So It Was the FBI Threatening to Take Down the Internet, Then?

As soon as the news came out today that Sabu, the head of LulzSec, offered an FBI computer to facilitate the publication of Stratfor (no doubt set up a LulzSec-assisted indictment of Julian Assange in the future)…

Hector Xavier Monsegur, an unemployed 28-year-old Puerto Rican living in New York, was unmasked as “Sabu”, the leader of the LulzSec hacking group that has been behind a wave of cyber raids against American corporations including Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation, the intelligence consultancy Stratfor, British and American law enforcement bodies, and the Irish political party Fine Gael.


In a US court document, the FBI’s informant – there described as CW – “acting under the direction of the FBI” helped facilitate the publication of what was thought to be an embarrassing leak of conference call between the FBI and the UK’s Serious and Organised Crime Agency in February.

Officers from both sides of the Atlantic were heard discussing the progress of various hacking investigations in the call.

A second document shows that Monsegur – styled this time as CW-1 – provided an FBI-owned computer to facilitate the release of 5m emails taken from US security consultancy Stratfor and which are now being published by WikiLeaks. That suggests the FBI may have had an inside track on discussions between Julian Assange of WikiLeaks, and Anonymous, another hacking group, about the leaking of thousands of confidential emails and documents.

…I though back to the threat Anonymous made to TAKE DOWN THE ENTIRE INTERNET!!! Which of course made more sense understood as a ploy to help fear monger than an actual threat from actual terrorists.

Was it the FBI making such threats?

Which makes this conversation Sabu had just two weeks before he was indicted all the more interesting.

<SABU> You just said there was a claim that I may be a terrorist. You “researched” it and wrote the article

<SABU> There re claims I am with the CIA pushing to get tighter / stricter cyber-laws passed

<SABU> its literally the same shit, two different extremes.


<SABU> The people are aware that our governments in the UK and the US have involved themselves in black operations in the past. it makes a lot of sense if lets say a rogue group of hackers suddenly began attaking national interests — spawning a massive overhaul of internet security, theoretically.

<SABU> you’re telling me thats not worse than some random jihadist who barely knows how to use a computer in the first place, “hacking”/

<SABU> Also heres where your entire point is flawed into oblivion

<SABU> why would a terrorist release and dump 90,000 INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY MILITARY PERSONELL PASSWORDS AND EMAILS when they can just intercept military intelligence communications for the next year using this data ?

<SABU> Why would osama bin laden go through all the work of hacking booz allan [a US government and defence consultancy], just to post a pastebin with an ascii art mocking the security of federal contractors.

<SABU> Be realistic.

<SABU> Think.

One other neat detail about the suggestion, of course, is that the CIA went around claiming to be FBI agents while they tortured people. Was this Sabu preparing to go around hacking for the FBI while hinting he was CIA?

8 replies
  1. Ben Franklin says:

    Was this Sabu preparing to go around hacking for the FBI while hinting he was CIA?

    My head spins. This is the rope-a-dope CIA is renowned for. While it was FBI’s server, ‘anonymous’ believed it was Stratfor’s?

    JTA (Israeli news service) scrubbed their story…here’s summary–

    Why did they scrub? Embarrassment ? It’s a real SOB, trying to figure it out. To me, that says CIA.

  2. rugger9 says:

    It’s got their fingerprints, and it’s in line with the way the Gosslings would do things, being the new r___ers and heirs of Tricky Dick. There’s a reason the Bushies burrowed in to the civil service side, you can’t get rid of them now.

  3. Frank33 says:

    Beware of computer hackers who want to install a “rootkit” on your computer. Any Microsoft operating system has numerous “back doors” allowing evildoers to install a rootkit to take control of the machine secretly.

    Some of the worst of these hackers include privatized spies HB Gary. These government contracters help corporations and the government spy on the American people. They sell root kits for $60,000. They also design special root kits to infect government employee computers.

    What sort of measurements? The rootkit would monitor “keystrokes, mouse movements, and visual cues through the system camera. We believe that during particularly risky activities we will see more erratic mouse movements and keystrokes as well as physical observations such as surveying surroundings, shifting more frequently, etc.”

    The rootkit would also keep an eye on what files were being accessed, what e-mails were being written, and what instant messages were being sent. If necessary, the software could record a video of the user’s computer screen activity and send all this information to a central monitoring office. There, software would try to pick out employees exhibiting signs of paranoia, who could then be scrutinized more closely.

  4. Clark Hilldale says:

    If I was Stratfor, I’d be pissed as hell that I was destroyed by a FBI-controlled (or at least, monitored) op.

    Shades of Operation Fast and Furious (the fed gunwalking scandal).

    (But since I’m not Strat4, gotta appreciate the lulzy law enforcement initiative.)

  5. Envy says:

    When some one searches for his vital thing, so
    he/she needs to be available that in detail, thus that thing is maintained over here.

  6. Jan Rooth says:

    @Ben Franklin:

    “While it was FBI’s server, ‘anonymous’ believed it was Stratfor’s?”

    We haven’t seen a definite date when the Stratfor emails were grabbed, but since the other Stratfor breach was already publicized back in December, 2011 my bet is that Anonymous had the emails already before Sabu was caught.

    Most likely is the “FBI computer” was used as a conduit for communications with Wikileaks/Assange in hopes of luring them into doing something illegal that the FBI would then have a record of.

  7. Jan Rooth says:

    @Jan Rooth:

    Sorry … total brain-fart on my part.

    Sabu was captured and turned in June, 2011. The Stratfor hack was in December 2011.

    It still looks to me like the FBI server was supplied as a conduit for communication with Wikileaks, not as any part of the hack itself. From page 37 of the criminal complaint:

    As discussed in more detail below, at or around the time the Stratfor Hack took place, CW–1, at the direction of the FBI, provided to HAMMOND and his co–conspirators a computer server in New York, New York, which could be used to store data, and to which HAMMOND and his co-conspirators in fact transferred data} I have spoken to an employee of the FBI who reviewed the transferred data, and learned that it was similar in content and format to the data found in the files found on the .onion server discussed above.

  8. blind says:

    on a personal note I feel “Sabu” made a huge mistake cooperating with the feds… not only has he betrayed people who trusted him (to me, unforgivable no matter the circumstances) but he will probably still get screwed in typical government tasking.

    on a political note. if this sort of operation is anything to go by anon hackers are in for some choppy seas if they don’t bring down the hammer soon.

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