Posted by: gavinstokes | February 11, 2011

Who needs the NSA when we have Social Media


Aaron Barr

Aaron Barr while working for security firm HBGary Federal believed he had finally got the jump on the loose collective of  hackers known as Anonymous, recently attributed to the  distributed denial of service attacs on AmazonPayPalMasterCard, and Visa in support of wikileaks.

Instead of getting the jump on Anonymous Barr got a fat lip and a serious rap on the knuckles. Not only did Anonymous  infiltrate HBGary Federal’s website, they posted 40,000 emails from the company on pirate bay and claimed to have deleted over 1TB worth of data from HBGarys backup data, bear in mind this is security company working for government agencies.

The company when they got wind of all this got so spooked  they sent the President of a company which partially owns HBGary into the Anonymous chat rooms to ask them to to please leave the company alone. Where upon she was told

“”take your investment in Aaron’s company and donate it to BRADLEY MANNINGS DEFENCE FUND.” Barr should cough off up a personal contribution, too; say, one month’s salary?”

Where this all seemed to have started for Barr was an interest in using social media to track down hackers and dissidents for commercial gain. One such example of this was  by scrapping data from such sites as Facebook and twitter and cross referencing this data using information such as locations of users who had friended hackers and checking if they had similar locations, to try and narrow down the location of the hacker, far fetched to say the least.

Basically Barr seems to have been living in his own little high-tech spy novel and was making up false claims about what he could do in the hope that he could sell this on to other federal and private organisations.
Where this got out of hand for Barr and by in turn HBGary, was when he decided to go after members of Anonymous as a demonstration of his technical wizardry.

Full details of the lead up to the events can be read here, including copies of IR chat and emails.

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