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How FBI Informant Sabu Helped Anonymous Hack Brazil 59

Posted by samzenpus
from the working-for-the-man dept.
Daniel_Stuckey (2647775) writes 'A year after leaked files exposed the National Security Agency's efforts to spy on citizens and companies in Brazil, previously unpublished chat logs obtained by Motherboard reveal that while under the FBI's supervision, Hector Xavier Monsegur, widely known by his online persona, "Sabu," facilitated attacks that affected Brazilian websites.The operation raises questions about how the FBI uses global Internet vulnerabilities during cybercrime investigations, how it works with informants, and how it shares information with other police and intelligence agencies.

After his arrest in mid-2011, Monsegur continued to organize cyber attacks while working for the FBI. According to documents and interviews, Monsegur passed targets and exploits to hackers to disrupt government and corporate servers in Brazil and several other countries. Details about his work as a federal informant have been kept mostly secret, aired only in closed-door hearings and in redacted documents that include chat logs between Monsegur and other hackers. The chat logs remain under seal due to a protective order upheld in court, but in April, they and other court documents were obtained by journalists at Motherboard and the Daily Dot.'
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How FBI Informant Sabu Helped Anonymous Hack Brazil

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  • by dave562 (969951) on Thursday June 05, 2014 @08:32PM (#47176275) Journal

    Recently there was an article about how the FBI was having problems recruiting competent IT talent due to their zero tolerance policy with marijuana.

    Apparently that problem has been solved. All they really need to do is arrest the people who have the skills that they need, and then coerce them into doing the work that needs to be done.

    We all know that the prison system is often tapped as a source of unskilled and low skilled labor. Obviously this is just taking that model to a new level. What's next? Mass incarceration of bitTorrent users who will then be forced into the life of skript kiddies in exchange for money on the books at the Club Fed commissary?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 05, 2014 @09:53PM (#47176571)

    Apparently that problem has been solved. All they really need to do is arrest the people who have the skills that they need, and then coerce them into doing the work that needs to be done.

    It's worse than that.

    In the name of counterterrorism, the FBI scouts around for a radicalized lone-wolf guy, giving him a fake bomb plot, a fake partner, and a fake bomb, and arresting him when he pulls the trigger on the fake bomb.

    And you know, sometimes that strikes me as unconscionable; I mean, he's got the motive, but would the guy have ever tried to harm someone (even with a fake bomb) if he hadn't been given the means and opportunity by the FBI? But I can understand the practice. It's not entrapment, and it's a legitimate part of what we call "good old-fashioned policework."

    But this isn't the cybersecurity equivalent of giving flight training and bombmaking lessons to wannabe terrorists and arresting them before the fake plot gets anywhere near the point of harming them. This is the cybersecurity of giving flight training and bombmaking lessons to real terrorists and then letting them execute the plan with real airplanes, real bombs, and real victims before making the arrest.

    It is utterly unconscionable, and it makes the FBI responsible for the damage their hired/duped criminals do. That the harm is financial, and that it is inflicted upon the innocent by means of a keyboard rather than a bomb, makes the FBI's actions here no less unconscionable.

    I am embarassed for this country, and feel pity for its citizens.

  • Act of war (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 05, 2014 @10:01PM (#47176605)

    Given that hacking is considered an act of war, did the FBI just help wage war against another nation? Shouldn't they need someone to give them the ok before they go around the world causing trouble for everyone but the people they were supposed to catch?

  • by rtb61 (674572) on Thursday June 05, 2014 @11:45PM (#47176975) Homepage

    I will add a minor correction for you, It is always important to recognise the reality of what is going on. Simply blaming the government of the US, is not really accurate, that aligns too much of the fault to the bulk of the citizens of US (although they are most definitely partially to blame). You need to call it the Corporate States of America. Basically the US government and it's Agencies corruptly taken over to further the interests of psychopathic US corporate executives not just US corporations but Multi-National Corporations (so not even just Americans).

    Your war is not really with the US government at all, just with the Corporations that run it and those psychopathic corporate executives and the major investors who run those corporations. So cut of the head of the snake http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S... [wikipedia.org] and the problem will go away. Don't blame or fight the puppet, the US government and it's agencies, get rid of the puppet masters examples like the Koch(head) Boys, and the problem will go away as the bulk of US citizens regain control of their own government. Help them, save you, from themselves.

  • by s.petry (762400) on Friday June 06, 2014 @12:01AM (#47177023)

    I agree with your points, but will add that there were a few other motives. One I believe is a bigger target than Brazil.

    1. Anonymous was a pain in the ass to corrupt US corporations and Government agencies. If you remember, US sites were being hacked and defaced for the same exact reasons claimed for defacing Brazilian sites. Anonymous was leaking classified documents implicating US agencies of war crimes and corruption, civil rights violations against OWS and other activist groups. In other words, a primary motive was attacking anonymous members to slow down their campaign in the US. IMHO "Sabu" is full of shit in his exit statement from the courts. Anonymous was the primary target because they are a threat to the corrupt insiders in the US.

    2. Fuck with non-US aligned countries. Brazil was a target, but so was Syria, Pakistan, Iran, and Nigeria. Turkey and Pakistan are mentioned, but I'm guessing those were real targets of anonymous because they are corrupt and not a traditionally vocal allies of the US. Interestingly "US" is omitted from this information but was the reason they arrested Sabu to begin with. That they could fuck with so many countries was a huge side effect of number 1, but not the primary motive. Notice after all of these arrests, Anonymous greatly reduces the attacks against US companies and Government agencies. Notice too that the vocal allies of the US are omitted from these attacks (UK, Germany, France, Spain, etc...).

    3. As someone else mentioned, including Sabu in his exit statement, this a case of the FBI trying to make themselves look good. I come to that conclusion because there are exactly 2 very brief mentions in TFA about the legality of the FBIs actions and neither are direct.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 06, 2014 @08:47AM (#47178467)

    Another Brazilian.

    Just MHO. Though I mostly agree with OP, "support" is too strong a word in the present case. We acknowledge a democratically elected Politician (the late Chaves). I've never heard any praise to him in Brazil; exactly the opposite, at least some of us think the King of Spain was right to say "Why don't you shut up?" to him. We have high regards for all our neighbors -- and Venezuela is an important one. We're trying to rid the neighborhood from external dividing influences, better to make a continent of equals, where union is put at service of all democracies.

    The USA must grow up and learn that the "big stick" idea, while great throughout the Cold War, is a liability nowadays. You don't sit to do peace talks or hope to have a participating voice in a meeting if your first act is to carefully put a revolver on the table. People stand up, move to another room and let you and your gun alone talking to the walls.

    Also, putting the blame on corporations -- while possibly accurate -- leads to nowhere, because nobody has the power (or should have) to somehow control or influence other countries' citizens or companies. Which means: either you control your own country or nobody will do it for you. If you can't, things are FUBAR and we'll have a rogue nation without government to make things even worse.

    Brazil certainly is no model of organization, our flag notwithstanding, but the recent news about some intelligence departments going wild and the paranoia of some governments regarding information issues are a threat to everyone's liberties all over the world.

    You really should have a Friendship Secretary/Minister. Having solely military ones will not lead you to better relationships. You should have someone to tell you how such spying is bad for yourselves.

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