FBI says Anonymous is a potential threat to national securityby Steve Ragan - Sep 9 2011, 17:00
FBI says Anonymous is a potential threat to national security. (IMG: Anonymous)
Update: The FBI has confirmed that this document is false.
A document from the FBI’s Behavioral Science Unit (BSU), allegedly leaked to the Web in August, moves Anonymous from a collective of individuals to a potential threat to national security. The psychological examination from the BSU was based on public communications and confidential informants. But is it a fake?
“The Anonymous ‘collective’ has risen from an amorphous group of individuals on the Internet to the current state of a potential threat to national security. Due to the nature of Anonymous, they believe that they are a leaderless collective. However, it has been shown that there is a defined leadership group,” the BSU report says.
“A thorough assessment of each UNSUB’s online activities, speech patterns, and general writings was collected by the FBI. Each UNSUB was individually assessed by members of the SBU (sic) and a psychological profile created from these datasets.”
The typos and change of writing style within the document raise questions to its authenticity. The acronym BSU was reversed twice in one paragraph, and several key points in the profiles of the Anons listed in the document are seemingly based on questionable details leaked to the Web over the summer.
In addition, the document actually names an alleged CI or confidential informant.
This action is something The Tech Herald has been told rarely happens in a general overview by the BSU, regardless of if the CI is known to the agents building the profile. If such a document did include these sensitive details, the CI would be referenced by codename, and the report itself would remain on the FBI’s classified network. For such a document to appear in the public raises serious concerns as to the security of the FBI’s distribution methods.
The first profile outlined centers on Sabu, the “overall leader of the LulzSec group, and since the arrest of Topiary, has taken over the spokesperson role for Anonymous.”
The profile describes Sabu as professional adult individual who puts on a guise of a “script kiddie” in language (netspeak), but functions within his normal day to day life within the business community without casting any clues to his other online activities.
“It is likely that Sabu works in the information security sector and has been doing so since the early days of the internet and hacking activities. His use of net speak is interspersed with proper American English diction and grammar that implies he is an American citizen and has been educated,” the notes on Sabu explain.
Again, the inconsistent use of the term netspeak (with and without a space) is something that doesn’t fit with other FBI reports. Having seen dozens of FBI communications, consistency is something of a habit within the agency.
Other notes on Sabu include the fact that he is likely married, that he views the world from a nihilistic perspective, his spelling corrections in chat logs show compulsive behaviors, he’s narcissistic, lives on the east coast, and is a martyr for his own cause. Examined chat logs suggest that people share the Sabu name online.
Moreover, Sabu is “prideful and likely easily prone to reaction through manipulation, very conformist in everyday life, and lives out a rich fantasy life online (feeling important and empowered).”
To deal with Sabu, the alleged BSU report suggest planting informants within the world of Anonymous to interface with Sabu, in order to flesh out additional information.
After Sabu, the report outlines a profile of Kayla. Kayla is listed as a bisexual male, and a lieutenant to Sabu. Abused as a child, and suffering an inferiority complex due to childhood trauma, Kayla is an attention seeking person who is prone to violent behavior offline in real world activities. The outline was supposedly written before Scotland Yard arrested two men connected to the name Kayla earlier this month. [Source]
“SA’s (Special Agents) attempting to interface with Kayla should keep in mind that he is easily pushed to anger and this can me used. It is recommended that investigators push this individual as frequently as possible to make him react and thus potentially slip up in anger,” the report suggests.
Topiary (Jake Davis) is outlined in the report, with a note that he was arrested. However, another person - tflow - is also listed without mention of arrest. A 16-year-old, said to be tflow based on statements given to Fox News, was arrested in July by Scotland Yard. The minor’s computer equipment was seized, and he was later released from custody.
However, according to this document, tflow is in the US and is a “key player in the command and control of their domain registration and management.” A freelance hacker, the report notes that tflow is a key target for taking down the infrastructural underpinnings of the group (Anonymous). Based purely on IRC logs, tflow is the linchpin to attack as he runs the technology side of Anonymous’ Internet space.
“As such he is intimately familiar with all of the players and may in fact know personal details that would be helpful in prosecution of other key members. It is also recommended that Tflow may be easily turned against the group due to his cognitive dissonance over hacktivism as well as he (sic) desires for monetary gain. This also flows into his likely attitudes that he is not willing to go down for the group should his identity be compromised.”
The FBI would not confirm the document, nor would they comment on any active investigations. However, while insightful to a degree, The Tech Herald questions the entire report.
With several grammatical mistakes, missing relevant information, questionable tactic recommendations, details on confidential informants, and unknown source material, this is far from a full profile on Anonymous or its supporters.
The report should be taken with a healthy grain of salt, but the entire BSU outline is below for those who want to see it.