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Is this truly the face of "hactivism"? Inside Anonymous's hack of Stratfor

A reader of Venture Beat bemoans $300 USD in fraudulent charges placed on his credit card after the number was stolen from Austin, Texas security firm Stratfor Forecasting, Inc.  The hooligans charged $300 to his account, buying hooded sweatshirts.  

I. FBI: Stratfor

But he's hardly alone.  In total, the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) -- itself a recent victim of Anonymous espionage -- estimates that $700,000 USD in charges were placed on the 90,000+ credit cards that were stolen by members of the massive worldwide hacker collective Anonymous.

It is not yet fully determined why Anonymous singled out Stratfor for an attack as part of its "Operation AntiSec", an effort it conducted with its notorious splinter group LulzSec.  

Members of LulzSec and Anonymous stole 90,000+ credit card no. from Stratfor.
[Image Source: Jason Mick/DailyTech]

It is likely that the firm was targeted due to its close relationship with the government.  The firm specialized at predicting actions of nation-state level players like the U.S., as well as militant groups, such as al Qaeda.  The firm -- composed heavily of ex-intelligence and ex-military officials -- sold its analysis reports to news networks, international government agencies, and Fortune 500 firms.

But despite being wizards of intelligence gathering, Stratfor was downright foolish when it came to securing its servers.  Passwords on the servers were reportedly in plaintext, which allowed hackers with LulzSec and Anonymous to easily deeply penetrate the company's digital presence and steal a wealth of information -- including customers' credit cards.  Writes YourAnonNews, a major Twitter account for the collective:

Stratfor "tweet"

II. Charities Left to Foot the Bill for Anonymous's Mischief

In the wake of the attacks Anonymous vowed that in the spirit of "hacktivism" they would use the cards to donate to charities, such as CARE, the Red Cross, and Save the Children.  Most of the donations were indeed charged to these charities.  States HBGary's CEO Aaron Allen Barr -- whose information was also abused during the series of intrusions, "It was all charities, the Red Cross, CARE, Save the Children. So when the credit card company called my wife she wasn't sure whether I was just donating.  It made me feel terrible. It made my wife feel terrible. We had to close the account."

Cody Sultenfuss an employee with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security also was among those affected.  He states, "They took money I did not have.  I think 'Why me?' I am not rich."

Stratfor protesters
"Occupy Wall Street" protesters celebrate the hack outside Austin security contractor Stratfor's headquarters. [Image Source: John Anderson]

Anonymous is known for being vindictive and unforgiving in its assaults.  In fact its ubiquitous slogan is:

We are Anonymous
We do not forgive
We do not forget
Expect us

While much of its efforts have focused on harassing executives at government contractors like HBGary and Statfor, at times its members have shown themselves more than willing to attack lowly employees who work at firms the collective considers "dirty". It is this approach that has drawn criticism.

However, in this case it is the charities that will likely suffer.  While the victims credit scores may take a hit, the FBI estimates that most of the $700K USD in fraudulent donations has been cancelled.

Worse yet, according to F-Secure security chief Mikko Hyponnen, the donations will allow credit card companies to charge the nonprofits thousands, if not millions in punitive fees.  Writes Mr. Hyponnen:
These donations will never reach the ones in need.  In fact, these actions will just end up hurting the charities, not helping them.  When credit card owners see unauthorized charges on their cards, they will report them to their bank or credit card company.  Credit card companies will do a chargeback to the charities, which will have to return the money. In some cases, charities could be hit with penalties. At the very least, they will lose time and money in handling chargebacks.

While the unfortunate turn of events may serve to highlight unsavory credit card practices, it also is symbolic of the at times bumbling nature of the "attack first, think later" brand of justice practiced by some of Anonymous's many worldwide members.

Red Cross
Anonymous's actions may unintentionally end up costing charities like the Red Cross, thousands to millions in fees, depriving the poverty and disaster-stricken of support. [Image Source: AP]

Further, there are a growing number of claims that not all of the "donations" were to charity -- some were in fact Anonymous members donating to their own pockets.  Of course to be fair, it's possible that some members of Anonymous became aware of the likelihood that charities would be hit with fees and denials, and instead decided to purchase items like hooded sweatshirts and other untraceable goods to personally distribute to the poor.

Regardless, for charities the net impact is likely going to be quite negative.

III. Wikileaks Leveraged Attack to Post More U.S.-Targeting Espionage

Wikileaks encouraged the attack and has been publishing scores of Stratfor's emails from a 200 GB archive of stolen information.  Wikileaks founder Julian Assange told Reuters, "[Stratfor is] a private intelligence firm, relying on informants from the U.S. government, foreign intelligence agencies with questionable reputations and journalists...[what] is of grave concern is that the targets of this scrutiny are, among others, activist organizations fighting for a just cause."

Wikileaks attacks Stratfor's apparent policy of paying international political insiders for information.  The site says the emails ”show Stratfor’s web of informers, pay-off structure, payment laundering techniques and psychological methods” and “expose the revolving door that operates in private intelligence companies in the United States.”

Wikileaks itself gathers similar information by encouraging people to steal it.  However, unlike Statfor, which analyzes the world, Wikileaks' "leaking" focuses on one nation -- the U.S.  Site insiders defend this singular focus, claiming the U.S. is the chief geopolitical aggressor.  However, when pointed to the host of anti-freedom, anti-democracy behavior in regions such as China, Russia, and the Middle East the site's proponents paradoxically argue that the U.S. is more open and less guarded, hence is "easier to gather leaks from."

The sites' singular focus on the U.S. has led some to believe that it is receiving money and or intelligence information from hostile nation-state players like ChinaNorth Koreaand Iran who would love to see the U.S. name discredited internationally.

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange -- an ex college professor, convicted hacker, and self-proclaimed "transparency" crusader, who now enjoys a lavish lifestyle of international travel and fame -- has refused to publish his donors, explicit donor guidelines, or any concrete information about his site's budget/finances.  And neither he nor Wikileaks ever appears to have pledged to refuse money from nation states that might benefit from one-side "leaks".

Julian Assange
Julian Assange has been rewarded with a lavish lifestyle for his attacks on the U.S.  Some speculate leaks on Stratfor and other players may be financed by China or other hostile nation-states. [Image Source: Boing Boing]

Thus it is unclear whether all is as it seems, or whether Wikileaks is really a front for an anti-American international espionage effort, cleverly exploiting the gullible anti-American nature of many members of Anonymous.

Regardless of where exactly the financial truth and motivations behind Wikileaks and its founder's actions lie, the site's credibility was seriously damaged when the full, unedited video [video] of Collateral Murder was recently posted.  

Wikileaks claimed that the video -- shot from a U.S. army AH-64 Apache helicopter in Baghdad, Iraq -- depicted the U.S. military gunning down a group of civilians, including a pair of Reuters journalists.  While indeed two journalists were killed in the attack, the unedited footage revealed that Wikileaks had edited out clips showing that the majority of the people in the area were armed militants carrying a rocket launcher and other equipment.  It also appeared that Wikileaks had dubbed false dialogue to make it appear as if the soldier manning the chopper cursed at the militants, screaming "prick", when in fact he said "break" indicating to shut down the gun.

Collateral Murder
Wikileaks edited out portions of the chopper cam video thast showed armed militants, in an effort to make the strike look like it intentionally targeted non-combatants.
[Image Source: U.S. Army via YouTube]

Wikileaks proponents have reacted to the revelation in several ways.  Some claim that the guns could easily be mistaken for "long telephoto lenses" and thus the edit was unintentional, a claim that paints an inadvertently fantastic and hilarious notion of a group of dozens of photographers with "long telephoto" lenses trooping around the most dangerous regions of Baghdad on a photo-shooting party.  Others admit that the site sensationalism, but argue that the site should be allow to the same tactics it blasts news sites for as it is "revealing global wrongdoing".

The video -- like the ongoing leaks of Stratfor and other contractors -- has triggered murderous outrage in the Middle East, with groups like the Taliban and al Qaeda stating that there will be bloodshed for the U.S. treachery.  A senior editor for Britain's most prestigious newspaper The Guardian claims Julian Assange was delighted at the idea of loss of lives of U.S. allies exclaiming, "These people were collaborators, informants. They deserve to die."

While journalists with The New York Times (also at the meeting) and other top international journalists at the meeting corroborated the statement, Julian Assange maintains that the acclaimed writers are all liars.  He accuses the same news sites that help to promote and publish his organization (such as The Guardian) of committing to "lies" and a massive "conspiracy" to silence his "truth". His followers unquestioningly parrot the defense that the alleged quote is just "media lies" to discredit a "hero".

IV. Some Anons May Have Protested Stratfor Hack

Returning to Stratfor, likely more will come out in coming weeks as the international trials of members of LulzSec -- who participated in the intrusion -- carry on.  The group's members have now all been arrested and detained, thanks to the work of their former leader "Sabu", who was actually a single father of two living in New York City.

The welfare recipient worked to sabotage the government that was paying for his and his children’s' livelihood, until the FBI swooped in and caught him.  At that point the Lulzsec "don" opted to save his own hide and turn informant.  For the next several months he collected information that led to the arrest of his underlings, including those that participated in the Stratfor attack.

Sabu 1
Hacker "messiah" Hector Monsegur, handle "Sabu" was a top leader in Anonymous and beloved.  While on government welfare, he helped mastermind the attack on gov't contractor Stratfor.
[Image Source: Fox News]

While some of the information on the Stratfor has already been published in various Anonymous or LulzSec attributed posts, the statements of international law enforcement agencies in the trials offer some of the first definitive verification and accounting of the extent of certain intrusions, such as the Stratfor breach.

Anonymous is reeling over Sabu's betrayal and responded with their favorite action -- more attacks.  Sabu was one viewed as a top leader in Anonymous.  Now he's reviled as a "snitch".  

Anonymous is "a group without a leader", in principle, but in practice it has many leaders, operating somewhat like a termite nest.  In a sense Sabu was like a queen -- while it's a blow to Anonymous, other queens will rise to take his place.

There is potential evidence that not all members of the group agreed with Sabu or his attack on Stratfor. A post to Pastebin states:

Stratfor has been purposefully misrepresented by these so-called Anons and portrayed in false light as a company which engages in activity similar to HBGary. Sabu and his crew are nothing more than opportunistic attention whores who are possibly agent provocateurs. As a media source, Stratfor's work is protected by the freedom of press, a principle which Anonymous values greatly.

This hack is most definitely not the work of Anonymous.

How much truth the claim holds is anyone's guess as the post could easily be the work of Stratfor or the U.S. government, even.  However, given that Sabu or his associates likely had posting rights to YourAnonNews, the presence of Twitter posts on the common feed does not necessarily represent that all members of the collective supported the attack.

Sources: FBI, YourAnonNews, VentureBeat, AP

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Really credit card companies?
By Conner on 3/13/2012 1:15:55 PM , Rating: 4
Couldn't they just donate the money and write it off in taxes......

RE: Really credit card companies?
By Keeir on 3/13/2012 1:17:00 PM , Rating: 2
You don't really understand... even if the credit card companies decide to cut the losses, the credit card companies are still going to have to trace all the transactions, which will require assistance from charities. It will end up costing them hundreds of man-hours that might have been better used elsewhere.

RE: Really credit card companies?
By Conner on 3/13/2012 1:32:43 PM , Rating: 2
I was just asking out of curiosity.

Thanks for the answer.

RE: Really credit card companies?
By FITCamaro on 3/13/2012 2:08:40 PM , Rating: 1
But its still not the credit card companies mission to just write off losses. If they write off those fraudulent charges for charities, why not non-profits? If non-profits, why not small businesses? If small businesses, why not larger businesses?

You're right though that there are other costs though.

RE: Really credit card companies?
By Keeir on 3/13/2012 2:26:20 PM , Rating: 2
I don't really mean the actual "donations". I meant the possible penalties or holds that typically go hand in hand with large scale fraud.

The best case senario is that the charities lose some man hours. Probably they will lose alot of man hours and put new systems in place that will make it harder for everyone to donate...

I don't see the credit card companies charging them fees... that would make for some poor publicity.

RE: Really credit card companies?
By StanO360 on 3/13/2012 4:44:05 PM , Rating: 2
Credit card companies charge a (usually) $10 chargeback fee per bad transaction. But, the card companies don't write anything off, the merchant pays it all back. At least for charities the cost is only man hours. The Anonymous Brown Shirt Fascists don't seem to care about anything or anybody.

RE: Really credit card companies?
By rs2 on 3/13/2012 8:47:16 PM , Rating: 2
Slippery-slope fallacy.

RE: Really credit card companies?
By JasonMick on 3/13/2012 2:05:02 PM , Rating: 2
Couldn't they just donate the money and write it off in taxes......

As the above ops said, the fees are due to the cost incurred by fraud prevention and tracing. True, if they were being charitable, they would write off those expenses as a loss in cases like these -- but how many big financial institutions are charitable?? :-/

That said, I encourage readers, including those in Anonymous to donate to CARE, Red Cross, Save the Children, and other affected orgs, as they shouldn't have to pay for this nonsense.

I respect the premise of Anonymous, the part that irks me is that many members act like a bunch of idealist kids, attacking first and asking questions later. There are consequences to every action and "We do not forgive, we do not forget" may be clever propogandizing rhetoric, but at the end of the day trite phrases do not alter reality.

Are Anonymous criminals by the laws of our time? Sure, but so were George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Copernicus, Robin Hood (if he existed), Martin Luther King, Ned Kelly, Gandhi, and other rebels.

Now I'm not comparing the morals or intelligence of your avg. Anonymous member to those beloved rebellious figures or saying they will have the same impact.

What I am pointing out is that Anonymous -- like those figures -- are rebels of their times, for better or worse, and feel they are part of a philosophical quest for universal good.

That said, those aforementioned revolutionaries lived at a time when the truth was simpler than it is today. In the digital era it's all the easier to social engineer and dupe people into false causes. And it's far more difficult to accomplish your objectives without "collateral damage" and unexpected results.

I agree that a change is needed in the world, and I praise those members of Anonymous who are supporting more informed change, such as the rebellions in the Middle East. However, I would caution any members to avoid accepting any particular leader's version of truth as dogma or committing to hasty actions, lest ye become the very beast you despise.

And learn from your mistakes -- clearly you may have had good intentions stealing from the masses and giving to charity, BUT your Robin Hood effort backfired in a predictable fashion. Beware it doesn't happen again. In your own words "do not forget".

RE: Really credit card companies?
By GotThumbs on 3/13/2012 3:34:56 PM , Rating: 3
What dribble.

Even attempting to make a comparison to men with lame. A man of character does not hide in the background while standing up for what he truly believes as right. I think it's very telling that one of the supposed leaders of this group was actually unable to support himself and his children....sucking off the tit of the government.... Does that NOT seem to be a conflict for this group? Just pathetic and lacking of any moral character.

It's a complete farce to even remotely suggest the comparing with Gandhi, etc. Gandhi was not a thief and did not hide in the shadows.

Please drink the cool-aid JasonMick.

RE: Really credit card companies?
By StanO360 on 3/13/2012 4:47:46 PM , Rating: 3
Nor do they have an agenda that pretends to speak for the masses, nor did they try to destroy those they simply disagree with. They are more Nazi stormtroopers/Mafia protection racket than heroes. Besides, their "agenda" is unknown, what is known is childish, simplistic, freshman sociology at a liberal college level.

RE: Really credit card companies?
By rs2 on 3/13/2012 8:54:03 PM , Rating: 1
Sorry, but anyone who decides to make a career for themselves by becoming a shill for the DHS and selling "reports" based largely upon conjecture and hearsay that are then used as propaganda to help fuel wars halfway around the world and increasing erosion of civil liberties at home are at least as lacking in moral character as even the most amoral member(s) of Anonymous.

We'd all be better off if organizations like Stratfor did not exist, and I thank Anonymous for going after them. Were their actions necessarily "right"? No, but neither are Stratfor's.

By DBCooper71 on 3/14/2012 4:27:27 AM , Rating: 2
Totally agree

RE: Really credit card companies?
By Darksurf on 3/14/2012 9:43:07 AM , Rating: 1
@GotThumbs You obviously know nothing of Anonymous. Say you have 2million supports. They all name themselves "something"Thumbs. One small group of them commits a crime. Now, is it YOUR fault?

YOU ARE the leader supposedly. Now think, didnt that small group have its own leader? Yes. Does that make him a leader of you and your group? No. Lulzsec is NOT anonymous. They are a supporting group of Anonymous. Sabu is a d*ck.

" A man of character does not hide in the background while standing up for what he truly believes as right"?
For you information, fight fire with fire. America has a long standing history of not playing fair, and hiding. When we first started we were shooting at people wearing Red Coats in the woods while we hid! We hid, they came in wearing clothes that scream shoot me. How fair does that sound? You really want to get under someones skin and make them listen to you. Prove you can do something to them and they will never know who you are.

That prevents people and the government from shutting you up and filling it all in with a lovely little cover up. You want it to be public, you want it to be known, but you don't need to be known. What you say makes all child superheroes sound like shitty people. Batman hid behind a mask, Superman had an alternate life and identity, etc. Sometimes thats just what it takes.

Its people like you who spread nonsense swaying people to believe Anonymous is evil and immoral, when someone else commits a hacking crime. Honestly, i think the concept was was nice. Didn't work out as planned i'm sure, but nonetheless i'm sure you can see the robin hood concept.

Was Robin Hood a bad guy too? Do you think Robin Hood should have been jailed and tortured? If so, you sir need to stay off the internet and also not reproduce.

By Hilariousity on 3/15/2012 10:18:55 PM , Rating: 1
"Its people like you who spread nonsense swaying people to believe Anonymous is evil and immoral"

Actually anonymous is immoral and evil. As I remember the three branches of our American Government are accountable to one another and are also accountable to the people on election day. It may not be a perfect system but it works. The inherent flaw in anonymous is that its members (at least in theory) are accountable to no one. Its sort of like the saying ULTIMATE POWER CORRUPTS ULTIMATELY and in this case anonymous' power is their lack of accountability.

The lack of accountability that defines the idea of anonymous becomes even more of a problem when any opinion or idea they express doesn't represent the opinion of the majority of people or quite possibly even the majority of the members of anonymous. In order to embrace the idea of anonymous you must assume the members of anonymous are infallible and I just can't do that LAWL!

"What you say makes all child superheroes sound like shitty people. Batman hid behind a mask, Superman had an alternate life and identity, etc. Sometimes thats just what it takes."

Sorry but I prefer not to base the ideals which define me off of fictional characters, but I'm sure it will work out well for you. That is, until your forced to GROW THE FUCK UP!

RE: Really credit card companies?
By tng on 3/14/2012 10:44:45 AM , Rating: 1
Are Anonymous criminals by the laws of our time? Sure, but so were George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Copernicus, Robin Hood (if he existed), Martin Luther King, Ned Kelly, Gandhi, and other rebels.
Yes Anon are criminals. The founders of our country were brave enough to put their signatures on the Declaration if Independence for all to see, knowing that if the British got it they would be executed.

Also the founders were almost all considered very wealthy men for the time. In contrast, you have a "leader" of Anon living off of the same government that he cheers against and tries to damage anyway he can? A complete and utter hypocrisy for sure.

RE: Really credit card companies?
By XZerg on 3/13/2012 2:17:09 PM , Rating: 1
ah... so let's go support insecure personal data storage by these charities.

It is wrong of Anonymous to target charities or anyone and actually abuse the public whose money they just misused one way or another.

For some time I felt Anonymous was help bring out in open bull5hit that governments and corporations pull but now it feels they are losing it or were back in the days but we are just finding out. Just sad.

RE: Really credit card companies?
By StanO360 on 3/13/2012 4:49:02 PM , Rating: 2
You realize that's what all of Mussolini's followers said too? Rule of law, police power, are the backbone of our freedoms.

By bongbong on 3/13/2012 3:01:08 PM , Rating: 2

Only 3 of those 8 or 10 people were armed in the video at the most i can see two people carrying long rifles (but these were different from the two people who were obviously carrying bags) and one person holding what did look like an rpg.
The rifles were mostly on their shoulders and one was even pointing to the ground.
One cant help but notice that they were all exteremely relaxed even with the Helicopter taking the video circling around them so many times.

There was an air of unconcern really as if they had no intention at all of even looking at the helicopter.
The military helicopter started shooting even without any provocation from the people.
I did not know that just carrying a gun which was pointed at the ground would be enough reason for a military helicopter to murder even those who were not carrying a gun.
They were probably thinking to themselves "im not doing anything wrong so why should i be afraid of that eye in the sky"
It was just so unneccesary to just start shooting these people.
Im beginning to see why wikileaks is being targetted so viciously
by governments.
Thanks mick, i knew it wasnt your intention but now im convinced there is a purpose behind wikileaks.

By Keeir on 3/13/2012 3:54:49 PM , Rating: 4
Why edit it then?

The conclusion is that Wikileaks intended to decieve. Which makes them no better than any other organization or government.

By TSS on 3/13/2012 5:02:16 PM , Rating: 2
It's never been jason's intention to disprove the idea behind wikileaks.

Just wikileaks itself. There are alternatives.

By Reclaimer77 on 3/13/2012 5:07:06 PM , Rating: 4
When you're in a war, you attack the enemy when they present themselves. We obviously had intel that this wasn't just some random group of people with weapons pointed at the ground. Hello? How can you be this naive?

They were probably thinking to themselves "im not doing anything wrong so why should i be afraid of that eye in the sky"

Oh you're a mind reader now too. And how nice of you to give known insurgents the benefit of the doubt.

I guess you missed the part on the video where the camera zoomed in on them. The chopper was very far away. They probably had no idea they were being watched. Of course they appeared "relaxed and unconcerned".

It was just so unneccesary to just start shooting these people.

What are you basing this on? For all you know, those people just attacked a convoy or something. Wtf man, they're walking around with AK's and RPG's for what? Decoration?

I know I know, they couldn't possibly have done anything to deserve the attack. Ever. America is the evil party in all things...

By tcjake on 3/14/2012 10:45:47 AM , Rating: 3
Your arguments are so simple. You have obviously never been deployed to a combat zone, ever.

Intel...If you have ever been in the military you would not use this as an argument for anything, battle field intel at the time of trigger pull is at best wrong, at the worst..well we shoot at our own guys quite often, or the Brits or Blackwater/contractors..

You are right on one thing..early on we shot anything that moved, the problem became later, those engagements, like now need to be more nuanced (per the strategy), therefore, see gun, pull trigger is no longer in effect.

If only "War" was so it is for you?

By bh192012 on 3/13/2012 5:27:30 PM , Rating: 2
Because they were not fighting 'regulars' aka paid, fully equipped military. They were fighting guerillas who would most likely have a hodgepodge of weapons, like some guys having RPGs, a couple guys with rifles, a couple guys with bags of explosives and some others with pistols in support roles. In civilian clothes.

I believe.... Iraq law allows for 1 AK per household, so no RPG's. RPG's means belligerents. Those cameramen were likely with the enemy when they died.

By johnsmith9875 on 3/13/2012 5:28:51 PM , Rating: 1
No the cameramen were with their paid security guards who also were killed by the US military.

By Reclaimer77 on 3/13/2012 5:51:41 PM , Rating: 1
"Security guards" with RPG's??

By twhittet on 3/14/2012 12:48:27 AM , Rating: 2
Completely possible.
I worked with ICDC while there - they wore ski masks (so their families wouldn't be targeted) and carried RPG's along with AK's. It was an interesting feeling to have them on your side, working right beside you. Doesn't mean that's who they were, but it was also not unheard of. That's why a nervous trigger finger can create a lot of unnecessary trouble.

By Reclaimer77 on 3/14/2012 9:21:38 AM , Rating: 2
I stand by giving our servicemen the benefit of the doubt. Unless anyone has proof that we just randomly blew away a bunch of innocent civilians on the streets, I'll continue to believe it was a justified action.

The fact that Assange didn't let the video speak for itself, and instead doctored and edited it to make it appear far worse than what it was, tells us all we need to know.

#*#*ing idiots deserved it.
By maxxcool on 3/13/2012 4:24:32 PM , Rating: 2
Fucking idiots deserved it. Plain text passwords and CRC .... morons

RE: #*#*ing idiots deserved it.
By xti on 3/13/2012 5:27:41 PM , Rating: 2
which idiots? the ones who donated via cc?

this is why people hate geeks.

The video wasn't edited
By johnsmith9875 on 3/13/2012 5:27:13 PM , Rating: 2
Those "Militants" were actually the press security guards. Iraq is a dangerous place, and its perfectly legal to own one AK-47 for personal protection. Reporters rarely go anywhere in iraq without security.

The military murdered a press corps, you just can't whitewash it now that the video was leaked.

RE: The video wasn't edited
By Uncle on 3/14/2012 1:49:13 AM , Rating: 2
Why are hackers like anon making the news steady. We have solders pissing on afghans, solder killing civilians and babies to boot, US pays billions to Pakistan as a friendly nation and then to find out Osama is living right under the military's nose. Lots of collateral damage. Doesn't stay in the news for very long. Mr Dotcom gets more press then the US corruption that goes on daily in Wall St. Hell theirs CEO's(stealing) pulling in twice as much in one year as Dotcom has in seven ,but Dotcom is the crook, give me a break. I guess when the crooks control the media this is the slant you will get.

Stop Making Stuff Up
By toyotabedzrock on 3/13/2012 6:26:36 PM , Rating: 2
Wikileaks publishes emails relevant to a particular nation in that nations media.

Which is why english speaking readers see mostly information about the US!

Fraud charges
By sleepeeg3 on 3/14/2012 2:00:49 AM , Rating: 2
Could explain the $400 in mysterious fraud charges that just hit one of my credit cards for no apparent reason. Quit giving these script kiddies publicity so they will GTFA.

By Beenthere on 3/13/2012 4:30:32 PM , Rating: 1
20 year in the slammer plus the loss of any and all personal assets to repay their thefts, should be a good reality check.

If the Foul Swill...
By mmatis on 3/13/2012 6:31:08 PM , Rating: 1
passing itself off as "Law Enforcement" bothered to honor their oath to the Constitution, would Anonymous have done ANY of this?

Without that oath, they are nothing more than Thugs with Guns. Making Mafia Enforcers look noble in comparison.

Dumb teens
By Ringold on 3/13/12, Rating: -1
RE: Dumb teens
By wordsworm on 3/13/2012 3:36:54 PM , Rating: 3
The Romans didn't have the Internet, and they were hardly an ideal culture any more than the America of the 'founding fathers.'

Also, folks like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs got their starts in their parents garages. A lot of folks get their starts that way. It gives folks time to develop themselves or their businesses without the stress of generating enough income for basic necessities.

RE: Dumb teens
By rcc on 3/13/2012 4:21:19 PM , Rating: 2
Hey Wormy,

So, you don't see a difference between someone working in a garage to build a business and someone living in a garage trying to tear down the society that lets them live there?

OK, whatever.

RE: Dumb teens
By wordsworm on 3/14/2012 1:32:42 PM , Rating: 2
He was insulting people who live in their mother's basement. I'm not supporting anonymous. What I said was that people have a chance to discover themselves without the pressure of school, life, and you can take it further and suggest that at this time they may choose to do good or evil things, to start a new company, or to hack a bank. Another thing to think about is that Anon isn't just one person. It's thousands of people, some good, some bad. In this case, it looks like a bunch of people who had good intentions: steal from the banks to help out good organizations. A sort of Robbin Hood deal, you know. That it might backfire is where the expression, "The road to Hell is paved with good intentions" comes from.

RE: Dumb teens
By Keeir on 3/14/2012 2:37:48 PM , Rating: 2
I am confused.

Here is a bit more "history" on your "examples"

Steve Jobs- Had a job/independent work for Atari before founding co-founding Apple Computers. Traveled to India on his own dime (essentially). Did not spend years on welfare "finding" himself in his parents garage. He went out into the world and took risks. It is true that he used a garage as the assembly floor for his first computers.

Sorry, these people were idiots. You can't "steal" for charity when the people you are stealing from are mostly innocent bystanders. The concept of Anon in this case was blatantly childish and would reflect a lack of personal accountability and responsibility over their lives. Unless you claiming that Anon is primarily minors, I am not sure why anyone should give Anon a pass here. These weren't "good" intentions, they were childish and stupid intentions.

If the intention was to create havoc for the credit companies sans personal gain, there were many other ways to do it then drag in the very innocent charities, who at the very least spent time processing empty donations.

RE: Dumb teens
By wordsworm on 3/14/2012 6:33:18 PM , Rating: 2
I didn't say they ought to be given a pass. I said their intention was likely to help charity out at the expense of banks. I didn't say it was smart, either. I said that the road to Hell is paved with good intentions. Do I really have to explain the expression and how it applies in this case?

As to Jobs... what are you confused about?

"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007

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