(Greek: κρυπτεία / krupteía, from κρυπτός / kruptós, “hidden, secret things”)

Fair and UN-Balanced

with 2 comments

Hacktivist Tactics Raise Ethical Questions

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Contributed By:
Anthony Freed


By Anthony M. Freed, Director of Business Development at Infosec Island

Recently we have witnessed the emergence of international hactivist and vigilante “the Jester” through his crusade against jihadi and militant Islamic networks, and some third party networks that contain evidence of having been infiltrated by rogue elements.

Jester’s activities raise an important question: Where do cyber vigilantes fall on the infosec ethics spectrum?

That is the issue my fellow editors and I have been wrestling with while considering our options for covering the Jester’s exploits – on the one hand, he is acting against some very unsympathetic targets, including the website of the Iranian president.

But on the other hand, he is employing what would be considered Black Hat tactics which violate multiple international and domestic laws, as well as possibly interfering with covert intelligence operations.

Full article Here:

So, this is the new story making the rounds on twitter, LinkedIn and other places on the internet concerning jester. In reading this article, the writer says he “mostly” agrees that what jester has been doing is wrong, however, he does not I think really believe it completely. In fact, I think that Mr. Freed is just looking for a good byline that will be picked up by the mainstream media and thusly give him more exposure.

Anyone who reads my blog here will already know the saga with the jester and I. Suffice to say jester is a pedant and I am tired of the whole affair. However, when I saw this article and how much this “reporter” seems to be just soft peddling the story with a bent toward jester as a “patriot” it made my blood boil. This is especially true considering the emails between he and I just post my first run in with jester. I have made it quite clear that I have no afinity for his methods and feel that overall, his methods are ineffective if not downright useless.

The legality issues of his methods also do not fall into the grey area of whether or not its a moral issue. It’s simply illegal to carry out a DDoS attack by law. So, there you have it. Instead, Mr. Freed is making this more than it is and thus with this article drumming up more applause for an “alleged” former soldier who is empassioned to move against Jihad online.

Emails from Anthony Freed:

Anthony M. Freed has sent you a message.

Date: 1/28/2010

Subject: RE: Q about your crabbyolbastard site

I didn’t say he vets his targets – he did. I am not a blogger, so I don;t tend to write overly emotive or subjective pieces. My intention is to provoke some consideration of the larger issues at play.

I was clear that I do not support Black Hat tactics, or meddling in intel ops.

And I am in contact with the authorities – I am working with both the FBI and a fmr White House CIO on the issue.

Please reread the article, because I just don’t see your point with these criticisms – perhaps you are too emotionally involved with this story to be objective?

It seems you have pretty much ended what could have been a good relationship for you with Jester by being so combative.

I continue to have lengthy daily chats, and will continue to cover his exploits objectively.

Fell free to join the discussion.


On 01/28/10 5:09 AM, Scot A Terban wrote:
Kind of a one dimensional piece there. He vettes his targets? He certainly did not vette mine. Jester is more than one person, and the one who dos’d me for spite 30 minutes at a time is no special operator. Other responses in my comments purporting to be jester belie another writer with more control.

His argument of coin is bogus too. As I pointed out before, these sites are mirrored and multiple as you can see from the maltegos I have been generating. He so os only hitting the “popular” or well known sites. There are many more out there he is not touching nor likely knows are there.

I suggest you talk to some JTTF types or other intel operators to get an opinion other than jesters on mode of operation and affect.


Mr. Freed, my problems with your story are clear here. You do not call into question or investigate jester at all. You do not do anything but become a mouthpiece for him and that is not reporting. That instead is commentary or propaganda. Even more importantly, your lack of understanding of why I was unable to stomach your story is driven even further to the point when you remark that I passed up a chance at being friends with jester because I was combative.

You miss the point sir and I do not know how I could have made it more clear.

I do not wish to be his friend and I do not approve of his methods. I never have.

Now, on to your comment on being objective. How can you be objective when you say you are working with the authorities? Are you just stringing jester along here? I mean, at least I have told him outright what I think of him. You sir, seem to be using jester as much if not more than he might be using you for attention.

Such Hubris.

You’ve been burned buddy.

Written by Krypt3ia

2010/01/29 at 02:09

2 Responses

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  1. Jester and his co-horts need to take a lesson from Anonymous in their battle against scientology. They started by DOS-ing some of their sites, and then an adult came along and set them straight. No DOS or other illegal hacking tricks. Instead, use the power of social networking and the ‘net in general to get a bunch of friends together and pull legal capers like street protests, letter writing campaigns, etc.

    One of those DOS-ers got a prison sentence. But the rest did a pretty big thing and probably ruined scientology forever.

    Of course I doubt Anon’s specific tactics would work against Jihadists, but they, too, had adult guidance, maybe they’d come up with the RIGHT tactic to use.

    But committing computer crimes to make a point is stupid.

    Oh, and shame on this Freed dude for “following his exploits”. Encouraging computer crime is probably not a crime in and of itself, but it’s certainly not very ethical.


    2010/01/29 at 05:06

  2. I’d love to know what went on between Mr. Freed and the authorities. And who approached whom how. I’m still thinking this is semi-condoned behavior on Jester’s part and has the added benefit of potentially stirring up more patriotic hacker sentiment. That is not to say I think any of this action made sense, had actual impact, or anything else.

    I’d really REALLY love to know how those conversations with the Feds went. *shakes head*

    Cheers, -Pk


    2010/01/29 at 15:15

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