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

Game Theory, Anonymous Causality, and 2012

with 11 comments

Anonymous Factions and Influences

Anonymous being what it is, has always been susceptible to influence and infiltration from the outside as well as the inside. The nature of the movement is such that it resembles the cell structure of terrorist action groups like Al Qaeda have adopted over the years.

  • Decentralized
  • Autonomous (to an extent)
  • Headless (perceived only in some cases)
  • They have “wings” (action wings, propaganda wings, technical wings etc)
  • Small cells with distinct leadership working in compartmented protocols
In the anonymous world, the communications take a stratified approach as well. IRC is the medium for much of the comms but there are hidden chat rooms on various servers where the core meet to plan and talk. I am sure there are other means that they utlize as well such as i2p email addresses and other anonymized means of communication.


Due to the nature of Anonymous though, it would seem that the various players do not form a cohesive whole for the most part. So the cell’s that are out there can affect to greater and lesser extents due to the members of the cell and their capabilities. An example of this would be the core group called AntiSec. AntiSec, comprised of the more technical hackers from what has been gathered, has been attacking various sites for the lulz as well as perhaps with an agenda to cause the government and corporations pain by releasing embarrassing and or compromising data (See HBGary for an example)


Over the last year we have seen an evolution within Anonymous and its various movements. The latest being the AntiSec movement that really came out swinging after the LulzBoat set sail once their 50 day run was over. It is this latest group that has people concerned and may in fact be the more cohesive core of Anonymous, one that has a set group of leaders at its core, leaders with an agenda….




Escalation and Over Reaction

The latest “hack” and release this last Friday (#FFF Fuck FBI Friday’s) is a case in point and I think as I started this post over Shmoocon weekend, it is only appropriate to use the FBI conference call as a focus today. Over the year AntiSec has been performing more and more actions against whoever they could attack. It seems that from the attack vectors to date (except this last one) have been attacks of opportunity with some direction (such as look for all police departments with holes on the internet) others seem to be perhaps fortuitous hacks given to the movement by those out there sympathetic to Anon or just looking to have their lulz while others perform the dirty work.

Either way, the stakes have been rising and the escalation has been seen over the last year into this one between the governments (in my case the US) and Anonymous and AntiSec. With the leaking of the FBI/MET con call this last Friday, we will see another evoution to the escalation because now, the Anon’s have directly shamed the FBI, the Met, and other orgs seeking to prosecute them.

Think of it as the angry bee’s nest Colbert spoke of about Aaron Barr.. Except this time AntiSec has deliberately slapped the bee’s nest with a bat as they walked away pointing and laughing. This will not end well for either really I think. As of today the FBI has stared yet another case file on the hack of the email accounts attached to the distribution list that the invitation for the call went out to. The assumption here is that someone forwarded the email to a private acct, one that had been compromised earlier and was the source of the email that allowed the Anon’s to dial into the call.

Meanwhile, Sabu has tweeted that AntiSec has been monitoring FBI comm’s for a while now and still had access as of Friday. I am unsure that this is truly the case but it cannot be discounted as just another braggadocio about their hacking prowess. You see, the Feds for the most part are not the most tech savvy as a group, especially within the rank and file SA’s or SSA’s. So, it is possible that there has been some pwnage and that the net effect is they have been compromised to the point where investigations may become harder to prosecute.

(Think about it this way.. Hacked FBI accts etc leave much for a good defense attorney to work with on the idea of reasonable doubt)

This is going to make the FBI over react and possibly over reach. This in turn will also put the government on a back footing as well and make them more apt to do things in a knee jerk fashion as well. You all thought ACTA and SOPA were bad.. Wait til these government guys feel the burn of future hacks on them as well as what just happened.

Of course I am not condoning either side here, but, I am trying to get across that we once again have the Batman conundrum.

“You made me… I made you…Let’s dance”

Meanwhile, the collateral damage piles up and the innocent are the ones most likely to feel the bite from both sides. Ironically, while both sides tell us all that what they do is for our own good.


A Master Plan or Unintended Consequences?

Since the beginning of the Anonymous movement’s gaining critical mass and bearing the AntiSec fruit, I have been wondering if there is indeed a master plan here. Anonymous claims that they are autonomous, amorphous, a swarm, but I think that is a generalization that only fits when you look at the whole. When you start to bore down into the cells out there, you can readily see that there are pockets of cohesive groups. One of these groups is of course AntiSec. This group I think has acquired a certain amount of play within the Anonymous circle and thus would be a leadership cell.

Recent posts of the “Coming Insurrection” on sites that have been hacked by AntiSec have lead me to believe that there is a fair amount of Anarchist belief and activity within this cell of Anonymous. In fact, there seems to be from information sources, that AntiSec is in fact running the show now or would like to. As the hacking wing, so to speak, of Anonymous, they wield a certain cachet and also, from same sources, may in fact intimidate the moral fags a bit. All of this means that the core of AntiSec and their acolytes are really making the agenda as well as performing the actions to drive their agenda.. More than the penumbra of Anonymous as a whole.

So, in looking at the use of the Coming Insurrection and the propaganda by the “Sabu’s” on Twitter, it has become more and more clear in my mind, that the agenda is not only Anarchy, but also quite a socialist (for lack of a better term) bent. By watching the Sabu account on Twitter, one can also see the socio-political bents of “Free Palestine” as well as a general call for the downtrodden to rise up against the government. Is this just Sabu being Sabu? Is there an agenda that the others within the AntiSec core also believe?

As well, the use of the “AntiSec” name comes directly from a movement of Hackers and Anarchists back in the 90’s who did not believe that the nascent “Security Industry” was a good thing and that ideas like responsible disclosure of vulnerabilities was a bad thing. It all just fed a cycle where the corporations out there could hide vulnerabilities, keep writing bad code, and generally skate on their responsibilities to keep things secure. Oddly enough, all of those things today are in effect and still we have issues where companies are not doing the right thing as well as have a security “Industry” that contains many charlatans.

The AntiSec of yesterday I am told by sources, do not like the current AntiSec core out there today. In fact, some are a bit peeved from what I have been told.So, if today’s AntiSec is not a descendant of this original group.. Who are they? As best as can be figured by me, they took the name as they liked it but for the most part, there seems to be an Anarchist and Nihilist bent within their ranks and their agenda..

This begs the question though, just how much of their action has been just to sow anarchy and how much has been part of a goal to fight the government for perceived crimes against those they govern? For me, it seems that perhaps the overall goal here may be in fact to push the issue until there is a civil war of sorts. How would this play out? Well, I think we are seeing the beginnings of this now.

  • More governance of the internet
  • Less privacy
  • Additions to laws concerning terrorists and terrorism that now center on the internet and “cyber-issues”
  • knee jerk reactions creating bills with over-reaching language allowing for abuses of power
Granted, some of this may have organically been created from today’s issues over hacking and the so called cyber-warfare ongoing between countries. However, i think that this has sped up quite a bit as Anonymous?AntiSec push the buttons more and more against the police and the government. The net effect is that AntiSec is baiting the government and the authorities into over reacting. With each dump of data and compromise of site, they push and push the fools running the country into being more fearful that they cannot control the situation.
The reality is that they can’t control it.. Hell, they barely understand it…
And this makes it all the worse.

Predictive Behavioral Analysis of Both Anonymous and Government (USA) Using Game Theory

I have been watching this Greek tragedy play itself out over the last year and frankly I just don’t see this going well for anyone. It really boils down to a couple of outcomes and neither one I think is good.

  1. AntiSec becomes even more brazen attacking more frequently as they gain more power/synergy with more followers and people willing to help them
  2. The government will continue to attempt to catch the players. Some will get caught and there will be trials.
  3. The trials will escalate the anger and the AntiSec crew will seek more and more directed targets to shame and disrupt the authorities cases
  4. Laws will be enacted restricting the internet and the privacy we all should be able to have

The thing here is that AntiSec will not just go away.. Nor will the governments of the world change their ways. If indeed AntiSec’s core believe in anarchy as a way of life, then they will go on sowing it. This will cause the government to over react and do some pretty stupid things as well. It’s really Batman and the Joker all over again.. And as I think about it more, it becomes a very apt allusion to what is going on.

Except that the government is not as smart as Batman or as moral/ethical….

Normally, the use of “Game Theory” attempts to determine the best outcomes for winners and losers within games, politics, economics etc. In this case though, the real loser I think is the third party here…

You and I.

This game cannot be won. It will continue back and forth and there will only be collateral damage. Think of it this way… This war being waged by AntiSec and our government/authorities can be seen as the next war between all parties in the Middle East. Fought over thousands of years because of perceived differences of opinion over religion and land. Like the Shia and the Sunni, or the Israeli’s and Iranian’s this tribal tit for tat will continue on and there will be no clear winner..


Perhaps WOPPR said it best…

“A strange game. The only winning move is not to play. How about a nice game of chess?”


Written by Krypt3ia

2012/02/05 at 21:50

11 Responses

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  1. Krypt3ia, you were on point with this article. Excellent!

    Tom Ryan

    2012/02/06 at 05:42

  2. Great article, I think this does a much better job of capturing the realities than most fear based articles I have read. I will say, though, that I have more hope for the reformation of government. I know many young government types who question, as you do, the wisdom of government action (or over-reaction) and I think that, given time- government must reform. It must become more transparent (there is really no other way) only the old-guard believes that nothing has changed except the face of “the enemy.” No doubt you can figure out what position I am speaking from, but it is with hope for a shift in government that I work where I do.


    2012/02/07 at 01:08

  3. Thanks Tom, I agree and one hopes that change happens… But then I look at our current election cycle and think “we’re fucked”


    2012/02/07 at 13:49

  4. ‘It really boils down to a couple of outcomes and neither one I think is good. … 4. Laws will be enacted restricting the internet and the privacy we all should be able to have’

    I simply cannot agree with point #4 being related to antics by crackers/hackers for one simple reason; the US Government has been enacting laws to restrict communications networks ever since the internet began to take off as a public utility that was open to anyone. We had the Clipper Chip initiative, the Key Escrow System, the Communications Decency Act, etc. all within the 90s alone, and it hardly slowed down in the following decade. If crackers/hackers were erased from existence, the US government would still be pushing for point #4.

    Just an Observer

    2012/02/07 at 18:48

  5. Pushing yes, but the list you have there were not passed. Now, with the antics, they are more willing to say yes and pass things.


    2012/02/07 at 18:49

  6. The CDA passed, as did a number of bills that followed it. The US government is always going to find an excuse for restrictive laws governing the internet, regardless of how real it is. Thus, none are ever a true causality. They are merely an excuse which most people never bother to confirm. That’s why it’s more important for us to point out the absurdity of it, rather than putting the blame on the current scapegoat, regardless of how ugly that scapegoat may be.

    Just An Observer

    2012/02/08 at 12:56

  7. Observer, true, but its the forcing of the issue (acceleration) of the process that I am speaking about with regard to AntiSec and what may be the “plan” of sorts. This is the key to what I was talking about. Sure, they would have been going at this all along, but with the added pressure from Anon/AntiSec they will double their efforts as well as perhaps pass bills on a Friday night late like W used to do.


    2012/02/08 at 14:02

  8. They can try. But, so far, when it has come to passing legislation that imposed further restrictions on the net, these were not bills that passed in silence. The EFF and the ACLU have done a pretty good job at getting the word out about such bills. I don’t think Anonymous or AntiSec is going to have any effect on their efforts, since a look back over the past two decades have shown that such efforts have always been constant. The bills that have failed generally do so as a result of upsetting various corporations. My more cynical side doesn’t have me thinking it was any different in the cases of SOPA and PIPA. However, at the same time, we saw the use of social networking and other avenues on the net bring greater attention to restrictive bills regarding the internet than we have in the past.

    Thus, being that the US government is always pushing for ways to restrict the internet, I just don’t see how Anonymous or AntiSec is going to make them double their efforts, as the efforts already appear to be at full throttle and have been for some time. That is why it’s important for us to point out the absurdity of the proposed bills, and educate the public as to why they are absurd. I’m sure you are probably aware that the government and law enforcement already has all of the tools it needs to combat Anonymous, and numerous other nefarious entities that break the law via the internet. Law enforcements problem seems to be that they do not understand the net enough and, thus, lack the imagination to come up with meaningful ways to implement the tools at their disposal. You’re also probably aware that no possible restrictive bill that Congress may come up with is going to provide law enforcement with any tools that result in a greater likelihood of catching people like those who act as part of Anonymous or AntiSec. Would any of them care if it was a crime to use encryption keys that weren’t registered with the government? Will a law suddenly end the ability to break into the numerous WiFi routers around the world which make the capture of even the sloppiest “hacker” practically futile? Of course not.

    Thus, all we will be left with are laws that restrict the internet to the rest of our detriment that are also bundled with provisions that enable various government entities or friends to make more money, all of which were sold as being necessary to capture and punish people who simply won’t be caught as a result of the law anyways. This is why, when the government targets crackers/hackers as a current scapegoat for a bill, rather then even giving the government an inch by giving a modest amount of credibility to “Anonymous Causality,” we need to expose both their proposed bill, and their justification, for the farce that it is.

    That’s really my only issue with your blog entry, as it seems to give credence to the notion that Anonymous and AntiSec will somehow be responsible for government restriction of the internet when, as history has shown, they aren’t.

    Anyways, thanks for the blog entry and the back and forth. I generally don’t come across many blogs that touch on the issues that your’s does which has a mature and respectful discussion in the comments. Keep up the good work!

    Just an Observer

    2012/02/08 at 15:24

  9. Good analysis. “The nature of the movement is such that it resembles the cell structure of terrorist action groups like Al Qaeda have adopted over the years.” Yes, to me it would appear that Anonymous has adopted clearly influenced structural/functional similarities, and because of that I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that their specific ideology (anti-bank, anti-US/west, anti-imperialism, anti-gov’t period) has been similarly directly impacted(to whatever degree) by whatever constitutes the al Qaeda movement. This makes sense to me, because al Qaeda has always wanted to be perceived as a high-tech revolution and has embraced the internet to the point of it being vital to their strategy. Anonymous, antisec or whoever is the source of the radical bend to the hacking (it clearly is no longer “just for lulz”), probably through their anti-West(regardless of other anti-___s) interest became familiar with the al Qaeda model of insurrection due to their large internet presence, figured out how it works and adapted an according model to their specific interests and ideology. It is another global insurrection. Any thoughts on what these parallels mean?

    Sweet Jones

    2012/02/09 at 02:34

  10. If, as you say, Antisec and the Anonymous movement force the government into an ever-escalating downward spiral, and if we, the harmless denizens of the net are the ones to suffer, then could a reasonable argument be made to choose either one side or the other? If we simply wait it out, do nothing, then the only result is increased restrictions of online liberties and loss of net neutrality. We gain nothing. Would it not be more prudent to choose a side, and act out politically, socially, and digitally to further whichever cause we stand behind?


    2012/02/09 at 21:19

  11. i am from in palestine


    2012/11/23 at 07:22

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