A release by the hacker cell of Anonymous detailing a conference call between UK and US authorities has revealed stupidities on both sides of the hacktivism war.
Anonymous's attack on the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), was initially announced on Friday via a text post on Pastebin. A link to an MP3 recording of an FBI conference call was subsequently posted and publicised by the collective via its numerous Twitter accounts.
The alleged email and call contained in Anonymous's release chronicled a conversation between the FBI and British authorities discussing the two's ongoing LulzSec and Anonymous investigation:
"A conference call is planned for next Tuesday (January 17, 2012) to discuss the on-going investigations related to Anonymous, Lulzsec, Antisec, and other associated splinter groups," read the FBI's email.
The recording showcased both the difficulties Anonymous's fragmented nature poses both for law enforcement and the collective itself.
FBI and Anonymous Misinformation
The fact that the majority of the call was spent with each agency sharing the information it had - not all of which was uniform in what it was saying - demonstrated the problem facing law enforcement agencies hunting for Anonymous members.
Anonymous lets any user join and become a member, or "Anon" as they tend to refer to themselves. The advantage of this is that, with the collective having no one leader and operating with fairly autonomous members across the globe, it is nigh impossible for law enforcement to ever fully arrest every Anon or target the collective as a whole.
The flip-side of this is that there is no quality control about who joins, a problem that has meant certain members are not as loyal or anti-authoritarian as they claim and have at times been willing to work with police following their arrest.
This problem was showcased during the conference call by TehWongZ. According to the call TehWongZ was a 15-year-old listed as a member of DSLSec - a copy-cat group of hackers that claimed to have links with Anonymous and LulzSec. Calling him "another juvenile wannabe type" that began cooperating after "a clip round the ear" from his parents.
As noted by analysts, while it is unlikely TehWongZ will have any real information on the collective or any of its other members, the number of young teenagers - many who don't understand the lengthy jail sentences Anonymous's activities can carry - does propose a potential weak link in the collective's defenses.
The potential weakness has since been noted by Anonymous itself, with several members publicly ridiculing TehWongZ's foolishness on Twitter. "@TehWongZ Man you're f*****g dumb. It's a conversation discussing anonymous/lulzsec and your wanna-be ass. your UK agent calls you an idiot," read one tweet from the AnonymouSabu account.
The attack on the FBI is the latest in a long line of hostilities between Anonymous members and the law enforcement agency. Earlier in January the collective had targeted the FBI with what it described as its largest distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack ever.
The FBI DDoS was part of a wider campaign designed to protest the US government ordered shutdown of media-sharing site Megaupload.com. Previously the collective had targeted military contractors working for the FBI and directly targeted it for its involvement in the arrest of several alleged anons in 2011.
The FBI had not responder to the International Business Times UK's requests for comment.
UPDATE 4:23pm 03/02/2012: The collective has since mounted further attacks in the name of F**k FBI Friday, a full list of the targets can be read here.