Cryptogon: Anonymous Running Attacks on Anti-Wikileaks Sites with Low Orbit Ion Cannon

Source: Cryptogon

LOIC (Low Orbit Ion Cannon):

LOIC (Low Orbit Ion Cannon) is a network stress testing application, written in C# and developed by “praetox”. It attempts a denial-of-service attack on the target site by flooding the server with TCP packets, UDP packets, or HTTP requests with the intention of disrupting the service of a particular host. The program was exploited during Project Chanology to attack Scientology websites, and is currently being used by Operation Avenge Assange (Organized by Operation Payback) to attack the websites of companies and organizations that have opposed WikiLeaks.

“NewEraCracker” updated LOIC for the Operation Payback protests to fix a few bugs and added new features.

As of Version 1.1.1.3, LOIC has incorporated a new “Hive Mind” feature which allows the user to relinquish control of the LOIC application to the operator of an IRC channel. This has been likened to a “voluntary botnet”.

This updated version works on Windows XP or later, and requires Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 Service Pack 1. It also works on Linux with Mono or Wine with .NET Framework 2.0.

An option to start the program hidden as a background service is also available in these later versions.

I don’t know if these attacks are part of some kind of PSYOP, but they certainly play into the pre-existing script for curtailing freedom on the Internet. Mike McConnell, former NSA Director, former Director of National Intelligence and now, Booz Allen Hamilton Senior Vice President, has said that we need to re-engineer the Internet:

We need to develop an early-warning system to monitor cyberspace, identify intrusions and locate the source of attacks with a trail of evidence that can support diplomatic, military and legal options — and we must be able to do this in milliseconds. More specifically, we need to re-engineer the Internet to make attribution, geo-location, intelligence analysis and impact assessment — who did it, from where, why and what was the result — more manageable. The technologies are already available from public and private sources and can be further developed if we have the will to build them into our systems and to work with our allies and trading partners so they will do the same.

He’s talking about changing the internet to make everything anyone does on the net traceable and geo-located so the National Security Agency can pinpoint users and their computers for retaliation if the U.S. government doesn’t like what’s written in an e-mail, what search terms were used, what movies were downloaded. Or the tech could be useful if a computer got hijacked without your knowledge and used as part of a botnet.

And now…

Via: BBC:

The data war between companies that have refused to do business with Wikileaks and the online activists keen to defend it is getting more intense.

The tool through which attacks are carried out against websites perceived to be anti-Wikileaks has now been downloaded more than 31,000 times.

Security experts warned people to avoid joining the voluntary botnet.

Targets of the loose-knit group Anonymous have so far included Visa, Mastercard and Paypal.

Amazon is expected to be among firms targeted next using the Anonymous attack tool known as LOIC. When a person installs the tool on their PC it enrols the machine into a voluntary botnet which then bombards target sites with data.

Distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks are illegal in many countries, including the UK.

Social network Facebook confirmed that it had removed Operation Payback – as the campaign is known – from the site because it was promoting its attack tool.

Counter-terror plans will be revised to reflect Fort Hood and Afghan attacks

November 6, 2009 by admin  
Filed under Featured Stories, US News

Times Online
November 5, 2009

A soldier turning on his comrades at Fort Hood, an Afghan policeman killing the British soldiers who trained him – two uncannily similar events in two days, but incidents which, across the Western world, security authorities have been planning for and dreading.

Since the Mumbai attacks counter-terrorism planning has seen a major shift. Those charged with thwarting or reacting to future terror attacks were alarmed by Mumbai. The shootings in Afghanistan and Fort Hood carry echoes of the atttacks in India with the added danger that the enemy has come from within.

The new-style of attack relies not on the suicide bomb, or the al-Qaeda adherence to massive casualties, but on the shock of a gunman, or a handful of gunmen, opening fire in a place where people felt safe and secure – the luxury hotel, the police base, the US Army camp.

Lord West, the Security Minister, told a Commons committee last month that the prospect of such an attack in Britain was at the forefront of his mind. The minister said he and his team were “doing a lot of work” on “the Mumbai issue”. He painted a bleak (and rather prophetic) picture of what might happen: “It is extremely difficult in an open society to stop there being initial casualties, if you have some men who have been trained to military standard, three or four of them, with relatively heavy weapons.

Read entire article

FBI Informant Says 9/11 Attacks Could Have Been Prevented

September 10, 2009 by admin  
Filed under Featured Stories, World News

By BRIAN ROSS and VIC WALTER
Brian Ross Investigative Unit

Sept. 10, 2009—

On the eve of the eight year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, an FBI informant who infiltrated alleged terrorist cells in the U.S. tells ABC News the FBI missed a chance to stop the al Qaeda plot because they focused more on undercover stings than on the man who would later become known as 9/11 ringleader Mohammed Atta.

In an exclusive interview to be broadcast tonight on ABC World News with Charles Gibson and Nightline, former undercover operative Elie Assaad says he spotted and became suspicious of Atta in early 2001, when he was sent by the FBI to infiltrate a small mosque outside Miami. Atta was there with Adnan Shukrujuman, an al Qaeda fugitive who now has a $5 million U.S. reward on his head.

“There was something wrong with these guys,” Assaad, a 36-year-old Catholic native of Lebanon who pretended to be an Islamic extremist, says.

The FBI told ABC News the agency “declined to comment.”

Watch the undercover agent’s exclusive interview with Brian Ross tonight on World News with Charles Gibson and Nightline.

According to Assaad, Shukrujumah, whose father ran the mosque, invited the undercover FBI operative to meet him at his home, but the FBI told him to stay away. Instead, Assad says the agency assigned him to set up and sting what he calls wannabe terrorists, ending any hope of infiltrating the real al Qaeda terrorists.

Former national security official Richard Clarke, now an ABC News consultant, said the case is “yet another example of the way the system broke down prior to 9/11.”

“If the system had worked,” Clarke said, “we might have been able to identify these people before the attacks.”

After 9/11

Assaad, who posed as “Mohammed”  a personal representative of Osama bin Laden, says he’s a “million percent positive” the 9/11 attacks could have been stopped if the FBI had gone after Atta and Shukrujumah. But because Atta and his men were suspicious of the FBI undercover operative, and secretive, Assaad says his FBI agent handlers sent him after the easier target  two wannabe terrorists whose cases were easy to crack and who were both eventually convicted and sent to prison.

“I was right, I was a hundred percent right,” Assaad says of his suspicions. He says that when he learned that Atta was one of the 9/11 hijackers, when the FBI asked if he could identify any of the attackers, he was “very upset, angry” and cried.

“I curse on everybody,” Assaad says. “I destroyed half of my furniture. Uh, I went crazy.”

The FBI’s focus on stings, which Assaad has worked in at least 10 states and overseas since becoming an operative in 1996, are being questioned by many counter-terrorism authorities, who wonder what the true value of the stings are. Since 9/11, the stings have largely targeted people that are more aspirational than operational.

“A lot of the cases after 9/11 were manufactured or enormously exaggerated and were announced with great trumpets by the attorney general and the FBI director so that we felt that they were doing something when, in fact, what they were doing was not helpful, not relevant, not needed,” said Clarke.

While Assaad’s undercover work has been called invaluable by the government in making the U.S. safer and has resulted in successful stings of alleged terrorist cells across the country, defense attorneys call him a master of entrapment against what they consider harmless targets.

After a 2006 sting, then-Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez praised Assaad  who was still unnamed at the time  for disrupting a group preparing a violent attack, resulting in the indictments of seven men on terror charges.

FBI undercover video from the case, obtained by ABC News, shows Assaad leading seven young men from Miami’s inner city in a loyalty oath to Osama bin Laden, in which he persuaded them he had been sent by al Qaeda with tens of thousands of dollars to spend on them for weapons and training. The tape shows Assaad , who was working with the South Florida Joint Terrorism Task Force at the time, hugging his targets and welcoming them to al Qaeda.

Another video of a later meeting shows Assaad counting out $1000 for the leader of the Miami group.

After three trials, including two mistrials, five of the seven men were convicted.

Alleged Law Enforcement Entrapment

Defense lawyers including attorney Richard Houlihan, who represented Naudimar Herrera  one of the two men who were found not guilty, called the case a classic example of law enforcement entrapment.

“Without [Assaad's] performance, none of this would have happened,” Houlihan told ABC News. “He’s dealing with seven basically inner-city kids from Liberty City. Poor, uneducated, looking for money.”

Herrera said he and the others played along with Assaad because of the financial incentives promised by him.

“He was like, “Oh your name here. You say your name here.” It was more like, it was more like a movie script,” Herrera told ABC News. He said that anyone “blind about greed” would be “vulnerable to [Assaad's] intelligence.”

Assaad said some tactics  like suggesting targets, as he did in this case with FBI offices in Miami  are necessary in undercover stings.

“Sometimes you have to see&what he’s willing to do&.what’s he’s capable of doing,” says Assaad of suspected terrorists.

“When you are working undercover,” Assaad says, “your job is to lie.”

Megan Chuchmach contributed to this report.

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