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

Archive for February 21st, 2012

Anonymous, NSA, Grids and False Flags

with 4 comments

So… Anonymous Is Going To Attack The Grid Huh?

Ok so Anonymous, or those claiming to be “Anonymous” have put out the word that they plan on attacking the internet’s root DNS servers. This unqualified threat left on Pastebin somehow has translated in the minds at NSA (Gen. Kieth Alexander) that Anonymous will eventually attack the power grid (America’s in this instance) and drop the power for “limited” areas of the country…




*peers with slit eyes while making magic hands*

You scared yet?… Cuz this works great at the kids birthday parties.

Seriously, Anonymous has never officially made a statement (as if they really could given their model of operation) about attacking the power infrastructure at all. Sure, there were some drops of IP addresses in the recent past that they claimed were SCADA systems (they were, but they were really only HVAC systems in various places across the country) So where is the NSA getting this all from? Surely they are projecting a little bit here huh? Such an imagination on these guys!

Wait.. What’s that? There was a movie about something like this? Oh yeah… “Live Free Or Die Hard” THAT’s where they saw this! They think Anonymous is gonna have a big FIRE SALE! Well, it’s a logical conclusion I guess.. That is until you let logic actually cloud your thinking and decide that it would not be in their best interest to do such things as a group.

Damn, there goes the screenplay I was thinking of!


Down to brass tacks here.. Dear NSA… Really? How about this, how about instead of worrying about it, you maybe force the PLC makers and their interface third party contractors into actually securing their shit? Maybe re-design and re-tool everything a bit and re-mediate the issues in the first place so there won’t be this great ability to attack such systems as they sit on the internet? This whole line of dialog that the Anon’s are gonna attack the grid is a bit premature and really does a disservice to us all. This is especially the case when you talk to journalists hungry for a cutline that will make the wires buzz and get their byline in big print.

This is plainly just FUD of the worst kind Kieth and you should be ashamed of yourself.

First off, you are gonna tell me that Anonymous or for that matter Antisec is going to be stupid enough to attempt such a thing. This would be a death blow to the group. I mean, if they did this kind of action, then they would be the most hunted of all the problem children online. Secondly, you are giving them WAAAAAAAAY to much credit in the technical skill department here. Look at the attacks these guys have been pulling off! They have all been quick hits at low hanging SQLi fruit and you seem to think this implies great skill?

Kieth, do you even know how to run a computer? Do you have a working knowledge of hacking? Cuz, I am telling you right here and now, I don’t think you know what you think you know.. If you know what I mean.

To date, the hacks that the skiddies have pulled off have been embarrassing and surely a pain in the ass, but they have not been 3l337 as they say in the biz, nor have they really shown any cohesive ability to plan larger and more complex operations at all. In short, and I know you have heard the term I am about to use.. Anonymous is not synonymous with APT. Please do listen to what Bejtlich said in the WSJ piece (finally he and I agree on something.. Shouldn’t the forces of gravity and magnetism stop now and implode?) This is not an issue now and I really doubt that it will be an issue later.

Unless you take into account that Anonymous may in fact not be the ones that do it… They just use the convenience of the name and their poor operational model…

Say, Is That A FALSE FLAG In Your Pocket Or Are You Just Glad To See Me?

So, this brings be to a conversation I had earlier about all of this on Twitter. I spoke of this very thing at DEFCON last summer and I would hasten you all to consider what I am saying again. IF Anonymous does in fact attack the grid, I would put to you that it is not in fact “Anonymous” whatever that may be, but instead those nation states using the nome de plume of the collective as a cover for their actions against a sovereign nation. This is called a “False Flag” operation and it would be used to attack while having the perfect cover (thanks anonymous!) for the operation to be pinned on others.

Say China (the usual suspect) wants to test our ability to deflect such an attack and decides maybe to hit a small power grid in podunk Iowa. They could just as easily post a pastebin saying AH HA! ANONYMOUS IS GONNA HIT THIS FACILITY! and then just do it. Alternatively, they could claim it after the fact as Anonymous and no matter how much the Anon core would say “WE DIDN’T DO IT” no one would really believe them would they? Especially now that Kieth is out of the NSA closet here huh? This is a win/win for the nation states and a lose/lose for the Anon’s really.

I warned you….

So, now the stage is set and we anxiously await the curtain to drop…

*pops popcorn*

Satire Aside…WTF?!?

Anyway, I just wanted to re-iterate that once again we have the media running with a story that seems to have legs, and even if you read into it “This won’t happen now, but soon” it still does the trick for the government. After all, I am sure many out there are now worried that Anonymous is after their power systems. That one day their lights will go off and a large shadow of a Guy Fawkes mask will hang in the air like some plot device from a James Bond film..

Or.. wait.. Like the capitol blowing up in that last Die Hard film…

So, which one of you Anon’s is Thomas Jane?



Look, see through this WSJ story as either one of two things depending on your bent and jaded nature.

1) NSA is really worried about this and not so much Anonymous but nation states using their name… (this I can get behind)

2) NSA/Kieth et al. Are using this as a means to an end to get what they want… They want complicity on the part of the people to enact more laws and oversight on their part of the internet… And by proxy control over all our privacy.

Up to you guys what you think…

Either way though, I would say that Anonymous has let the genie out and they did not account for this.. You all could be in some deep shit here..

Let the games begin!


Written by Krypt3ia

2012/02/21 at 23:02

Posted in .gov, Anonymous, AntiSec

Monitoring Social Media: Open Comm’s vs. Secret Operations and Big Brother

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Social Media Monitoring: A Rubric for Control

It seems that things are coming to a head in the strange world of government surveillance for “our” protection. Of course I see the expeditious rise in this kind of activity due to the likes of Anonymous and Lulzsec/Antisec coming to the scene and forcing the hands of those in charge. This is not to say that the legislation and skulduggery would not have happened without the Anon’s but it may have been more of a frog in a pot of water scenario as opposed to getting zapped in a flash. So, in a way, you can thank Anonymous for speeding up the process as well as perhaps creating the environment for really poor ideas to be floated in a hurry to “protect” us all from the bad people.

Dealers choice there I suppose…

All this aside though, we now are faced with DHS wanting to be in charge (or at least pay GD to do the work) of monitoring “Social Media” on the internet. First off, let me assure you all that DHS monitoring Social Media is akin to a severely autistic individual being assigned as a babysitter for an infant. This is one of the worst ideas I could ever conceive of as these types of things go. Even with GD doing all of the grunt work, the actual evaluation of any product would be carried out by analysts from DHS, and boy, they are so ill equipped to handle this. Remember, these are the same bunch of folks that brought you that classic fiasco of “Russia is hacking our water system in Illinois!”

Suffice to say, that I do not think this will go well and that the idea in and of itself, to monitor Facebook and Twitter will only lead to more of the same old false reports of doom and attacks that the Bush administration brought out every few weeks with the terror color coded chart. In short, FEAR FEAR FEAR! All the while, they will only target people who happen to say things in a tweet that will be overblown and have them tossed out of the country (i.e. blowing up america by the Brit recently)


Just Who Will Be Monitored Really?

Aside from the lowest of low level jiahdi’s or Anonymous, just who will be really monitored by this program do you suppose? Why, you and I of course! I mean, it’s really just open source isn’t it? The real targets are the stupid and the public here really and one must face this fact and accept it. This is no program that will actually end up with real terrorists being caught and cells disrupted you know. See it for what it is, a means to an end to have a simulacrum of control over the internet and the people using it.

.. But Krypt3ia.. They are doing this to catch the bad men” you say.

Sure, you can believe that if you want to, and there may be factions within the community that think this is the case, but, overall, you have to look at the pool being harvested from here. Since the advent of the Patriot Act, we have seen the FBI and others over-use and subvert the law to effect warrantless searches for domestic cases much more than terrorism, the thing that the Patriot was created for. What this really is, is a drift net approach to law enforcement because technically, the government and the LEO’s are not capable of keeping up with the crime, never mind the terrorism really. So, they fall back to the idea of we can monitor everything and after the fact go back and look at data for “anyone” to make a case.

Easy as pie…

I am not inclined to believe that these measures are to be proactive either. Predictive maybe to an extent, but in prediction, we get another whiff of control do we not? After all, the predictive nature of this type of monitoring is what the CIA and other countries do to assess when there may be an outbreak of civil disobedience or perhaps insurrection might be a word for it? Either way, this is a means of control as well as a means to detect and perhaps deter depending the use of the owner.

It’s a tool, and it is up to the user what they will do with it. In the case of other states such as Syria, well, you can see how the technology is being used. Here in the US, I am not saying that this will be 1984 all over again, but, do you really believe that you, the citizen, in the current environment will be able to know what is going on? Will you be able to FOIA the results of the testing and the monitoring to tell if its being misused? If you think that this will be in fact the case, I think you will be sorely surprised when you find that it’s all been classified and out of reach when you have questions. Frankly, I just see this as the next iteration of “Total Information Awareness“.. You know, John Poindexter’s baby? Yeah, fun fact, it never really went away, it just went into the black budgets and or changed names.

In the end, if you have a twitter account, facebook, myspace, blog, etc, you will be monitored.. Especially if you speak your mind or use key words that trigger an analysts attention.

Kinda like the NARUS STA’s in the MAE’s out there siphoning data too.

Oh, Don’t You Worry, No Matter What They Say, YOU Will Be Monitored

In the interim though, the congress has had a meeting over the privacy concerns over this little project by DHS. The congress-critters got all up in DHS’s shit about the issue and said they are not comfortable with the program/laws around this. Now, that the congress acted on this, one might think that it would stop the program.. I am not so sure it will in fact do so. I think that the case will be made and assurances given that only those who are evil doer’s will be audited and that no privacy will be breached by such measures.

“We’re here to protect you”

It’s an old argument really, but in today’s digital world, the issue is that instead of say, a black chamber opening mail in a secret building by hand, you instead have machines collecting everyone’s data and sifting through it all for key words, phrases, meme’s and other data. This then spits out the alerts and an analyst then looks at it to see if it warrants being passed along to others in the food chain. What also may occur here is that even if it’s not terrorism, they may in fact pass data on to others who may start investigations on those hits, even out of context, as you might be an agitator or show a tendency that they feel uncomfortable about.

Hell, today, if you buy a coffee at a starbucks with cash AND you use WIFI AND you use encryption, YOU might be marked as suspect due to the fliers recently put out by the DOJ and the FBI on how to tell if one is a terrorist. God forbid you have a missing finger(s) as well.. Then SURELY you are a jihadi or a militant.


Oh well, fear not gentle reader.. Because all of what I have said above about this one program, means nothing really. Why? Because this one program is only “one” of many out there being used by the government(s) to trawl the internet for data. I have mentioned a few others above and you can go look up the terms and see for yourselves. Post 9/11, we have truly become a watched commodity via the internet and all other means of communication we can buy. All of these programs have been put together with the veneer of being in place to protect us from another 9/11 and perhaps some of them were made with the best of intentions, but this idea of monitoring social media, well, it’s a little half baked really I think.

In the end, only the stupid will be caught. I mean really, look at what lengths OBL went to with cell phones and runners with messages, do you really think that much of the global jihad is being carried out over open communications lines like Twitter and Facebook? Sure, maybe people congregate there and THAT is useful information, but, to monitor the traffic of everyone to get targeted data on “some” users is just useless if your goal is only to go after the terrorists.

Remember.. Above all it’s just a driftnet to make it easy…

Making Your Own Privacy Because You Soon Will Have NONE

I guess what this whole rant is boiling down to is this, and its something I have said before on many occasions: “You alone can make the privacy that you need to prevent such monitoring” Encryption is the key to all of this. Whether that crypto be something along the lines of PGP or Vigenere is up to you but what counts is that you are taking the pains to protect the communication that will pass over the wire. You can’t trust the owner of the wire and you certainly cannot trust that the government or, hackers for that matter, aren’t watching or monitoring you either. So, it’s up to you to make the privacy happen.

With the onset of all of this, this week we also saw the first (I assume of many) solutions for encrypted tweets come along. I for one, would love to see this solution work and be used by many on Twitter to protect their privacy, but, then again, this is kind of an oxymoron huh? As I said earlier in the post here, who would use open lines to commit crime? So, once again, we are back to the level of what privacy can one expect as well as if one wants to be private, use a means to protect that communication.

*shakes head*

After that little turn, it really becomes clear that the monitoring of twitter and the like really comes down to a privacy violation by the government to feel as though they are in control. The smart people will not be talking on twitter about blowing things up and everyone else who may say such things are doing it in jest, but will end up being investigated for their poor choice of words (140 characters at a time)

It’s a sad world we live in.

I hope that congress denies the DHS their wish, but, I am also certain that if they do, DHS will only hire out again to the likes of GD to do it anyway off the books so to speak…

In the interim, I will continue to encrypt love notes to DHS and others in hopes of making their day..



Written by Krypt3ia

2012/02/21 at 19:04

Posted in .gov, 1984