Sabu, The Latter Day Joey Pardella… Oh There Will Be Lulz!
HACK THE PLANET!
So, it seems that irony is playing a sweet sweet role in the story of LulzSec and it’s titular leader Hector Xavier Monsegur (aka Sabu) As the press is now digging into his past and finding all the fidly bits about him, they happened to have turned up a big surprise for me. That surprise came in the form of the fact that Hector actually attended Stuyvesant High in NYC. Now some of you might say; “So what?” My response to that would be “That is the very same high school that they filmed the cult hacker hit “Hackers” back in 1995.
Yep, for all of you in the know, I can see the wheels turning now. He attended the school that no doubt he revisited on the DVD daily as he watched and took notes from that silly film. I mean, after all, look at LulzSec and the Anon movement’s sentiment as a whole, it kinda fits doesn’t it? I mean, c’mon, the guy thought he was Lord Nikon or maybe, dare he even consider it, Zer0 C00l!
Now, I cannot directly link al of this to his attending the school nor can I say that he did indeed have the film on DVD in his apartment at the time of the raid, but, it is rather coincidental that he self styles his whole campaign against Feds and had all of the rhetoric of a sophomoric school kid right? Heh, overall I just find it too ironic that he was a student there and graduated in 2001. A fact that only Weld Pond really tweeted about, the news seems to have lost this in the mix.
So, for me, instead of #FFF (Fuck FBI Fridays) I can see him at his console, in the spinning phone booth, yelling “HACK THE PLANET” with all his legions of hackers while popping sites for their credit card numbers. Credit cards that he needed to buy more car engines for his three cars. All of this I think just bespeaks the lack of comprehension on the greater part of Lulz and Anonymous when carrying out such attacks as a means to get back at the man.
This is life.. Not a movie.
So, Was The Garbage File Worth It?
Now that the records are being written about and documents unsealed, we are seeing just what happened inside the secret world of Sabu and Lulz. It turns out that the true believers were the ones doing much of the work and Sabu, was lining his pockets with proceeds from these and other hacks he had done over the years. So much for social change and inequality huh? So far stories have come out that he was a politically minded hacker (hactivist) as he says he was because of things like the bombing of Vieques island by the Navy (it was a range at the time) thus he has been painted as such. However, the real picture comes into focus now that we are seeing the stories about his living in the Jacob Riis housing project, not holding a job, and partying all the time.
Others, like Jeremy Hammond, seem to be the altruists of the bunch and really drank the Kool-Aide on this whole “fight the man” thing. Jeremy it seems had been in trouble before over such actions and in fact had a criminal history of hacking already. His ideals however were not about gain. He is the one who was donating money to all of the charities with Stratfor’s customer credit cards. Had it been Sabu, I think he would have ordered up some more car engines and perhaps other things for himself and his extended family.
I suspect that it was in fact Hammond who posted the Oncoming Insurrection document on the Stratfor site when he hacked it and this was his way of telegraphing exactly what his thoughts were on the status of society. It seems that Hammo is a troubled boy. Overall, this hack and the manifesto became the red herring for me, sure there was an undercurrent of this thought within the whole of the LulzSec group’s movement, but, the realities are turning out to be that some weak minded individuals were lead even further astray by a narcissist with a God complex *wink wink back to Hackers* Say, you suppose his password was God?
As to my titled question, I suspect that the garbage file was indeed not worth it. You see, as time passes the memories of Sabu being a great leader will die as will the names of Hammond and others who have been taken in. They will all languish in jail without the fanfare and shouts of “Free <insert name here> unlike those of the Mitnick years where Kevin was held without trial and pretty unjustly for the alleged crimes at the time. In these cases, they did the crimes, they knew full well they were crimes, and they made the mistake of trusting Sabu to be their leader in a war against.. Well.. Nothing.
They did it all for Sabu’s satisfaction really. Sure, they say they did it to strike a blow against the federal entities taking away our rights blah blah blah.. But the reality is that they all were lead to this by Sabu.
The guy with the three car engines, and string of identity theft cases against him.
Life Imitating Art?
Ok, so back to the “Hackers” thing. Am I the only one seeing this? I would also throw out there the idea that too many of these kids have watched “V For Vendetta” one too many times as well. All of them seem to be looking for some sort of banner or identity to fall under where these movements are concerned. In hackers we had the evil hacker and his pawns the stupid Feds jamming up the innocent hackers. The blaming of the hackers by the bad hacker (plague) and the Secret Service seem to be a theme here as well. Well, not so much the evil hacker angle but more the attitude that the Feds are just bad buffoon characters who need to be put in their place.
In the case of the V for Vendetta crowd, they believe that the collective governments of the world are just despotic regimes seeking to destroy anyone who dissents. Which, ok, lately there have been troubling things in the US government happening, but really, as yet, no one was being put into secret work farms and used as test patients for some super secret germ program now were they? At least not here in the states as far as I know, but sure it’s possible in some despotic regimes like in Syria etc. This however was not the way Sabu would have had you believe. He was full on in rhetoric that the man had to be stopped because they (the feds) were oppressors.
Over all though, I just cannot fathom that these guys all thought they could just poke the badger like this and not get caught. But then again, Sabu, as was written about in a recent article, when questioned about being AnonymouSabu, said “I don’t even have a computer” to the feds… The feds who were standing there looking over his shoulder at a cable modem blinking away as it transferred data!
Perhaps these guys just didn’t get it? Hey kids, this isn’t a movie. When you guys are sent to jail you will be someone’s play thing. It’s more like Oz than it is Hackers kids.
Stupid Mistakes and A Complete Lack of OPSEC
Another thing that has been bugging me about the media coverage on Sabu’s take down and the roll up of the others is that they keep saying he was a “Hacking Genius” Holy WTF? Really? Obviously these people did not talk to the rest of the community because Sabu made some HUGE mistakes in his Operation Security (OPSEC) It is pretty much obvious as well because the Feds had his name in February, pre BacktraceSec’s posting the info on the web from a story in the NYT tonight, so, someone either turned right quick on him or they just followed the large breadcrumbs.
Sabu also made it easy to find out who he was by making other mistakes like logging into an IRC server with his own IP address. He must have been on the weed at the time or drunk, or maybe just distracted because he forgot the one golden rule of this game. “Always use TOR” So, he logged in and voila he had given anyone the information needed to track him to his address. This meaning really that the Feds would have had an easy time of getting a warrant and getting his address. This would have been the nail in the coffin really as evidence goes tying him to the IRC and his being Sabu.
Another big mistake Sabu made was using his own address to have those car engines delivered to him. Who else would buy stuff with somone else’s credit cards and then have the stuff shipped to their home address? That is a complete N00B move! Joey Pardella would be proud Hector! Didn’t you learn anything from “Hackers” at all? You just don’t do that shit. As they said in the movie “Universally stupid man” No wonder you got caught and turned so quickly.
So, once again dear news media, Sabu was not a genius. He was in fact just like you and did not do his homework.
No CxO’s You Should NOT Relax
While I am on the media train, let me also say that the media should re-iterate that the Lulzy types are not all gone. Right after the roll up there were at least two hacks that have happened since. Both of the hacks were motivated by Anonymous and LulzSec motivations and should tell the world that they aren’t dead. So all of you C levels out there breathing a sigh of relief over this and thinking you are all good to go should back up a bit.
You aren’t safe.
Just because they rolled up these dimwits does not mean that there won’t be a bunch more of them in the wings waiting on a chance to make their mark. I think of course there will be a lul in the activities, but, they will start up again once they have re-grouped. Paranoia will be the fear du jour for now, but soon enough they will become brazen again and start attacking things once more. I should think that we will be lucky if this all waits until the summer when the kids are home from college though. See, that;s also when the trials will be starting as well.
Imagine it.. Kids with nothing better to do but hack away their summer vacations. Oh, there will likely be lulz again. They will just be without a leader.
In the interim, lets sit back and watch as more raids happen..