Affiliates of the Anonymous movement are no stranger to FBI infiltration. Now, however, the hackers and their supporters are wondering if the #AntiSec group was not only infiltrated by federal investigators, but whether the group was itself a creation of the FBI, intended as a honeypot to attract the movement's top hackers.
Anonymous PR Wing @YourAnonNews announced its suspicions on Twitter last night. If there's anything to their claims, this is some serious spy-versus-spy stuff:
Get out your tinfoil hat folks, shit is about to get REALLY fucked up around here. Stay tuned for revelations.
#Antisec © FBI 2011-2012. (they manufactured terror, from the start)
We hope when all is said and done, you can look at the facts as we lay them out and connect the dots to reach the same conclusions we did.
Earlier today the group published this timeline of #AntiSec, highlighting perceived correlations between LulzSec leader Sabu's (Hector Xavier Monsegur) arrest and legal proceedings, his acquisition and sharing of security data with Anonymous affiliates, the formation of #AntiSec, and last week's arrest of five suspected hackers.
#AntiSec was first announced on Twitter, the timeline asserts, at nearly the same time that Sabu was arrested
So gather round, this is a new cyber world and we're starting it together. There will be bigger targets, there will be more ownage. #ANTISEC
— The Lulz Boat (@LulzSec) June 4, 2011
Operation Anti-Security: pastebin.com/9KyA0E5v - The biggest, unified operation amongst hackers in history. All factions welcome. We are one.
— The Real Sabu (@anonymouSabu) June 20, 2011
The same day, an #AntiSec release statement was posted on pastebin, encouraging widespread advertising the of "AntiSec" brand on both the digital and physical landscape:
Welcome to Operation Anti-Security (#AntiSec) - we encourage any vessel, large or small, to open fire on any government or agency that crosses their path. We fully endorse the flaunting of the word "AntiSec" on any government website defacement or physical graffiti art. We encourage you to spread the word of AntiSec far and wide, for it will be remembered. To increase efforts, we are now teaming up with the Anonymous collective and all affiliated battleships.
And a specific call was made to acquire sensitive government information:
Top priority is to steal and leak any classified government information, including email spools and documentation. Prime targets are banks and other high-ranking establishments.
A week later, LulzSec announced its disbandment and Sabu announced his allegience to #AntiSec.
YourAnonNews cites these correlations as evidence that #AntiSec was formed by Sabu after his turning federal informant, and thus that #AntiSec was a creation of the U.S. Government. You can examine the rest of the alleged evidence for yourself in the pages above.
While it will be nearly impossible to verify the validity of this timeline (and thus, the culpability of federal investigators in instigating #AntiSec and its attacks), the above timeline at least makes for some interesting reading with even more interesting implications (provided it's accurate). If #AntiSec was a government creation, then that would make federal authorities at least marginally culpable for attacks carried out under the #AntiSec banner, especially any attacks that were instigated by their informant, or that were the result of information leaked by authorities. With strong enough evidence, this could even be a case for entrapment in the defense trials of alleged hackers recently arrested for #AntiSec-related crimes. Again, however, to prove such direct culpability of federal investigators would be a herculean task.
FBI involvement or no, the #AntiSec banner has grown far beyond the control of its creators, whoever they may be. But my head is spinning. I'm going to go write about something simple for a while.
YourAnonNews also published a 506-page pdf archive of all of Sabu's tweets since November 2011. While we didn't include it in this post, you can peruse it here if you're feeling nosy.