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Krebs Hacker Unmasked, Hit Ars and Wired's Honan 164

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the why-waste-life-on-useful-things dept.
altjira writes "Brian Krebs, hot on the tail of the hacker who DDOS his site and SWATted his home, followed up on a tip, found the dox, called and then outed his hacker. Turns out it may have been the same guy who hit Wired's Mat Honan and Ars Technica." The attacker is ... a 20 year old guy who apparently has too much time on his hands, and was surprisingly careless with his personal information for someone exploiting the personal information of others.
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Krebs Hacker Unmasked, Hit Ars and Wired's Honan

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  • SWATting (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 20, 2013 @07:54AM (#43222747)

    Given the propensity of the American police responding to that sort of call to shoot first and possibly get round to asking questions a bit later on, SWATting somebody should be charged as attempted murder

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Given the propensity of the American police responding to that sort of call to shoot first and possibly get round to asking questions a bit later on, SWATting somebody should be charged as attempted murder

      No, the policemen doing the shooting before asking questions should be charged with attempted murder.

      In the same way that, if I told a bully someone insulted him behind his back, and he went and punched that guy, the bully would be charged.

      • Re:SWATting (Score:5, Insightful)

        by houghi (78078) on Wednesday March 20, 2013 @08:24AM (#43222975)

        If your intend was to get the other person punched then you should be charged AS WELL. One does not exclude the other.

    • by Motard (1553251)

      It might be murder. In my state, if someone dies as a result if a crime being committed (say, arson) the perpetrator can be charged with murder.

    • by gmuslera (3436)

      You are giving the reason why American police, and who trained/put them into that way, should be put right now in jail as preemptive punishment. They will kill innocent people, sooner or later, phone jokes or not, things like this [jonathanturley.org] or this [cbsnews.com] will continue to happen,

      And with guns practically mandated to normal citizens, social engineering could be a lethal weapon too, but again, the one shooting would still be the real killer.

      • Are you sure you really want to set a precedent of pre-emptive punishment?
        • by gmuslera (3436)
          Preemptively not training for doing it would be better. If someone gives you a weapon and tells to you go outside and kill some, the option you have is to stop him before it does some damage, reeducate telling that the first person was wrong, and put in jail the first person. Or just live with the fact that a lot of people will be killed and the first person will get a medal for that, and surely will move more people to kill, that is the usual way to do things, and that it will keep happening if the other a
          • by RockDoctor (15477)

            If someone gives you a weapon and tells to you go outside and kill some,

            ... you shoot the person who gave you the gun and the instructions. That way everyone wins.

            If you're good enough with the gun and just destroy one of his legs and his gonads (much harder if he's a she), then everyone wins, including the idiot who gets an unearned second chance.

            You should be able to argue it down to a self-defence charge - you thought that he was going to pull another gun to duel you, or something.

    • Given the propensity of the American police responding to that sort of call to shoot first and possibly get round to asking questions a bit later on, SWATting somebody should be charged as attempted murder

      Well, the SWAT guys get to shoot someone and your tormentor gets you (or at least your dog) killed. It's a win-win for the bad guys. And I seriously doubt that there would be any repercussions for the shooter, except high-fives all around.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Given the propensity of the American police responding to that sort of call to shoot first and possibly get round to asking questions a bit later on, SWATting somebody should be charged as attempted murder

      While I understand your sentiment, I have to disagree with you. In cases like "SWATting" these officers have been called to a scene where the assumption is that there is an armed person who has already killed a loved on and is emotionally distraught. As most law enforcement officers will tell you, domestic disturbances are some of the most unpredictable calls to go to. So a call like this would be about as scary as most police will ever get.

      Granted, there are some pretty bad police officers out there. But t

      • If you read a bit more carefully, you might discover you actually agree with the essence of the AC post. 'The guy doing the SWATting' does not refer to the police officer pulling the trigger (well, not very likely, though that'd be an interesting way of getting away with murder...).
      • Re:SWATting (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 20, 2013 @12:17PM (#43225309)

        Sigh... becoming a police officer is a CHOICE. Investigating murder scenes, cleaning up car crashes, and keeping angry wives and husbands from killing each other is part of the job. The people who become police officers CHOOSE to deal with these and other stressful situations, they CHOOSE to (occasionally) risk their lives. CHOOSING to put yourself in the line of fire is no excuse to trample on the rights of the people you're supposed to protect. If they want a bigger paycheck with safer working conditions, they can find different jobs.

        I've seen this attitude plenty of times, where people seem to want to excuse the terrible behavior and the military-style tactics of police because "the poor dears have a tough job without much pay, cut them some slack." Well, NO! As people to whom the rest of us have given the right to use lethal force and invade and seize private property, the police should be held to a much higher standard, and they should be trained to understand that they work for us, not the other way around.

        The bad apples in the police forces may very well be in the minority, I don't know. I've known cops who are friendly and cops who are psychopaths or arrogant jerks. For example, I knew a guy who worked as a juvenile prison guard (while studying to become a full-fledged cop) and bragged about "putting the smackdown" on teenagers who ran their mouths.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Wow. Construction workers are FAR more likely to be injured or killed than police officers. The injury rate for police is relatively low compared to many other blue collar jobs.

        AC

      • where i live, the *starting* salary is ~$72k. now factor in overtime, benefits, paid training, and the 2nd job security gigs, and premiums for special assignment. 6 of the top 15 paid city employees are police officers.

      • In other words, SWATting somebody should be charged as attempted murder.
  • by hduff (570443) <hoytduffNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Wednesday March 20, 2013 @07:56AM (#43222753) Homepage Journal

    Most crimes are solved because the criminal is careless or stupid or both.

    • by slashmydots (2189826) on Wednesday March 20, 2013 @08:13AM (#43222859)
      Most hackers especially are careless, stupid, and usually both. They think they're so invincible and cool and above security that they don't even take basic precautions. They think they have some kind of magical aura from being so tech savvy that protects them from "lesser" beings. Lol, good luck with that.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Most crimes are solved because the criminal is careless or stupid or both.

      While true, this criminal is a teenager. Most teenagers are careless or stupid or both whether they have committed a crime or not.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Twenty is not a teenager. Notice the lack of "teen" in the number.

    • by SirGarlon (845873) on Wednesday March 20, 2013 @08:19AM (#43222927)

      I considered crime as a career option when I was young, and decided that it was for losers. Concealing repeated crime would require so much hard work and attention to detail, that anyone qualified to do it is also qualified for a rather high-paying job.

      If you think about it, the saying "crime doesn't pay" is just another way of saying the labor market works.

      • by organgtool (966989) on Wednesday March 20, 2013 @08:40AM (#43223097)
        And your decision to play it straight has obviously paid off since it has taken you all the way to knighthood! :)
      • by hduff (570443) <hoytduffNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Wednesday March 20, 2013 @09:23AM (#43223535) Homepage Journal

        I considered crime as a career option when I was young, and decided that it was for losers. Concealing repeated crime would require so much hard work and attention to detail, that anyone qualified to do it is also qualified for a rather high-paying job.

        If you think about it, the saying "crime doesn't pay" is just another way of saying the labor market works.

        I once spoke with an FBI agent about bak robberies. Most theft from banks is from employees, is almost always caught but rarely prosecuted because banks don't want the negaive publicity. They catch the regular bank robbers because they are careless or stupid or both. But there is a small number of inelligent, skilled bank robers that will never get caught because they know the system well, don't get greedy, don't live flamboyantly and never make mistakes. Fortunately, there are very few of these people, but a succesful life of crime is possible, but as you realized, way too much work.

        • by oldhack (1037484)
          Ha! Bankers calling others criminal for stealing other people's money. Can't make this stuff up.
      • by SirGarlon (845873)

        Oh, I should add that in some parts of the world, where law enforcement is weak, white-collar crime *does* pay. This is why, in my opinion, rings of computer criminals in Eastern Europe or (famously) Nigeria are hard to eradicate: financially there's more reward there for crime than honest work.

        I've come to regard law enforcement as creating a climate where crime can't flourish. Not totally preventing it, but preventing escalation.

      • I considered crime as a career option when I was young, and decided that it was for losers. Concealing repeated crime would require so much hard work and attention to detail, that anyone qualified to do it is also qualified for a rather high-paying job.

        So in other words your decision had nothing to do with crime being, you know, wrong? You're really a criminal at heart who just opts not to actually do any crime for practical reasons? That doesn't exactly speak highly to your moral character...

      • Those smart enough to cover up massive amount of crime on a continuing basis probably end up in politics.
    • by Inda (580031) <slash.20.inda@spamgourmet.com> on Wednesday March 20, 2013 @09:01AM (#43223307) Journal
      Most crimes are solved because people talk. Loose lips sink ships, and all that stuff.

      People in the story are more than willing to talk. It's a bit sad.
      • by slew (2918)

        "Three may keep a secret, if two of them are dead." - Ben Franklin

        "Let me alone for keeping this secret between you and me. Howbeit, three may keep counsel, if two be away; and, if I knew my cap was privy to my counsel, I would cast it into the fire and burn it..." - King Henry the 8th

  • . . . and offer him a job.

    Pentagon: "Do you also do SCADA stuff . . . ?"

    Pentagon: "And windows? Good help is hard to find these days. And would you mind driving Miss Daisy . . . ?"

  • As we can see here, the most important hacking tool is social engineering. He did not get the name by technical skills. Not by running telnet and traceroute, but by following a tip.

    Could have been the DDOS person himself for all we know.

    So I would not say he was 'hot on the tail'.

    • by X0563511 (793323)

      Hot on the... tail?

    • by Xest (935314)

      Basically there was some dodgy site where you could pay for DDOSs which was believed to be behind these attacks. This site was amusingly and somewhat ironically insecure such that if you knew the right URL you could view a list of clients for this site to see who had paid for what, and on this list were attacks corresponding to Krebs and Ars with an e-mail address for the client stored alongside them (along with many other attacks/clients, some of which had previously been verified). Turns out this e-mail a

  • by roman_mir (125474) on Wednesday March 20, 2013 @08:22AM (#43222961) Homepage Journal

    This story is still in progress, but it's clear that this "Phobia" punk is intelligent enough in ways that really don't matter much and too stupid in ways that actually do matter. His father should have figured out what the son was doing a while ago, as his son is in the crime scene, stealing or helping to steal and use credit cards, SSNs, etc., breaking into private people's accounts and messing with them, paying for DDOS attacks against websites and sending SWAT teams to people's homes, so that somebody could actually get shot. This is all a punk move, what this idiot needs is about 3 years of labour camp, so that he'd at least repay some of the damage and 10 minutes of flogging on monthly basis, so that what could not be peacefully inserted into his brain would be painfully inserted into his back.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      The stupidest part might have been deleting the YouTube videos once he was caught. Now when the police see it, they will charge him with destruction of evidence and obstruction of justice.

    • I have regrets about mean stuff I did as a young man, but I'm glad I can say I never did anything like erase someone's photos of their daughter being born or get SWAT called on someone else. Not because I wasn't a spoiled, spiteful little chode would have done something like that, simply because I was too impatient and stupid to figure out how to cause much trouble online. I guess that's something.

      The scary part is I don't know what my parents could have done to prevent that. I have no idea how to kee
      • by roman_mir (125474)

        The scary part is I don't know what my parents could have done to prevent that. I have no idea how to keep my son from doing stupid shit like this.

        - but I think I know what can be done (I don't know that it will guarantee success, but I think it would limit the probability of this type of behaviour).

        Something to do. Something to do that is rewarding, something to do that is useful in some way, that teaches the kid, that gives him the satisfaction of seeing the results of his work.

        Something productive to do that would channel the kid's energy.

        I think the society went in the wrong direction in many ways, from the way the kids are treated with 'kid glov

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        I doubt this was the first thing he did wrong. I bet it escalated from somewhere.

        In order to keep him from getting to this point, you employ the same simple rules of parenting employed on everyone else who isn't a constant fuck-up:

        1. Scold him harshly.
        2. If that doesn't work, or if the infraction is grave enough, beat the shit out of him.
        3. Repeat as needed.

        Worked for me. I had wooden spoons snapped over my ass and got to taste the belt buckle once or twice. There's a reason why the old-scho
        • It doesn't work anymore thanks to the child abuse laws.

          • Told me by a required reporter (ER nurse and mother of a hell child): 'Use a wooden spoon on the bottom of their feet. Don't break bones and there is no way to tell. They will be reminded with every step they take.'

      • by wywh (2849275)

        photos of their daughter being born

        Hardcore stuff!

    • by joh (27088)

      This is all a punk move, what this idiot needs is about 3 years of labour camp, so that he'd at least repay some of the damage and 10 minutes of flogging on monthly basis, so that what could not be peacefully inserted into his brain would be painfully inserted into his back.

      What he actually needs is an education and a job.

      • by roman_mir (125474)

        I agree about a job, but I personallywouldn't hire him before he got his flogging and 3 years of paying back the money he stole, but maybe you would.

    • by cusco (717999)
      Holy crap, I actually agree with you about something. Doesn't happen often . . .
  • The practice of SWATting needs to stop immediately. SWAT raids are very tense for all parties involved and they can go wrong in a hurry [wnd.com]. One of these days an innocent person is going to end up dead because of this practice. The prosecutors need to go after this guy, get him the maximum sentence for all of his many crimes, and broadcast his prison rapes so that no one ever thinks of doing something like this again.
    • by FooAtWFU (699187) on Wednesday March 20, 2013 @10:05AM (#43224041) Homepage
      "One of these days an innocent person is going to end up dead"? Clearly, sir, you have paid no attention to Libertarian media in the past decade or two. Go hop over to reason.com, ignore their tax policy proposals for a moment if they annoy you, and just do a search for all the fun articles about how a SWAT team prevented paramedics from going to work for hour and fourteen minutes after shooting a veteran as part of a drug raid on the neighbors [reason.com].
    • by joh (27088)

      The practice of SWATting needs to stop immediately. SWAT raids are very tense for all parties involved and they can go wrong in a hurry [wnd.com]. One of these days an innocent person is going to end up dead because of this practice. The prosecutors need to go after this guy, get him the maximum sentence for all of his many crimes, and broadcast his prison rapes so that no one ever thinks of doing something like this again.

      What makes you think that being raped in prison makes you a better person who will not behave like an anti-social idiot anymore? Or that seeing this happen makes others better?

      This kind of response really is as part of the problem as what this guy was doing. The US is turning more and more into a failed state it seems.

      • by PRMan (959735)
        Nice moral code there. I want SWATting to stop and to do it, I'll over-punish the guy illegally by ensuring he gets multiple rapes...
      • That part of my statement is admittedly an emotionally-charged and exaggerated response to this heinous crime. I do not really believe that this guy should be subjected to broadcasted rape. I just think it's sad that if he is convicted for any of these crimes, he will probably serve more time for the DDOS attack than he would for defrauding the government to deploy a tactical team to threaten the life of his victim. When a person shows a blatant disregard for another person's life and goes out of their w
      • What makes you think that being raped in prison makes you a better person who will not behave like an anti-social idiot anymore? Or that seeing this happen makes others better?

        I think the idea isn't that it would make him a better person. The idea is that it might make someone who had his house attacked by a SWAT team feel better. Whether that works, I don't know, but that's the idea.

    • the best way to punish ugly abuses (swatting), is not to champion ugly abuses (prison rape)

      if someone violated my family in such a way, i would have violent fantasies about them getting their comeuppance too

      but we're talking about governmental policy here, not private revenge fantasies

      when the state itself is in the business of violent revenge, then the state itself is the worst offender

      it also teaches society how to function, how to handle yourself: with brutality. the state sets the tone for how society s

    • by Anonymous Coward

      The practice of SWATting needs to stop immediately. [...] broadcast [the SWATter's] prison rapes so that no one ever thinks of doing something like this again.

      The practice of prison rapes needs to stop immediately. Broadcast the rapists' SWATting so that no one ever thinks of doing something like this again.

    • by alexo (9335)

      Any society that condones prison rape cannot be considered civilized.

  • Just a thought... If I was going to commit these crimes I would consider having a seemingly careless 20 year old fall guy around...
  • Krebs Hacker Unmasked, Hit Ars and Wired's Honan

    It looks almost like someone had an attack of aphasia [wikipedia.org] half way through writing that headline. Using a transitive verb (which could also be mistaken for a noun), especially a short one like "Hit", next to another short, and unusual word (Ars) makes for tricky parsing.

    Not only that, but:

    Turns out it may have been the same guy

    So it's okay, only the headline is potentially libelous.

    • Krebs Hacker Unmasked, Hit Ars and Wired's Honan

      It looks almost like someone had an attack of aphasia [wikipedia.org] half way through writing that headline. Using a transitive verb (which could also be mistaken for a noun), especially a short one like "Hit", next to another short, and unusual word (Ars) makes for tricky parsing.

      Not only that, but:

      Turns out it may have been the same guy

      So it's okay, only the headline is potentially libelous.

      You wouldn't think it was so funny if someone hit your Honan.

    • by altjira (758779)

      Thanks, I'll take that as constructive criticism. In my defense, for the few times I have noticed interesting news that isn't already on Slashdot and I was preparing a submission, I have worried more about providing relevant, interesting links and an accurate and reasonable summary. But the submission process starts with writing the headline, and editing is a low priority if you're trying to get it in first. Who knew? Journalism seems to be real work.

      • There's always a risk of a blind spot when writing, because you already know exactly what you mean and once you're locked in it's hard to appreciate the alternatives. That's what the editors are (should be) for...
  • If it were me, I'd be talking to the FBI, since this probably falls under a) wire fraud, and b) interstate commerce.

                      mark "my 'social media' are email lists"

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