back to article Anons hack Asteroids into US DoJ website in Swartz death protest

The Anonymous hacking collective attacked a US Justice Department website over the weekend to protest against the prosecution of Reddit co-founder Aaron Swartz. The hacktivists followed up the initial assault on, the US Sentencing Commission's website, by planting an easter egg in the form of retro video game …


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  1. DJ Smiley
    Black Helicopters

    Oh lord its that Dan Brown story - Angels and .... something I can't remember

    Basically a fake encrypted file which no one can crack, the NSA goes bonkers trying to crack it while all along there is no secret to find.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You are thinking of 'Digital Fortress'.

      Anon because I am ashamed of knowing about that "book".

    2. Andy Gates

      Except that they say they'll offer heavily-redacted material from the file to the press, as proof of seriousness.

      Sly. Nobody will know if they've got more or not. Panic and lulz will ensue.

    3. Wzrd1 Silver badge

      But for one thing, the NSA hires more mathematicians than any other entity in the world and has more computing power dedicated to breaking encryption than any other entity in the world.

  2. Anonymous Coward 101

    Aaron Swartz

    The first man in America to have ever been overcharged with bullshit offences on top of relatively minor crimes that he may actually have committed.

    Or nobody actually noticed that this has been going on for decades.

    1. Wzrd1 Silver badge

      Re: Aaron Swartz

      So, the theft of the hard work of others is a minor crime?

      I guess that it's acceptable if I steal a house then! Property is property, be it real estate or research papers. Remove a stream of revenue from a non-profit publisher, remove the publisher, as their costs cannot be paid and the research stops.

      What this is is a group of idiots who feel that they can threaten and attack anyone who they disagree with.

      They share a great deal of ethos with terrorists, the only difference currently is that they've not done anything that could claim lives.

      We create laws for a purpose, if one does not like those laws, one can seek to have those laws changed. Not running about breaking the law, then complaining when one is charged with the violation of the law or killing oneself over being charged with a crime.

      Or blaming prosecutors for doing their job and the accused commits suicide. That is upon the accused, not anyone else.

  3. Tom_

    If you were a bad guy i a film

    I'm not suggesting anyone should actually do this, but if you were a bad egg in a film and you'd taken a bunch of hostages, you'd definitely shoot one early on. That way you know the audience will take you seriously and find the whole thing more suspenseful and gripping.

    So if it was a film about hacking then the naughty nerd would be better off treating his hacked secrets as a group of hostages, rather than a single hostage. He could still release a massive torrent, but it would contain many encrypted chunks and the nerd could release the encryption keys to one of them to prove he wasn't mucking about.

    And then a light aircraft would fly into a cooling tower and Sandra Bullock would realise that you just had to click on the pi symbol to get into any website in the wurld!

    1. Gav

      Re: If you were a bad guy i a film

      Which all kind of demonstrates one of three things.

      1 - Anonymous have never seen Die Hard.

      2 - Anonymous are none too bright and haven't thought of this.

      3 - Anonymous are bluffing big time and everyone knows it.

      Which do you think is most likely?

      1. Wzrd1 Silver badge

        Re: If you were a bad guy i a film

        Considering that the US government keeps classified documents on a segregated network that is inaccessible from the internet, I'll go with bluffing and bluster.

        Remember Manning? He accessed those segregated networks physically and copied the data off, copied it off because the commanders refused to obey an order to disable USB mass storage devices and his commander refused to do his job in rescinding Manning's access when he was flagged for deleterious personnel actions. It's only a regulation that requires it, as was the order of the undersecretary of defense to disable USB mass storage.

  4. Mikel

    All blow over? Not likely

    If Ortiz is hoping we are going to forget about this in a few weeks or years, she can put that notion aside right now.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: All blow over? Not likely

      And basically can kiss her politcal career goodbye - if you thought Rick Santorum had a bad Google day

    2. Keep Refrigerated

      Re: All blow over? Not likely

      A better vector of attack less likely to get jail time is to fight back with comedy - a Fake Carmen Ortiz twitter account or something. Her family have already proven to be particularly sensitive to criticism... that's where to hit them - it would be personal, it would hurt a lot more, and it would be completely legal.

  5. quillbeer

    That's it ? .... Bitch please....

    Hey anono-tards. go back to school. Nobody cares about site defacement or doxing, even if it involves sexts and lame emails.

    if this is all you have, new topic please... yawn.

    If you are going to risk 30 years in jail, do something news worthy. Shut down all of the traffic control systems in DC, or Manhatten... Shut down a power plant... overflow a sewage treatment plant by taking over the SCADA.... not really hard... but instead you hit a publicly available site via malware and a fuzzer ??? lame.


  6. David Webb

    Is it just me, or is this kinda circular?

    1) FBI charge Anon's with computer misuse offences

    2) Anon hacks government websites in response, demanding the release of their other anons

    3) FBI tracks down and arrests anons involved in step two

    4) Go to step 1

  7. John G Imrie

    a game where the only winning move was not to play.

    These guys have no historical perspective.

    They should have uploaded a version of Tic-Tac-Toe.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: a game where the only winning move was not to play.

      Defiantly. If they had any gaming knowledge, they would have known the white hats already have uploaded the Faith package as an antidote. ;)

      1. NukEvil


        In this context, it's "DEFINITELY". Not "Defiantly".

        I've been seeing this way too often lately, and I want it stopped.

        1. C 18

          Re: Defiantly?

          Hmm, you definitely seem defiant on this issue...

          Mines the one with Dante's Comedy in the pocket, definitely Dante, definitely a better driver...

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: NukEvil.

          Yes. I agree it is. Sorry, type/slip/spellchecker reselect of the word there. Pure accident. Long day at the office. If this site offered editing, I'd go back and fix it.

          Not to worry, I'm working at being as perfect as you are.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: a game where the only winning move was not to play.

      After hacking into an obscure DoD system, WOPR (using an ancient audio phone modem (5400 Baud at best)) A mechanical sounding voice says "Shall we play a game, Doctor", and the hacker chooses "Global Thermonuclear war". The upshot of the next 80 minutes of potential nuclear armageddon is that WOPR finally decides that "The only winning move is not to play". Somewhat prophetic even today.

      Way back then in 1983, that all seemed so cool (and probably did more to create "hackers" than almost any other film).

      Too bad that the course of Justice in the USA has become so perverted. They could learn something from the likes of Aaron Swartz if they only had souls.

      1. koolholio

        Re: a game where the only winning move was not to play.

        Classic! Agreeable,,,

        "1.3GB encrypted file titled Warhead-US-DOJ-LEA-2013.AES256"

        1.3GB x [DOJ / AES256(4seeds)] = Easy and quick for petaflops? (when given some thought)

        The anomaly is... DoJ and Warhead don't usually fit, so thus DoD is irrelevant and speculative.

        Though, I dont think they'd even be bothered with that route, they'd be more likely to catch 'em and demand the keys, else lock 'em up for longer! Somebody will cough up! >_<

      2. Oninoshiko

        Re: a game where the only winning move was not to play.

        As a point of fact, the only one of those acoustic couplers I've ever actually seen, was 300 baud. Wackypedia claims the practical limit was 1200 baud, achieved in the early 80s, they certainly did not run at even 5400 baud.

        Wargames (1983) actually got a number of things surprisingly right, and it is probably one of the most technically accurate fictional accounts of hacking. In fact, the term "Wardialing" (from which the modern "wardriving" comes) originated from this movie (the actual practice existed before, but, by all accounts, this term did not enter the lexicon until 1983).

        I'm horrified to report, that in checking my recollections for this post there was a "Wargames 2" released in 2008. I'm going to go cry myself to sleep now.

        1. Anonymous Cowerd


          "As a point of fact, the only one of those acoustic couplers I've ever actually seen, was 300 baud. Wackypedia claims the practical limit was 1200 baud"

          As my father in 1983/4 had an acoustic coupler with a switch to choose between 800 and 1200 baud, I'd say you haven't looked very far.

      3. C 18

        Re: a game where the only winning move was not to play.

        Professor Falken if I'm not mistaken, the computer (named Joshua by Matthew Broderick's character, due to the backdoor password being the name of Falken's dead son) would not refer to Falken as Doctor...

        Now if I could just recall Broderick's character without the help of Google...

        One moment...

        One moment...

        I'm detecting a problem with the AE-35 unit. I predict complete operational failure in...


  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    what kind of cretin would seed that torrent?

    I mean after the last lot of idiots got locked up....

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: what kind of cretin would seed that torrent?

      Let me guess, a compromised home PC of a suitable law enforcement official or a public figure. For the laughs value of course.

    2. Matt Bryant Silver badge

      Re: what kind of cretin would seed that torrent?

      Going on previous Anonyputz outings, they seem to have a limitless supply of steeple to do the stupid stuff for them.

    3. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Re: what kind of cretin would seed that torrent?

      what kind of cretin would seed that torrent?..... I mean after the last lot of idiots got locked up.... Anonymous Coward Posted Monday 28th January 2013 17:29 GMT

      The kind of cretinry that wants to know who they are up against and chasing to try and catch up with lead in smarter intelligence community games play, AC? ..........

      Beware of the anonymous trojan masquerading as popular revolutionary.

      You may like to think and start realising, that the crazier things are, the more likely they are to be ...... and that is the stealth used in actuality, for security and protection.

      :-) Such does however have its designedly dodgy pitfalls and sweet sticky honeytraps to sort out the men from the boys and the ladies from the girls, so take care if you dare share and would venture forth into ITs Live Operational Virtual Environment Fields. And it does have one pondering and wondering on the borders and actions which define and deliver both madness and genius and can so easily tip one into the one rather than reinforcing evidence in oneself of being comfortably in undeniable power and overall control of the other.

      So yes indeed, take care. IT is a jungle out there ..... and it takes no prisoners.

  9. tempemeaty

    I'm not surprised...

    ...that the US Gov overkill response and savaging of Aaron Swartz drew this kind of response from the hackers. Gov oppression like that is not acceptable in the civilized world this is supposed to be becoming.

  10. yossarianuk

    I cracked it!

    Turns out to be an extremely high res photo of goatse man

  11. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    0day Rules always Win Win .....

    FFS, Anonymous, quit dicking around like petulant media prima donnas and publish whatever you got and be damned and/or lauded ...or you aint got nothing.

    1. Paul Hatch

      Re: 0day Rules always Win Win .....

      As their irc servers are usually compromised and feds monitoring, the longer they wait to publish the key, the greater the chance of the keyholder getting picked up.

      The key must be in very limited circulation else it would have leaked already. They aint gonna get anything out of the gov, certainly not until they start taking people out like they did with the BART expose.

      Any evidence of dirt that will stick to that bunch of DC swamp

      dwellers should just be published one a day working up the dc foodchain.

  12. Mike Moyle

    Even if the "warhead" turns out to be a dud...

    I suspect that this still comes under the category of "blackmail". Anon had best hope that they actually ARE as clever and unfindable as they think they are. They genuinely seem to be trying to go from "minor annoyance that's not worth going after" to "butt that wants kicking".

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Even if the "warhead" turns out to be a dud...

      Here in the United States that is not called "Blackmail", it is considered "Negotiation", at least by my government.

      Yep, for the time they wanted to throw at that poor soul, for the respective crime, when even the offended party didn't want to press charges, is all too showing of where my country is heading.

      It doesn't matter what parties are offended, and if any charges are being made, my government is always out for blood. Go USA! Fiscal Cliff....whheeeeeeeee...

  13. The Alpha Klutz

    new world order

    20 or 30 years will be a short sentence soon. Just like the private companies making money off litter fines in the news tonight, we are going to see the privatization of the entire police force globally in every country (At the same time). But it's just a coincidence like it always is.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What goes around...

    ...eventually comes around and more not so Anonymous folks will be in the slammer or dead. If at first you don't end up in prison, try, try again.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The clueless...

    ...worshipping the worthless. What a combo.

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