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

Archive for the ‘GONZO’ Category


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The Legion of DOOM!

Yesterday the camel’s back finally snapped in my head after reading a post on Harper’s Magazine entitled “Anatomy of an Al Qaeda Conference Call”  which the author called into question the whole story that was put out by the Washington Times and their “anonymous sources”  The paper claimed that Ayman Zawahiri and all the heads of the various jihadi splinter groups got onto their polycom phones and their SIP connections to have a “concall” as we say in business today.

You all may remember the heady headlines in the last couple weeks where the mass media picked up on this story and began scribbling away on how the so called jihadi “Legion of Doom” dialed in for a sooper sekret meeting to plan the end of our Western Civilization. Now, I am sure some of you out there have seen my screeds (140 chars at a time more so recently) on just how we get played too often by the media and the government on some things but this, this is just epic stupid here. If you or anyone you know believed any of this claptrap coming from the media please seek psychiatric attention post haste.

Let me tell you here and now and agreeing with the article cited above, that the “LOD” did not have a skype or asterisk call to plan our downfall. At the most they likely had a meeting of the minds in a chat room somewhere within the jihadist boards out there or had a server set up somewhere for them all to log into an encrypted chat. I lean towards the former and not the latter as they usually lack subtlety online. Though, given the revelations from Mssr “Snowman” I can see how the prudent Ayman would want this to be on it’s own server somewhere and for people to authenticate locally and encrypted on a system that does not keep logs… But I digress…

Suffice to say that a group of leaders and minions thereof got together for a chat on <REDACTED> and that they talked about plans and ideas (from hereon I am going to coin the term ideating) for the destruction of the West and the raising of a new global caliphate. Does that sound familiar to you all? Gee, I can’t seem to put my finger on where I have heard that one before. … So yeah, there was a meeting, there were minions, and there were plans but here’s the catch; NOTHING WAS SAID THAT ALLUDED TO A REAL PLAN! No, really, there wasn’t any solid evidence that prompted the closing of the embassies all over. It was a smoke and mirrors game and YOU all were the captive audience!

As you can see from the article cited there seems to be a lot amiss with all of this now that some reality has been injected into the media stream of derp. Why was this all brought to you in the way it was put out there by the media? Was it only the demented scribblings of one reporter seeking to make copy for his dying paper? Or was there more to it? Was there a greater plan at play here that would have the media be the shill to the duping of the public in order to make them see say, the NSA in a different light in these times of trouble for them?

Makes you wonder huh?


So yeah, a story comes out and there are “sources” sooper sekret sources that are telling the reporter (exclusively *shudder with excitement*) that the Great Oz of the NSA has intercepted a LIVE call with the LOD and that it had scary scary portents for us all!


That the NSA had help prevent a major catastrophe from happening because they had the technology and the will to listen in on a conversation between some very bad dudes like Ayman and the new AQAP leaders plotting and planning our cumulative demise.


The truth of the matter though is a bit different from the media spin and disinformation passed on by the so called “sources” however. The truth is this;

  • The “con call” never happened. There was no set of polycoms and Ayman is not a CEO of AQ.
  • The fact is that Ayman and many of the other “heads” of the LOD were not actually there typing. It was a series of minions!
  • The contents of the “chat” were not captured live. There was a transcript captured on a courier that the Yemeni got their hands on and passed it on to the Western IC. (So I have heard, there may in fact be a chance they captured the stream using this guys acct) the Yemeni that is, not so sure it was us.
  • As I understand it, there was nothing direct in this series of conversations that gave any solid INTEL/SIGINT that there was a credible threat to ANY embassies.

There you have it. This has been WHOLLY mis-represented to the Amurican people. The question I have is whether not there was an agenda here on the part of one of the three parties or more.

  • Right wing nutbag Eli Lake
  • The “anonymous sources of intel”
  • The “anonymous sources handlers”

These are the key players here that I would really like to get into the box and sweat for a while. After the madness was over and sanity let it’s light creep into the dialog, we began to see that these so called sources were no more or less better than “CURVEBALL” was during the run up to the Iraq war. In fact, I guess you could say they were less effective than old curveball because we did not actually go into another half baked war on bad intelligence this time did we?

Another question that should be asked here is why was this information leaked in this way to the press on an ongoing operation that I would say might be pretty sensitive. I mean, you have a channel into a chat room (or *cough* con call as the case may be har har) that you could exploit further and yet you decide to close all the embassies and leak the fact that you have closed said embassies because you intercepted their sooper sekret lines of communication?

*blink blink*

Holy what the Hell? What are you thinking POTUS and IC community? Oh, wait … Let me ideate on this a bit….

  • The intel community is in the dog house right now because of the SNOWMAN FILES yup yup
  • So a WIN would be very very good for PR wouldn’t it? I mean you don’t have to hire a PR firm to figure this one out right?
  • HOLY WIN WIN BATMAN! We tell them we foiled their plans using sooper sekret means that the public hates for infringing on their “so called” rights and we can win hearts and minds!

Could it be that simple?

All joking aside though, think about it. Why blow an operational means of watching how the bad guys are talking UNLESS it was never something you really had access to in the first place right? You could win all around here (though that seems to be backfiring) IF the Yemeni passed this along and it was after the fact then how better to make the AQ set abandon the channel by saying you had access to it?


How better also to try and get a PR win by alluding (ok lying lying lying with pantalones on fire!) that you had compromised (you being the NSA and IC here) said channel! I guess overall the government thinks that the old axiom of “A sucker born every minute” still applies to wide scale manipulations of stories in the media to sway thought huh? Oh and by the way, if any of you out there think this is just too Machiavellian I point you to all those cables dropped by Wikileaks. Take a look at the duplicity factor going on in international realpolitik ok?

Political Wag The Dog

It seems after all once all the dust has settled that either one of two things happened here;

  1. Eli Lake did this on his own and played the system for hits on his paper’s page
  2. Eli Lake was either a witting or un-witting dupe in this plan to put out some disinformation in a synergistic attempt to make the IC and the government look good on terrorism in a time where their overreach has been exposed.

It’s “Wag The Dog” to me. Well, less the war in Albania right? I suggest you all out there take a more jaundiced eye to the news and certainly question ANYTHING coming from “ANONYMOUS SOURCES” on NATSEC issues. It is likely either they are leakers and about to be prosecuted, or there is a cabal at work and DISINFORMATION is at play using the mass media as the megaphone.

Sorry to sound so Alex Jones here but hell, even a clock is right twice a day.




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OK, ENOUGH of the BULLSHIT, Lets not make a RELIGION out of this 

Lately I have been inundated with tweets (not at me, just in my feed) of people using the “E” word. Blog posts about “Being an Evangelist” or “Are you one too?” I have to say that this post has been building in my lower intestine like a backup of putrescent bile resulting from a clogged sphincter, and that sphincter has been blocked by the word “Evangelist” My issue primarily is that you all (and you know who you are) are perpetuating a heaping pile of steaming bullshit by using this ecclesiastical term improperly to suit your needs of being center stage and telling everyone from the fucking mount what “they” should be doing.

Wake up people, you are falling into the same old theistic behavior that we all as evolved sentient beings should eschew, neigh, …loathe. INFOSEC is not a religion and YOU are not the FUCKING POPE ok? There are no cardinals, there are no Bishops, there are only a bunch of people who want their opinion to be heard and listened to AD NAUSEUM. It’s as simple as that, and if you start clothing it in the robes of ecclesiastical rhetoric you FAIL. “But this isn’t the meaning of the word evangelist now! It’ really means in modern times to profess a point of view!” They will all cry out as they read this diatribe.

My answer shall be a swift and sure “No, look at the dictionary and the latin root of the word you morons”

You all are clothing this in terms of religion and it’s inappropriate. It’s only leading to the predilections that some of these people have toward messiah complexes and we certainly don’t need that in this arena that has been fraught with enough ego and hubris to choke a horse.

Posers, Priests, Acolytes, and Charlatans

So, you wanna be the guy with the biggest hat? (yeah, going there with so many hats gray/black/white/dirty) Well what better way than to elevate yourselves above all others than to use the lingo of the ages to make yourselves the divine conduit to INFOSEC GOD’s right hand status eh? What’s next? Are you all gonna start your own revivalist conferences? Oh, wait.. That’s already going on. Con’s are popping up everywhere and the acolytes are flocking aren’t they? Holy Geebus, even as I rhuminate on this I see more parallels! The vendor rooms are the tents where you see geeks and freaks, clowns and circuses! Best part of all, you get to see the “blow off” by the booth babes!

Look, I’m not saying everyone is like this but it’s begun to feel like a carni to me that has taken itself too seriously. This use of the religious terms and the awe with which some are held is just silly. What’s worse, you are allowing all of this to be used by the likes of LIGATT and others to have their own “evangelism sideshow’s” hawking their particular brands of security snake oil. There are of course people like Jericho and Attrition out there to call people on this, but as a whole, the industry, once again I find myself saying this, is an “Industry” and to make yourselves out to be the clergy of some great and grand security church, even by just using the nomenclature is wrong whether your buy into it or not.

Frankly, the bandying about of the term by people on my feed makes me dry heave. See, as far as I am concerned, this job is an “Avocation” and should not be elevated to religiosity as it seems to be lately by those within as well as those selling it. You do it because you love it, otherwise, you are just in it for the money. If you love it, sure you can be passionate about it, but you are not by any stretch of the imagination a “evangelist” unless you have a book you are professing and selling with bone fragments in the back of the tent for only a sawbuck a piece! *wink wink*

There is so much more fail in this arena that we do not need to go muddying the water with all this claptrap.

So, Mr. Evangelist, Am I Going to Heaven or INFOSEC Hell?

As I started tweeting about this people started coming back with “Then that makes you the INFOSEC HERETIC” and, yep, I guess I am. Or perhaps I am the INFOSEC Redheaded Stepchild. I am sure both apply equally as well as “That BASTARD” I sit back and watch all of you and sometimes I just feel like what’s the point? I look at our current situation with APT and the EPIC-ness of every other EPIC tweet about EPIC-ness at the latest EPIC con and I want to EPIC-ALLY shoot myself. Are we all just teenagers here looking for that much attention as a group? As a business? Perhaps the people who are quietly doing the work in the background should speak up now and then (as I am told they exist by Ali) I do know they are out there, and perhaps they quietly watch and shake their heads now and again.

So do you?

It’s sad really that it has devolved in so many ways to the same ol same ol that we are seeing now in our election cycle. “I’m cooler!” “No no, I AM COOLEST” It’s really what I touched upon in the last “Fear and Loathing” series post on DC. Some people wrote back and asked if I thought it was that dystopian.

I have to say, kinda, yeah… Though I embellished as the “GONZO” journalist playbook implies.. (it’s written in crayon by the way) So am I going to INFOSEC Hell? Am I a heretic? I will leave that to all of you out there in INFOSEC-land who deign read this rant. Either way, once again, we use the language of the ecclesiastical to elevate or denigrate someone’s views eh? Perhaps this is all we know, we people who still follow a book so closely that now has the masses up in arms about the issue of people of the same gender wanting equality.

Holy fucking shit.

A book mind you, written by people barely able to understand nature around them so they made stories up to fill in the gaps. Really? 21st century? Yeah.. Right.

Monkeys with digital guns.

Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.

As I wind down from this verging on Tourettes induced screed, I have to just say that I really do mean to take aim at this culture we have here. I think its too full of shit and it is no wonder we are unable to cogently deal with the problems en mass that we have with digital security. It’s because the culture sets itself up to be not listened to by the old guard. Wasn’t it back in the 90’s that L0pht told the congress that they could shut the net down? So, what happened to all the mitigations? What happened to the “Oh my God! This security shit is important!” it all just left their heads as we went on in our pedantry, that’s what happened.

We’ve been too busy being cool and showing that we can do cool shit while not actually focusing on the issue at hand, that of protecting the things that should be protected.

Sure there are many solid people out there taken seriously by those in power, but if you look at the general term “hacker” and the odiousness it has now, why would anyone take us seriously? Thus we have the new terminology of cracker and others? Trying to buy legitimacy even as we go from con to con being “evangelists” ???

I don’t know folks.. Seems like we all have enough trouble getting through to the straights here, we don’t need to make it worse by our own self defeating antics right?

We are not evangelists, barely most of us are professionals… Stop and take a long look in the collective mirror….


Written by Krypt3ia

2012/05/10 at 19:30

Posted in GONZO, Infosec

Fear and Loathing in INFOSEC: “DEFCON The Black Mass”

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Fear and Loathing in INFOSEC: “The Black Mass”

Raoul Duke: [hallucinating being attacked by lizards] Jesus God almighty, look at that bunch over there man! They’ve spotted us!

I walked into the casino half melted from the beating sun of the Vegas desert having performed the daily French Foreign Legion forced march between hotels to get into the conference. As the cold air hit me and began to precipitate the usual storm front of hot and cold air headache that technically should create a thunder storm around me, I began to see the freaks mixed with the damned all around. Freak power, this was its bastion for the week long vice and criminality fest known as DEFCON, and I was in its midst for the 4rth time, ready to feel the fear and the loathing once again while watching the lounge lizards mix with the digital freaks and loathing the both of them rather equally.

The fear I felt palpably at the time was centered on the idea that these kids were the future, and the loathing that they too soon would be co-opted into buying the “American Dream” that the other lounge lizards were perpetuating as they sat lazily swilling cocktails while pulling on the one arm bandits like they were masturbating bulls for prize semen. The freaks, one and all, were a monochromatic bunch for the most part, all seeking to garner attention for themselves, but, unlike a peacock or another fowl with brightly colored plumes, they lacked the colors to differentiate themselves between and betwixt the other. Of course, this was to assume that, like peacocks, they were trying to attract a mate, in this case, there were not so many females of the digital freak species in the room, so it was doubly meaningless for the ersatz preening species known as a “hacker”

Gesticulating and making odd sounds, the hackers milled and jerked around like some strange species of black raptors. Babbling incoherently about arcane knowledge in the hopes of one upping the other hapless technoweens in the room. All of this spectacle was witnessed by myself and other non freaks, mouths agape, as we fixated on the strangeness of it all while fearing that soon we would be noticed and beset upon as interlopers in this strange and fearful parade of young gen-y and millennial’s. I soon escaped, fearing that I would be spotted as what they called a “Fed” because I did not wear the uniform of black on black… and I had grey hair. It was a close call, but little did I know that all of this was to pale in comparison to the night time bacchanalia of counter culture couture and angst that would ensue.

The nocturnal nature of the beasts that I hadn’t been apparent from the daytime activities that they pursued. Between clatches of gesticulating and strutting hallway lizard sessions on they would plod in great number attempting to go from room to room, sitting patiently for some great bearded UNIX gnome. A great sea of black and pale skin with odd tufts of technical wizardry on them, antenna’s grafted to their bodies, they sit and listen en-wrapped to the speeches of technical rock stars, gurus of the angel headed hipsters, showing them the arcane secrets of their cult. I sat watching the bobbing heads of the black masses, their blinking lights winking in the audience and felt the fear creep up my spine that comes from seeing a black mass and realizing that the gods eventually would have to be appeased by blood sacrifice.

Later that night, I wandered in and out of the bar and the hotel, seeing groups of these nocturnal basement dwellers roaming the halls, completely blasted out of their minds on every conceivable kind of chemical that they could get their hands on. It was an orgy of black t-shirts and Doc Martins loudly proclaiming their status and their total twistedness, it gave one chills to see it. I pressed on though, seeking the great secret knowledge that this all represented, the beastily truth that these kids are our future and we all were once again in high school. From room to room, you could hear the taunts and grunts, protestations that each lizard in the room was the biggest, the sharpest of tongue and claw, and that they, and they alone were worthy of being lauded as king lizard…

And if you dared to say otherwise, then you were to be smashed into a bloody mental pulp by their arcane black arts.

Hissing and taunting could be heard on every floor between strutting cackles as more of these creatures sat in front of terminals, their faces aglow, pale in the reflected digital light. Clicking of talons on keyboards could be heard and the sound was reverberating throughout as more and more of the hotel’s infrastructure was taken over. With each success, they would make throaty calls, like Jurassic beasts calling others to come to rip the prey apart, truly, I was a stranger in a strange land and began to wonder if I should just back away slowly, perhaps their visual acuity was based on movement and if I moved infinitely slowly, I could make my escape.

Between these horrific scenes and those of the American dreamers slowly pulling the one armed bandits, I came to realize that I had entered Hell, and that Las Vegas was it’s inner circle, the seventh layer, and these all were the damned. The bloated American dreamers, dull eyed, gorged on the all you can eat all you can drink of the hotel while the black clad hackers, preened and fed upon the fallacy that they were the center of the universe, the center of a super massive black hole of “cool” Neither seeing the other as being at all entangled with each other, nor seeing the natural selection going on right before their very eyes. I became suddenly acutely aware that both of these subspecies of homo sapiens ironically thought that they were at the top of the food chain and here I was outside of them all seeing them clearly as freaks of a feather and that one day, the cool kid lizards in their zeal to be numero uno would someday find themselves so counter culture that they would in fact become the cultural norm. Someday, they too would be there once again, fat, and sweaty, pulling on the one arm bandits incessantly, watching the new crop of super cool black draped lizards, cawing and shrieking about how cool they are because they have the sharpest digital talons.

Irony it seems, has a sense of humor.

I had found the fear and the loathing, cyclically circling one another in a grim death match between the counter culture of the hackers and the gold dripping, slovenly wanton pulling at those slots.  Thick in the air and fetid as the breath of the nearest hobo on the streets of this horrid town, it fell like an ill wind upon me and I wanted to leave this cursed place…

Viva Las Vegas Baby.. Viva Las Vegas…

Dr. Krypt3ia

Written by Krypt3ia

2012/05/01 at 22:30

Posted in GONZO, Infosec