Ars Technica follows up on the previously recommended read about Aaron Barr trying to unmask Anonymous with another stellar article. This time, Black ops: how HBGary wrote backdoors for the government gives you the inside scoop on what exactly were the services HBGary and HBGary Federal provided to the US government and military.
So Barr and Hoglund drafted a plan to create something like a lie detector, except that it would look for signs of “paranoia” instead.
“Like a lie detector detects physical changes in the body based on sensitivities to specific questions, we believe there are physical changes in the body that are represented in observable behavioral changes when committing actions someone knows is wrong,” said the proposal. “Our solution is to develop a paranoia-meter to measure these observables.”
The idea was to take an HBGary rootkit like 12 Monkeys and install it on user machines in such a way that users could not remove it and might not even be aware of its presence. The rootkit would log user keystrokes, of course, but it would also take “as many behavioral measurements as possible” in order to look for suspicious activity that might indicate wrongdoing.
Hmm… and now what possibly would the person have to be paranoid about?
And, he noted, “We will likely ride in some grey areas.”
Read the article to learn about Juicy Fruit, 12 Monkeys, and how Anonymous leaking these e-mails has provided a look into how malware, rootkits, undisclosed vulnerabilities, social network profiling, and US government funds have been used at home and abroad.
If it were up to me, Nate Anderson and Ars Technica would earn a prize in journalism for sifting through the information hidden in the leaked e-mails and presenting it in a straight-forward, self-propelled narrative.