Once again demonstrating a knack for subversion, Anonymous slipped into a conference call aimed at discussing hacking that allegedly took place on January 17 between the FBI and Scotland Yard. The conference call, which is apparently held weekly, was breached on the FBI side. Today an Anonymous affiliate released audio of the call unto the internet, and a corresponding Youtube video can be found below.
Highlights of the conversation include an FBI detective thanking the Metropolitan police, and a British detective replying, “We’ve cocked things up in the past. We know that.” The officer then goes on to describe an Anonymous hacker who managed to hack into the Manchester Credit Union: “He’s a 15 year old kid who is just basically doing this all for attention and a bit of an idiot.”
This is perhaps the most illuminating quote of the conversation for a few reasons. For one, it brings to light the fact that in 2012, 15 year olds who are allegedly acting out for attention manage to corral it from international law enforcement and our best detectives. It also shows first-hand what these professionals tasked with tracking (in some cases) nascent hackers think of their suspects—which is to say not very highly.
The Brit also says, “We’ve set back the further arrests of Kayla”, referring to a story which I covered months ago, when the arrests began against the Anonymous-affiliated digital activism group.
Usually we hear about Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks, wherein a website gets flooded by traffic from a Low Orbit Ion Cannon (LOIC or Lulz Cannon), but in this case, which is nowhere near the first of its kind, Anonymous sends a clear message that their capabilities extend beyond virtual property damage and into the realm of legitimate, purposeful spying.
The AnonymousIRC twitter account tweeted earlier today, “The FBI might be curious how we’re able to continuously read their internal comms for some time now.”
Indeed they are. They released a statement acknowledging their participation in the call, and of course said they would be pursuing the perpetrators. The former response strikes me as odd. Why would they admit to being hacked?
After publishing audio of the call itself, Anonymous spiced things up by publishing an email “apparently stolen from the FBI” that contained the email addresses of all call participants, according to the BBC.
Hearing how the real detectives react to Anonymous makes me imagine a Bond flick where James is tasked with tracking Anonymous. He would be downing martinis at triple speed just to help existentially justify hunting down acne-ridden precocious computer-game-enthusiasts. It’s got to be soul-crushing.
Anyway, the beginning of the call is literally filled with the laughter of the the oblivious detectives. They get down to business around three minutes in.