Is This What Robert Mueller Meant by Cyber Expertise?

Back on February 3, I noted what I thought was the irony that, four days after FBI Director Robert Mueller bragged about FBI’s cybersecurity expertise–including its partnerships with counterparts overseas–Anonymous released an earlier hacked call between Scotland Yard and FBI.

Mueller: If I may interject, we have built up a substantial bit of expertise in this arena over a period of time, not only domestically but internationally. We have agents that are positioned overseas to work closely with–embedded with–our counterparts in a number of countries, and so we have, over a period of time, built up an expertise. That is not to say that NSA doesn’t have a substantial bit of expertise also, understanding where it’s located.

Mikulski: But it’s a different kind.

Mueller: Well, no, much of it is the same kind, much of it is the same kind, in terms of power, I think NSA has more power, in the sense of capabilities, but in terms of expertise, I would not sell ourselves short.

We now know that at the time of both the hack and Mueller’s comment, the FBI was running Hector Xavier Monsegur–Sabu–as a confidential informant–and the Scotland Yard call is one of the hacks they busted others for with his assistance last week.

In January 2012, O’CEARRBHAIL hacked into the personal e-mail account of an officer with Ireland’s national police service, the An Garda Siochana (the “Garda”). Because the Garda officer had forwarded work e-mails to a personal account, O’CEARRBHAIL learned information about how to access a conference call that the Garda, the FBI, and other law enforcement agencies were planning to hold on January 17, 2012 regarding international investigations of Anonymous and other hacking groups. O’CEARRBHAIL then accessed and secretly recorded the January 17 international law enforcement conference call, and then disseminated the illegally-obtained recording to others.

And meanwhile, all of the things Sabu was saying on his twitter account were closely monitored–if not written–by the FBI, including the comment about FBI’s informants, above, and the multiple “celebrations” of the Scotland Yard hack.

I suppose we’ll learn more about what Mueller really meant by his “embedded” comment to Barbara Mikulski.

But it appears that when Muller bragged of FBI’s expertise he meant that they had found a way to bust people for hacking themselves and then publicizing those hacks so they amount to interesting crimes.

4 replies
  1. matt carmody says:

    That this man, who has blood on his hands from Waco and the Branch Davidian massacre and who obstructed pre-9/11 investigations into Arabs learning to fly planes, is still in a position of power and not behind bars speaks volumes about how far this country has moved away from any semblance of the rule of law.

  2. Frank33 says:

    Sabu, another criminal sponsored by the Government. The Government and Corporations want to shut down the Internet to rebuild it as a Shopping and Spying network. So the next False Flag Op will be shutting down the power grid. If the Grid is shutdown do not blame the hackers, blame the Government and Microsoft. Once again they are telling us, be scared, be very scared of the computer terror hackers. Sabu is scary.

    In a previously classified video of the test CNN obtained, the generator shakes and smokes, and then stops.

    DHS acknowledged the experiment involved controlled hacking into a replica of a power plant’s control system. Sources familiar with the test said researchers changed the operating cycle of the generator, sending it out of control. Watch the generator shake and start to smoke

    The White House was briefed on the experiment, and DHS officials said they have since been working with the electric industry to devise a way to thwart such an attack.

    The FBI wants all “encryption”, to have “back doors”. Microsoft’s encryption is poor. But Microsoft does have plenty of available Backdoors, that are now used for government surveillance and computer crime.

    Open Source makes the issue irrelevant. Since Open Source encryption cannot be outlawed, yet.

    Essentially, officials want Congress to require all services that enable communications — including encrypted e-mail transmitters like BlackBerry, social networking Web sites like Facebook and software that allows direct “peer to peer” messaging like Skype — to be technically capable of complying if served with a wiretap order. The mandate would include being able to intercept and unscramble encrypted messages.

  3. joanneleon says:

    I’m a little confused. What are we getting at?

    Sabu was arrested and was cooperating during the conf call hack. He helped to publicize it. He retweeted a bunch of messages about it. In the process, he accused another Anon of cooperating (when he himself was cooperating) because the guy’s name was used in the conf call.

    Was the conf call hack a set up?

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