LulzSec released a video today with a sneak peak of an upcoming data dump. The group, which is an offshoot of Anonymous, claims to have 3 terabytes of new hacked data from the FBI (ic.fbi.gov-the Internet Crimes division of the agency), The State Department (state.gov), the Defense Intelligence Agency (dia.mil-which is currently down at the time of this posting). The attack is not just limited to US government targets either. The video states that a rash of Syrian government emails will be included. As of right now I am not sure if this is a new dump. Previously there was a dump of Syrian government emails that did not receive the proper attention and I can only imagine that those emails will be at least part of this release if not all of that section. The first three minutes of the video is a giant statement of butthurt and then flashing pictures of tyrants like Che and for some reason they had to toss Boxxy in there. But starting around three minutes the preview of the files can be seen.
I can only speculate at this point on the content. But due to the size (3 terabytes) I can only imagine that a lot of this info will probably be of no value at all. And I do find the IC.FBI.GOV an interesting choice for a target of Anonymous. Since IC (Internet Crimes) division would most likely have details on some of their antics, there is a good amount of open cases in that division regarding child pornography. Those offences are something that Anon’s took seriously in combating online all on their own. So I am confused. By compromising the security of that division of the FBI they will be impeding open investigations. In Anonymous’ “shoot from the hip” fashion of late I’m going to bet that a lot of the data from that division will probably be agents/employees personal info, exchanges of emails, and sensitive case data. The last thing that was admirable about Anons was the fact that they had zero tolerance for child pr0n. But now they compromised the security of the entire division that battles child pr0n. What gives?
A collective can not remain leaderless and gain anything, ever. Whether it is respect, power, or even gaining a foothold on any battlefield, even the most loosely knit groups need a simple structure just to avoid annihilation. Take just the example above. Due to the fact that their is no leadership or structure in the group, the attack on the FBI’s IC department now negates all the work battling the online sickos; something that I have commended them for since their inception. But in a desperate attempt to stay relevant they now fight along side the paedophiles; leadership would have prevented this contradiction.
While Anonymous tends to work hard while a revolution is in full swing their numbers thin rapidly once the on-the-ground action is over. The terrible truth is that once that excitement ends, and the news cameras leave, those freedom fighters need their help the most. So going after the Syrian government is commendable. But let us look at the other regions that were thrown into revolution recently and the overall outcome. Egypt will now be run by the Muslim Brotherhood. Since the fall of Mubarak Christians are being hunted, tortured, and slaughtered. Their churches are burning. Executions for apostasy are sky-rocketing. And the country is now under full military rule. In Tahrir Anonymous was right there fighting for freedom for the good people of Egypt. And they left right along with CBS, ABC, NBC, CNN, et al. Same with Bahrain, Yemen, Libya, etc. And once the media leaves Syria and the real genocide begins (and I mean the slow systematic extermination of the opposition that will happen in basements of abandoned buildings) Anonymous will leave too.
So, do you understand my confusion now? 3 terabytes means absolutely nothing. Especially if all it does is expose useless information of agency employees and what they chat about at work. If there was anything of value then the press releases and “sneak peaks” would mention that. Rather it just says “We got a lot of data.” Well, so what?
Learn to Learn
To provide a proper contrast to illustrate the point lets take a look at a lone operator who does it right. th3j35t3r gathers as much information as he/she can possibly get and then filters out everything that is irrelevant (or useless to the end consumer) and publishes what is useful in order to support the narrative of whatever topic he/she is addressing. Example number one, Team P0is0n. And the second example is something that illustrates the point more perfectly because he stays focused even when he says he is not really sure what is happening. Both topics carried with them a ton of information that was filtered out so that his audience could more easily follow the topic.
Anonymous just dumps a ton of info and says “figure it out” or “try to find something useful”. And that is just a poor tactic when you are trying to keep the attention span of a bunch of ADHD pimply-faced basement dwellers. Naturally a few journalists will dig through the info hoping to find a gem. But when I say a “few” journalists even that may be a stretch. Journalists have sources. And having a ton of info they dont need nor did they ever ask for, dumped into their laps doesnt even perk their ears up. News hounds are people too and if you want to keep them happy you have to dump a stripper in their laps, not a ton of “homework”.
So, do you understand my confusion now? Who is their audience and what do they expect from them? Do they expect them to do all of their homework for them so they can pass the class? It seems to me that they are desperately clinging on to the success of the interest in Wikileaks. But that was a fluke. Journalists (amateur and pro, as well as regular Joe’s) only picked through the State Department cables because these usually arent declassified and publicly available until 60 years after their creation date. And that alone, the mystique of what our government is really involved in, RIGHT NOW, without having to beg, prod, and poke sources, was too much for any journalist to pass up. They would, in fact, take all the time to pour through every cable. But Anonymous doesnt seem to understand that their releases aren’t of the same value.
Furthermore, they forgot that out of the 250,000 State Dept. cables only a few hundred were newsworthy. And journalists are not going to be signing up for that again anytime soon. Especially since the only thing they have gotten since Wikileaks is releases like the upcoming one from Anonymous. What we jounralists hear when they teases a release like that is “Hello journalists, we need you to do more of our homework for us.” If Anonymous was smart they would take the time to divide the info into relevant categories and point towards topics of interest. But the fact of the matter is that the vast majority of the info is useless. The only thing that was accomplished is that Junior Agent Betsy Young now has to worry that someone is going to egg her house because a bunch of skiddies wanted to release her personal info in the name (ironically) of OPSEC. So, do you understand my confusion now?