Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Security Politics

NATO Report Threatens To 'Persecute' Anonymous 388

Posted by Roblimo
from the who-did-you-say-you-were? dept.
Stoobalou writes "NATO leaders have been warned that Wikileaks-loving 'hacktivist' collective Anonymous could pose a threat to member states' security, following recent attacks on the US Chamber of Commerce and defence contractor HBGary — and promise to 'persecute' its members." From the article: "In a toughly-worded draft report to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, General Rapporteur Lord Jopling claims that the loose-knit, leaderless group is 'becoming more and more sophisticated,' and 'could potentially hack into sensitive government, military, and corporate files.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

NATO Report Threatens To 'Persecute' Anonymous

Comments Filter:
  • good luck (Score:5, Funny)

    by Nihn (1863500) on Wednesday June 01, 2011 @12:20PM (#36309928)
    the term "kicking water up hill" comes to mind.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 01, 2011 @01:00PM (#36310516)

      I think the phrase Anonymous likes to use is "pissing in an ocean of piss."

    • by elrous0 (869638) *

      In other news, a large group of hackers were arrested today after sexually assaulting their maids...

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I think they're fishing for information, trying to observe a reaction. If NATO really wanted to go after Anonymous, it would IMHO be a strategic blunder: The whole point of Anonymous is their asymmetric approach. Not only that, but NATO doesn't even have superiority online. Another more likely scenario is that NATO wants to extend its mandate and uses Anonymous as an example "cyber" threat. I mean, who wants to guarantee that Anonymous isn't a false flag operation in the first place?

    • like pushing a string...
  • by cold fjord (826450) on Wednesday June 01, 2011 @12:21PM (#36309946)

    I guess we'll find out if "Anonymous" is as anonymous as they think they are, if it is truly as chaotic as some people claim. I have my doubts on both fronts.

    • That's the problem with 'collectives'
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Easy. Just subpoena Amazon for the list of people who bought those Guy Fawkes masks.

  • by Hatta (162192) on Wednesday June 01, 2011 @12:22PM (#36309948) Journal

    Let us know how that works out for you!

    • by dgatwood (11270) on Wednesday June 01, 2011 @12:28PM (#36310020) Journal

      Hey, NATO,

      What's the matter? You've been telling us for years that if we didn't do anything wrong, there's no need for privacy. Welcome to our world.

      Sincerely,
      Everyone

      • by gstoddart (321705)

        What's the matter? You've been telling us for years that if we didn't do anything wrong, there's no need for privacy. Welcome to our world.

        Which, according to their logic is still true.

        If they're taking the position that the members of Anonymous have crossed the line to doing something wrong ... then there's still no need for privacy.

        Expect them to say now that the only way to prove you're not a terrorist is to relinquish any form of anonymity. Oh, and don't expect them to see the difference to people prot

    • by Kenja (541830)
      Who else are you going to persecute? Other peoples citizens are kind of out of reach.
      • by drpimp (900837)
        Haven't you heard of Seal Team 6?
        • by Kenja (541830)
          Yea, its a Disney copy-write. Some sort of animated movie I guess.
    • by Jonner (189691)

      Let us know how that works out for you!

      Prosecuting crimes and defending national infrastructures are definitely valid activities for a state to do, but would probably be characterized as "persecution" by Anonymous. To be more cynical, many brutal regimes throughout history have also shown that true persecution is often very effective in achieving their goals.

    • Persecuting? You’ve got that wrong. Prosecuting is spelled P R O S E C U T I N G.

  • Great idea! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 01, 2011 @12:23PM (#36309956)

    Because that's worked great against al-Qaida. Ten years and we finally caught/killed the closest thing to a leader they have and the war still continues.

    Anonymous had no real leader or command structure. Pursuing this course of action would be a huge waste of time/money and only rile up a bee's nest that loves to fight back when provoked.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 01, 2011 @12:24PM (#36309972)

    I am Spartacus!

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I am Spartacus!

      Man, that movie would've been a lot funnier if they just started slaughtering every smartass who spoke up just to teach the rest a lesson.

      Wait, did I say "funnier"? Sorry, I meant "more true to what would actually happen if there was anything like this demonic evil fascist dictatorship going on that everyone keeps talking about".

      • I am Spartacus!

        Man, that movie would've been a lot funnier if they just started slaughtering every smartass who spoke up just to teach the rest a lesson.

        Wait, did I say "funnier"? Sorry, I meant "more true to what would actually happen if there was anything like this demonic evil fascist dictatorship going on that everyone keeps talking about".

        You're that same kid that read the first few pages of Lord of the Flies and then wrote a report on how great it was with all the kids living on an island make making Robinson Crusoe like shelters aren't you? At the end of the movie every single one of them is literally crucified along the road, cross after cross down the road, hanging there to teach everyone else a lesson.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 01, 2011 @12:24PM (#36309974)

    I think his parents named him after consulting once of those "What's your Star Wars name?" pages.

    • by RMingin (985478)
      I think three of those are titles.
  • The group demonstrated its capabilities in February, says the report, when it hacked into US-based defence contractor HBGary.

    I neither defend nor condone Anonymous' actions but I take issue with this statement. Indeed, upon reading the report I get a little more accurate of a description:

    Observers note that Anonymous is becoming more and more sophisticated and could potentially hack into sensitive government, military, and corporate files. According to reports in February 2011, Anonymous demonstrated its ability to do just that. After WikiLeaks announced its plan of releasing information about a major bank, the US Chamber of Commerce and Bank of America reportedly hired the data intelligence company HBGary Federal to protect their servers and attack any adversaries of these institutions. In response, Anonymous hacked servers of HBGary Federal’s sister company and hijacked the CEO’s Twitter account. Today, the ad hoc international group of hackers and activists is said to have thousands of operatives and has no set rules or membership.[36] It remains to be seen how much time Anonymous has for pursuing such paths. The longer these attacks persist the more likely countermeasures will be developed, implemented, the groups will be infiltrated and perpetrators persecuted.[37]

    (Emphasis mine). I don't know how certain members of Anonymous found themselves on the receiving end of Aaron Barr's maligned attacks on them but I don't see their reaction to such as all too out of line. Barr went after Anonymous [wired.com] and it's not entirely clear to me why persecution of Anonymous is sought. What would I do in that situation? Would I lash back out at this person tracking you? Probably although I might have taken a more litigious route (and I hope those named by Barr do, regardless of any possible involvement in Anonymous).

    Whoever leaked these documents is at fault here, be it Bradley Manning or anyone else who had access to the documents and leaked them. I'm guessing they signed something saying they wouldn't do that so they're at fault. Wikileaks, the press, Anonymous, the whole internet, etc are not to blame for coming into possession of them through legal means. Attack the person who broke the rules and fix the problem from its source. Whether Manning was whistle-blowing or breaking his promise of national security will be decided by what he leaked. NATO should be telling the nations to deal with their own problems and not trying to enforce more ridiculous global control.

    • (Emphasis mine). I don't know how certain members of Anonymous found themselves on the receiving end of Aaron Barr's maligned attacks on them but I don't see their reaction to such as all too out of line. Barr went after Anonymous [wired.com] and it's not entirely clear to me why persecution of Anonymous is sought.

      Really? You honestly can't think of ANYTHING Anonymous might have done to make people interested in finding out who they are? I feel like Barr was stupid in the same way someone is stupid if they decided to shout "You're a Pussy, and I'm going to pwn you with all my evidence which I have currently on me with no copies!" at a crime lord in front of his gang with no one else around in the middle of the night. But it's still illegal to shoot stupid people. Likewise, DoS attacks, defacing websites, stealing

    • Well, considering cyber attack is now an act of war, HBGary, an unrelated 3rd party, attacks the privacy of Anonymous, they have every right to retaliate.

      Look at it this way -- PEARL HARBOR. WWII.

      • Well, considering cyber attack is now an act of war, HBGary, an unrelated 3rd party, attacks the privacy of Anonymous, they have every right to retaliate.

        You use the term "unrelated" but were they?

        My understanding is that Bank of America hired FBGary after Anonymous was causing them problems. This makes them a related third party.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      After WikiLeaks announced its plan of releasing information about a major bank, the US Chamber of Commerce and Bank of America reportedly hired the data intelligence company HBGary Federal to protect their servers and attack any adversaries of these institutions.

      False. Read the emails, the Chamber of Commerce and BOA requested ideas about how to combat the threat of wikileaks. HBGary Federal put together a presentation about methods that could be used. No one actually hired HBGary Federal, and in fact, HBGary Federal never won any government contracts. Probably because they suck, but the main point is that the Chamber, BOA, and the US government never employed them.

      I don't know how certain members of Anonymous found themselves on the receiving end of Aaron Barr's maligned attacks on them but I don't see their reaction to such as all too out of line. Barr went after Anonymous [wired.com] and it's not entirely clear to me why persecution of Anonymous is sought.

      Anonymous had already launched major attacks against many different targets, so they were obvious

    • "..'could potentially hack into sensitive government, military, and corporate files."

      Gee whiz, since so many other countries (China)...(China)...(China)...have been doing this thanks to US, Euro and Japanese multinationals offshoring all that technology along with the jobs to a bunch of totalitarian countries (much like Police State Amerika) this forein intelligence hacking is a given.

      I'd say be highly worried about all those anti-democracy multinationals......

    • Wikileaks, the press, Anonymous, the whole internet, etc are not to blame for coming into possession of them through legal means.

      I'd like to point out that according to appendix B of 18 U.S.C. 793 - they are indeed guilty. But that's just an example of a law that despite (or because of) best efforts is ridiculously broad in scope.

      "Whoever, for the purpose aforesaid, and with like intent or reason to believe, copies, takes, makes, or obtains, or attempts to copy, take, make, or obtain, any sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blueprint, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, document, writing, or note of anything connect

    • by batquux (323697)

      It remains to be seen how much time Anonymous has for pursuing such paths.

      They really have no idea, do they?

  • Acts of War (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Alphanos (596595) on Wednesday June 01, 2011 @12:27PM (#36310012)

    Oh. When we saw the story the other day that the US had declared that hacking and similar online attacks could be considered acts of war, I didn't understand the purpose of such a statement. Now I understand.

    I think we might be seeing the start of America's next war on a general concept.

    Any bets as to what the target will be stated as? Anonymity? The Internet in general?

    • Re:Acts of War (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 01, 2011 @12:36PM (#36310160)

      It will be a war not fought to be won, but to be sustained; sustaining the military-industrial-security complex.

      Anyone can be a suspect.

    • by Jonner (189691)

      Oh. When we saw the story the other day that the US had declared that hacking and similar online attacks could be considered acts of war, I didn't understand the purpose of such a statement. Now I understand.

      I think we might be seeing the start of America's next war on a general concept.

      Any bets as to what the target will be stated as? Anonymity? The Internet in general?

      Yeah, you thought the "War on Terror" was vague? How about a "War on Anonymous?" Anyone and everyone could be an "enemy combatant."

      • by GreyLurk (35139)

        And they could be shipped off to Gitmo for torture^H^H^H^H^H^H detainment in preparation for a military tribunal.

      • As everyone is an anonymous combatant, this demonstrates the importance of not being seen [youtube.com].

      • by djdanlib (732853)

        Yeah, you thought the "War on Terror" was vague? How about a "War on Anonymous?" Anyone and everyone could be an "enemy combatant."

        Yes, that is an enormous problem. Following this to its logical and historically-proven conclusion: The police could randomly arrest anyone who had an opinion contrary to or offensive to the state's position, with great impunity. Your spouse or best friend could be walking down the street or across a parking lot, on their way to buy groceries, when suddenly two officers escort him/her away potentially never to be seen or heard from again.

        Just like China and a lot of other nations, especially communist state

      • by j-stroy (640921)
        My country is a member of NATO, yet I am not held personally accountable for bombing raids that kill civilians. Am I supposed to be accountable for what some anonymous people do, simply because I too expect and implement privacy of identity?

        I suggest the term "NANONYMOUS" for those who wish to be unknown, but not confused with the "Anonymous". PS: I for one welcome our hiveminded and unknown overlords.

        "Bana" - nanonymous
    • by berashith (222128)

      you have scared me...

    • This is just "the war on terror," with a new target: scary hackers who can magically take over computers, control nuclear missiles by whistling into a phone, and make your entire identity disappear.
    • It isn't even about hacking or anonymity or even the United States. Those terms simplify it too much. History is just repeating itself and and has been since the Greeks.

      Anonymous is just the modern day version of the Bomb Wielding Anarchist. They really weren't the huge threat they were often made out to be, but they committed one massive, unforgivable sin, they insulted the validity of the law.

  • by DaGoodBoy (8080) on Wednesday June 01, 2011 @12:29PM (#36310038) Homepage

    ... the more systems will slip through your fingers."

  • Well Bin laden is dead so we need the next witch hunt! So lets invade the country where most of these "anonymous" live. Oh wait, we are invading usa?
    • Well Bin laden is dead so we need the next witch hunt!

      Mod parent up. There seems to be a need to have some bogey men to keep the population afraid and thus subservient. Communism (well, the Soviet Union) died so paedophiles and Islamic terrorists were pronounced the enemy. Now there is a danger, with Osama murdered, that one of them might go -- so prepare a new enemy.

  • Unless I completely missed some mostrously epic hack - wtf is NATO doing chasing these guys? Where in the NATO charter does it say track down delinquents engaging in electronic forms of protest?

    I could understand Interpol or some law enforcement agency, since the worst of what Anonymous accomplishes seems to be network intrusion. But I thought NATO was all about stopping aggression against member states. When did Anonymous graduate to that level?

    • Well, let's see here: NATO basically exists because The Evil Empire was super scary back in the day, and the prospect of a zillion Ruskie tanks rolling across Europe was kind of disheartening. Since then, they've had some penny-ante villains; but nothing like the good old days.

      What better way to ensure continued institutional relevance(and throw a bone to a disproportionately influential member) than issuing toothy statements about the terrifying threat of, and terrible retribution awaiting, those who ha
      • Actually, their mission and charter are quite clear and they have been very active in combat zones throughout the world for a long time. Most recently, they have been dealing with combat in Sudan.

        I just don't understand why they are going after anonymous specifically, of how the actions of that group applies to their charter. What is so special about Anon that they get targetted like this?

  • HBGary still paying off people to try and stick it to Anon after they revealed how useless all the money going to HBGary was?

    Huh...

    We should certainly be fearful of people who are able to hack into systems taxpayers paid for. Maybe the government should start hiring them!

    It's always scary when there are motivated people who will expose just how worthless you are.

  • What if? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ArhcAngel (247594) on Wednesday June 01, 2011 @12:30PM (#36310076)
    What if the individuals they employ to do the persecution are members of anonymous? What if members of anonymous worked for Sony? Everyone seems to assume anonymous is made up of script kiddies with no real jobs or responsibilities. Granted what I have heard about their behavior on 4chan could lend credence to that presumption but don't we all get a little emboldened when we think we are "anonymous"? What if your co-worker is actually a member of anonymous? It could explain why your PC crashed after you pissed him off the other day.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by creat3d (1489345)
      We cook your food. We pick up your trash. We are your doctors and sysadmins. We manufacture your weapons and security bunkers. We are your IT and shipping departments. We distribute the mail and clean your cum-stained hotel rooms. DO NOT FUCK WITH US.
      • by TheSpoom (715771)

        We cook your food. We pick up your trash. We are your doctors and sysadmins. We manufacture your weapons and security bunkers. We are your IT and shipping departments. We distribute the mail and clean your cum-stained hotel rooms. DO NOT FUCK WITH US.

        ^ This is Anonymous, only they have no actual leadership. It's a bunch of random people doing whatever the fuck they want, and occasionally one of them has an idea that the others like, and they roll with it.

        Treating them like they're Al Qaeda or something is

        • Treating them like they're Al Qaeda or something is just looking for trouble.

          Actually, Al Qaeda (translation "the base") is probably the closest well-known organization there is to Anonymous. "Al Qaeda" is a essentially a brand-name that anyone who wants can use for themselves. For example "Al Qaeda in Iraq" initially had nothing to do with Osama bin Laden. They just took on the name, probably to intimidate the Americans. It was only after they were pretty succesfull that they linked up with Osama's branch.

  • "Anonymous penetrate and ravage delicate public and privately owned computer systems, infecting them with viruses, and stealing materials for their own ends. These people, they are terrorists."
  • The whole purpose and background for each of these wars is to provide politicians with money and power. It's time to recognize this and stop playing the game. Don't rally against the "war on anonymous", rally against would-be tyrants.
  • Translation (Score:5, Insightful)

    by wcrowe (94389) on Wednesday June 01, 2011 @12:45PM (#36310288)

    Translation: we now have a convenient bogeyman to use as an excuse to exercise greater control over the masses.

  • How about you start prosecuting nations actively participating in cyber attacks on your countries? Surely it's more of a threat!

    The 'Anonymous' name gives crackers that already were hacking before a name to go under. Basically anyone who can quote "We are legion" and is already hacking can now put up a sweet little front.

    So NATO: stop chasing ghosts. Sure they could make a few arrests but I imagine there are more sects of anonymous than there are nations. The terrible truth to this situation is that onc

    • by smelch (1988698)
      You're a complete idiot and clearly you don't understand the situation. When it gets to the point that hacking is bringing down multi-million dollar networks, doing millions of dollars worth of damage and people are flippant about it of course you are going to catch some attention. The fact that these people are loosely bound together and there is no better term for them than "anonymous" (as they call themselves, even) means we need to get a network of nations aligned to make the internet safe. Not unlike a
  • If Anonymous have the potential to hack in, then China, North Korea and the NATO's other "non-allies" could hack... The US and NATO should use this opportunity to toughen up their systems and defences rather than fight a war with lawyers and words that are likely to provoke rather than fix..
  • I can only hope that Anonymous exceeds their expectations. Right now, it looks like they think Anonymous is a threat they can crush. I dearly hope that it isn't. My government should be quaking in its boots at the thought of angering a significant minority of those it governs. "Government by consent of the governed." has meant far too little for far too long.

    • by creat3d (1489345)
      I would agree with you but I'm too scared of what would happen if I did so publicly.
    • I can only hope that Anonymous exceeds their expectations. Right now, it looks like they think Anonymous is a threat they can crush. I dearly hope that it isn't. My government should be quaking in its boots at the thought of angering a significant minority of those it governs. "Government by consent of the governed." has meant far too little for far too long.

      Don't worry, it's not a threat they can crush. It's a hydra. Cut off the head, two more angst filled teenagers replace them.

    • by inKubus (199753)

      I always like to replace the word Anonymous in these stories with the phrase "The Internet".

      E.g. "I can only hope that The Internet exceeds their expectations. Right now, it looks like they think The Internet is a threat they can crush. I dearly hope that it isn't. My government should be quaking in its boots at the thought of angering a significant minority of those it governs. 'Government by consent of the governed.' has meant far too little for far too long."

      There, that sounds better.

  • Is anyone else seeing the Streisand effect here? Seems like Nato has just done a ton to help legitimize Anonymous and help with their recruiting and organizing efforts?

    I'm not going to get into value judgments about Nato v. Anon in terms of right/wrong, but isn't Nato going about this wrong?

  • wont amount to much when someone slips up and stays connected a little to long and they are detected right down to the DSLAM.

    When that happens, and it will happen, they are going to be made an example of in a big nasty public way.

    And after they are "de-briefed" the group will start to unravel as one by one they will be found and made examples of as the thread continues to unravel and more and more information is gathered as each in turn is made an offer of "You can cooperate and we can be nice, or you cann

  • The security they speak of is an illusion. It always has been.
    It is all man-made thus can be broken by man.
    So by hyping the anonymous this way they create an Osama-like image of just normal yet skilled people.
    Hunting them down will not stop the people.

Life would be so much easier if we could just look at the source code. -- Dave Olson

Working...