to “kill FaceBook” – but this time, some busy work has been happening that could make it impossible for Anonymous to defend their claim of innocence. Even if – like last time – they don’t take FaceBook down, someone else could. I am referring to the 112,000+ downloads of LOIC in the 6 days since the Anon attack on FBI, US Gov and media industry sites that followed the raid on MegaUpload.

The geographical distribution of the downloads, coming from 182 countries,  is so widespread it looks highly suspicious to me. What makes this even more interesting and less believable is WikiPedia shows us exactly the same number – 182 – of the 195 countries in the world have internet access. Is such a coincidence even remotely likely to happen under normal circumstances?

So here’s the deal:  if enough copies have been downloaded by an organised group – or an organisation – they could indeed target every one of FaceBook’s 60,000 servers. They could also use the same technique to mask their location as we are likely seeing in action with the LOIC downloads statistics. Are there plans to stage a “Blue Hat” operation against FaceBook and pin it on Anonymous? What I am suggesting here is that Anonymous’ biggest weakness: the ease with which any entity, shielded by their anonymity, can pass itself off as Anonymous, is at work in a major way. Anon may be about to get pwned by the “Anti-Anon”.

DATE Downloads
2012-01-25 10,783
2012-01-24 29,371
2012-01-23 6,242
2012-01-22 16,104
2012-01-21 17,107
2012-01-20 33,007
2012-01-19 5,789
2012-01-18 1,176
2012-01-17 1,170
2012-01-16 972
2012-01-15 884
2012-01-14 934

Download Statistics: loic.

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‘We are legion’: Anonymous hacks French presidential website

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English: Anonymous Español: Anonymous

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Anonymous’ attacked the French president’s website on Friday, apparently in retaliation of the country’s official support of an American clampdown on the popular file-sharing website, Megaupload.

Anonymous inserted their online slogan “We are legion” into the website’s navigation bar, where it stayed until the end of the day.

The French government reiterated its stance on the issue and denounced the people behind Megaupload.com as criminals and their actions as massive violations of copyright law.

“It is delinquency, it is theft,” AFP quoted the French Culture Minister, Frederic Mitterrand, as saying. “The truth is that they are stealing on a large scale.”

The US authorities have indicted seven people for “massive worldwide online piracy of numerous types of copyrighted works, through Megaupload.Com and other related sites.”

An international crackdown has led agents to serve at least 20 search warrants across the globe. Four of the company’s senior figures have already been arrested in New Zealand, and Washington is now demanding their extradition to the US to be prosecuted for alleged online piracy, racketeering and money laundering.

via RT.

Kim Dotcom’s arrest & Anon’s attack. Just so.. Hollywood Capitalist

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What I find truly scary is confusing “free” or “open” internet with making money out of sharing illegal content by breaking copyright rules, then launching attacks to defend that profit centre. Megaupload is a profit-based operation, same as a TV company, record label or film studio. Anonymous dashing to the rescue is just one type of enforcement battling against another, but with the same goals – to protect a capitalistic business model. They aren’t fighting over content or the right to access  and share it, they are fighting over making money out of content.

That the United States chose a time when major internet players and users were up in arms against the SOPA/PIPA legislation is an obvious ploy. They are showing the world that they don’t need more legislation than they already have. Why then are we all being riled up and distracted by the SOPA shenanigans? Probably so we don’t notice how incredibly awful the US presidential candidates are. Too late, we already looked, and are universally traumatized.

The organizations that are able to harness the power of international law enforcement to protect their profitability – New Zealand and Great Britain are only two recent examples – are the same ones who own and control the majority of international broadcast media – still the most popular and widely-used source of news and information in the world. Where they choose to shine their spotlight is where we all inevitably end up focusing our attention – regardless of the “power” of social media – we are being spoon-fed flavour-of-the-day of their favorite brand of manure, and lapping it up like day-old pups.

Quite often I feel suspicious when a new event strikes a chord in my memory of some other news item, which takes on a different meaning in the light of the event. In this case, it is the statement I read on Wired.com on 12 Jan by General Keith Alexander, the head of the National Security Agency and U.S. Cyber Command, that the US defense network is currently “not defensible”. I thought at the time that was a rather strange admission from a senior member of the US Military. Why would anyone advertise your vulnerability to the world like that, much less the head of the NSA? Now I see it as one way to explain the apparent ease of “Anonymous” being able to DDOS the FBI website, in addition to other, as-yet unreported events, potentially of greater magnitude.

I think we should also ask ourselves, with the benefit of hindsight, and the recent experience of how much time and effort it took to enact a major online event like the internet blackout – is the speed of the revenge attack on US government and media industry websites really feasible? I know I was half-expecting that Anonymous would step into action on January 18 and implement an “enforced blackout” on sites that didn’t join in, by using DDOS or defacements. That didn’t happen. I am still puzzled by the apparent lack of interest in the blackout operation from the blackout masters of the interwebs; the very group who should feel most at risk from internet censorship and be first in line to defend it were as inconspicuous on the big day as they were super-evident around the Kim Dotcom arrest. Perhaps they had been planning a major DDOS attack for 18 Jan and couldn’t get it together in time, but were able to nimbly harness those reserves on 19 Jan so their efforts were put to some use. No one is ever going to know, and I wouldn’t trust anyone who pretended that they did know.

For some time, since the advent of groups claiming to be part of Anonymous started posting names, addresses, emails, and credit card information, I have considered that Anonymous as an entity or a concept can be so easily infiltrated, misrepresented, subverted or abused, it has long past the point of usefulness or validity within the original framework of “internet defenders for the greater good” and has inexorably devolved into “internet vigilantes for the lulz”. The whole central pillar of Anonymous is anonymity: there can be no identifiable individuals representing Anonymous. Ever. Once that happened, Anonymous was polluted as far as I am concerned.

Here’s that Hollywood-style arrest story:

New Zealand police on Friday seized a pink Cadillac and a sawn-off shotgun, and froze millions of dollars in cash, after a raid on the fortified mansion of an Internet guru accused of online piracy.

Armed officers swooped on an Auckland property occupied by “Kim Dotcom”, whose website Megaupload.com is alleged by US authorities to be involved in one of the largest cases of copyright theft ever.

Dotcom, also known as Kim Schmitz, a 37-year-old German [some say Dutch] citizen with New Zealand and Hong Kong residency, was denied bail with three other men on Friday when they appeared in an Auckland district court, police said.

According to New Zealand reports, Dotcom’s lawyer initially objected to media requests to take photographs and video inside the courtroom. But the accused said he did not mind “because we have nothing to hide”.

In a statement, police said they raided 10 Auckland premises, including the Megaupload founder’s property known as Dotcom Mansion, after liaising with US authorities.

In addition, police said NZ$11 million in cash held in New Zealand financial accounts was frozen pending the outcome of legal proceedings.

Detective Inspector Grant Wormald said the Megaupload founder tried to retreat to a fortified safe room when police arrived.

“Mr Dotcom retreated into the house and activated a number of electronic locking mechanisms,” he said.

“While police neutralised these locks he then further barricaded himself into a safe room within the house which officers had to cut their way into.

“Once they gained entry into this room they found Mr Dotcom near a firearm which had the appearance of a shortened shotgun — it was definitely not as simple as knocking at the front door.”

Dotcom and the three other arrested men — Dutchman Bram van der Kolk and Germans Finn Batato and Mathias Ortmann — were denied bail and are scheduled to reappear in court on Monday.

US authorities are seeking their extradition to the United States.

They accuse the Megaupload website, which allows downloading of large files, of generating more than $175 million in criminal proceeds and causing “more than half a billion dollars in harm to copyright owners”.

Its closure sparked retaliatory cyber-attacks from the “Anonymous” hacktivist group on the FBI and Justice Department websites, as well as music and recording industry websites seen as supporting the clampdown.

AFP

No mention of the many gigabytes of user-created content that has now been taken offline, or whether it will be released to the owners. All premium users of MegaUpload who used it to store their own content have effectively now had that material stolen by the FBI acting on behalf of the anti-piracy lobby.

In the wake of all this, don’t you sometimes feel like you are just being entertained in a rather patronizing – yet equally dramatic and titillating – way? Do take a look at the first link below, which surely offers a reasonably simple explanation for why MegaUpload was really shut down.