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Imperfect Cybercrimes


Law Enforcement Agencies are taking their revenge against the Hacktivists who mostly targeted them during the last months. In a deadly and unexpected sequence, the last 40 days have seen the heads of three infamous hacking crews falling under the blows of FBI and Scotland Yard.

One after the other, the key members of LulzSec, CabinCr3w and Team Poison have been arrested and in all but one case (that is the arrest of the alleged members of Team P0ison for which no details are known so far), the events have unveiled some surprises and unexpected details. Moreover, at least three arrests have been possible since the hackers left behind them a trail of mistakes which allowed the investigators to connect the dots and link their twitter accounts to their real identities.

The following table depicts the facts which may be better summarized from the Criminal Complaints which are reported below for:

As you may notice, in two cases, W0rmer and ItsKahuna, the hackers were betrayed by two familiar technologies which are commonly considered dangerous for users’ privacy and identity: social networks and mobile devices. Sabu was the one who really did a “technical mistake” by connecting to an IRC without protecting his IP address with TOR.

Interesting to say is also the different approach of FBI and Scotland Yard. Once discovered the real identities of the hackers the Feds tried to “enroll” them as informants, at least in one case (Sabu) this strategy was winning. At the opposite the Britons immediately caught the alleged culprits without giving any detail about their identity, maybe hoping the arrest could act as a deterrent for the other hackers. Apparently it looks like this latter strategy was not completely successful since the CabinCr3w survivors are threatening authorities, inviting other Blackhats to join them for the revenge.

Last but not least, I cannot help but notice the tweet below for which I remember to have been particularly impressed when I first saw it since, at that time, I considered it a too much imprudent. Consequently I was not that surprised when I saw it quoted in the Criminal Complaint.

At the end we are becoming more and more familiar with mobile phones and Social Network, so familiar to forget their level of intrusiveness and the related dangers for our privacy. As an example try to verify how many of you and your friend toggle Geo-Tagging off from their phone cameras. (Un)fortunately, it looks like not even the bad guys are immune from this.

  1. http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2012/03/06/hacking-group-lulzsec-swept-up-by-law-enforcement/
  2. http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2012/03/06/exclusive-unmasking-worlds-most-wanted-hacker/
  3. http://pastebin.com/jjMRFDH6
  4. http://hackmageddon.com/2012/04/14/fbi-haz-a-file-on-him/
  5. http://blogs.mcafee.com/mcafee-labs/hacker-leaves-online-trail-loses-anonymity
  6. http://article.gmane.org/gmane.network.jabber.devel/4935/match=
  7. http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/04/13/anti_terror_hotline_hack_arrests/
  8. http://www.v3.co.uk/v3-uk/news/2167934/team-poison-hackers-threaten-authorities-leaders-arrest
  9. http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2012/04/ohio-man-charged-for-anonymous-sponsored-attacks-on-police-websites.ars
  10. http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/ohio-anonymous-member-21-charged-with-hacking-utah-police-websites/2012/04/16/gIQACKZkLT_story.html
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  1. April 28, 2012 at 7:26 pm

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