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    HBGary Federal

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    Aaron Barr, CEO of HBGary Federal currently unemployed

    Aaron Barr is was the CEO and all-around fuckwit in charge of HBGary Federal, a company which bills itself as the National Guard of the Internet. While the HBGary website claims the company provides security against "the attackers [of] intellectual property, infrastructure, identity, and personal safety" what they actually do is shitty malware detection software. However Aaron Barr was planning something big. In his free time he was tip-toeing into the darkest corners of the internet and digging up dirt on Anonymous, the internet love machine. On Feburary 4th, Financial Times ran an article[1] where Mr. Barr claimed he had infiltrated the cyber-terrorist organization known as "Anonymous", identified its leaders, and was going to sell the data to the FBI so said leaders could be arrested. If you just crapped your pants, then you have yet to see the "data" (not found) which Mr. Barr was able to scrounge up.

    Privacy vs. Security in the age of social media, Internet crime, and mob rule. Can balance be found in the war over control of the Internet?
    - 5:03 PM Feb 19th via Twitter for iPhone



    —Aaron Barr, from the tweet of a lone soldier fighting the "war for the internets"


    What makes Mr. Barr the laughingstock of the internet isn’t the fact that he tried to butt heads with Anonymous. What’s funny is that after his thorough investigation into Anonymous he genuinely thought he had the information needed to take Anonymous down, when in fact all his data showed was that he didn’t even know what Anonymous was. Anonymous is an autonomous entity comprised of millions of individuals on the net a bunch of basement trolls. Anyone on the internet can be Anonymous, even your annoying 9-year-old cousin or your mom who still uses AOL. However, Mr. Barr was convinced that Anonymous was comprised of only “a few hundred” members and functioned more like an exclusive secret society with a few Grand Masters pulling the strings. He claimed that “Q,” “Owen,” and “CommanderX,” were the leaders of Anonymous, that he had their dox, and that he was going to bring down their organization. Does Mr. Barr’s genuine belief that Anonymous is a dangerous terrorist group comprised of Bond-villains, which he alone can bring to justice, show a case of unwarranted self-importance or is he just stupid? You decide.

    A co-founder of Anonymous, who uses the nickname Q after the character in James Bond, has been seeking replacements for Owen and others who have had to curtail activities.


    —Aaron Barr, he making this shit up?

    Of a few hundred participants in (Anonymous’) operations, only about 30 are steadily active, with 10 people who are the most senior and co-ordinate and manage most of the decisions.


    —Aaron Barr, explaining how Anonymous operates.

    Q and other key figures (of Anonymous) lived in California and (their) hierarchy was fairly clear, with other senior members (of Anonymous) in the UK, Germany, Netherlands, Italy and Australia.


    —Aaron Barr, on Anonymous’ "Senior Members"

    Ordinary members (of Anonymous) take charge of specific projects, such as Twitter postings on Tunisia or closed Facebook chats on strategy for harassing the Egyptian government’s online presence.


    —Aaron Barr

    They think I have nothing but a heirarchy based on IRC aliases! As 1337 as these guys are supposed to be they don't get it. I have pwned them!


    —Aaron Barr, from his leaked email documents.

    Anonymous Strikes Back

    Hey guys, something's wrong with HBGary's website.
    HBGary Inc and HBGary Federal, a separate but related company, have been the victims of an intentional criminal cyberattack. We are taking this crime seriously and are working with federal, state, and local law enforcement authorities and redirecting internal resources to investigate and respond appropriately.

    To the extent that any client information may have been affected by this event, we will provide the affected clients with complete and accurate information as soon as it becomes available. Meanwhile, please be aware that any information currently in the public domain is not reliable because the perpetrators of this offense, or people working closely with them, have intentionally falsified certain data.


    —Official statement, showing how over 50,000 emails uncovered in under 24 hours and instantly released to the public were in fact false and fabricated

    One day after Aaron Barr’s fabricated and erroneous information on Anonymous was published in The Financial Times, HBGary Federal’s website found itself at the ass end of a DDoS attack. The company’s email servers were then breached and over 50,000 emails made by Barr and his employees were extracted and made available for download. Anonymous then deleted HBGary's backup data, hijacked Aaron Barr's twitter, nuked his iPad, and took down HBGary Federal’s website, replacing with an ultimatum stating that Mr. Barr dun goofed. The leaked emails revealed embarrassing information on Mr. Barr, including that his wife threatened that she would file for divorce, and that Mr. Barr has a World of Warcraft account where he plays as a level 80 night elf druid known as Sevrynsten.

    After Aaron Barr successfully buttfucked his internet security company, the president of the company Template:Pastebin and begged that they leave her company alone. Anonymous agreed to leave them alone if Penny fired Mr. Barr and got back in the kitchen. In addition, Penny said that she had yet to see the dox Mr. Barr had on Anonymous and that everyone at his company was “kind of pissed at him right now.

    What Really Happened?

    Who the hell are “Q,” “Owen,” and “CommanderX?” What lead Aaron Barr into believing they were the brains behind Anonymous? How did Mr. Barr find them, and what evidence did he have against them? What the fuck kind of research did he do to come up with such false information? Mysteries such as these course through the rivers of the internet and may have gone unsolved, but thanks to the 66,000 emails leaked from HBGary Federal’s computers, they can be answered.

    Mr. Barr's spitball attack on Anonymous was part of a larger scheme to bring down Wikileaks by blackmailing journalists. Wikileaks claimed to have incriminating evidence which proved a major US bank was guilty of practicing corporate malfeasance, and on a completely unrelated matter Bank of America then hired Mr. Barr to make these documents go away forever. Thus began Mr. Barr's campaign to bring down Wikileaks through cyber-attacks, falsified reports to damage Wikileaks' credibility, and blackmail against United States citizens. Or at least, that's what Mr. Barr would have done had Anonymous not completely thwarted his jihad on the first amendment.

    Mr. Barr believed that through the dangers of social networking, sensitive information could be gathered about people. A person might be smart enough to not list their home address or phone number or real name, but their friends through Facebook or LinkedIn might accidentally leak that information through their profile. Using this theory, Mr. Barr believed that he could identify and dox dangerous hackers, and he would test this concept by exposing Anonymous. Mr. Barr’s scientific process for exposing Anonymous included lurking Anonymous IRC chat rooms, taking note of who was populating those chat rooms, and then use social networking sites to find their true identities. With this technique Mr. Barr tried to get close to the “leaders” of Anonymous. With that said, “Q,” “Owen,” and “CommanderX” are just some trolls who hang out on the AnonOps IRC, and their true identities that Mr. Barr linked them with wasn't even accurate. Mystery solved. In addition, the emails also showed that Mr. Barr was retarded enough to think he could create internet drama between his company and Anonymous. It would lead to more publicity, make himself e-famous, and promote sales of HBGary Federal’s shitty security software.

    Aaron Barr isn't the only person to mistake a group of 13-year-old IRC nerds as being the best and brightest of Anonymous. Shortly after the HBGary incident, Adrien Chen and John Cook of Gawker fame published an article ArchiveToday-favicon.png"Inside Anonymous' Secret War Room", where they more or less did exactly what Aaron Barr did: lurk inside an IRC chat room, listen to a bunch of internet tough guys talk about how leet they are, and then publish that they had infiltrated and identified Anonymous' leaders. This proves two things: 1.) Aaron Barr isn't alone in the quest to bring down Anonymous, and 2.) to avoid accusations of being the head of a terrorist organization one only has to stop using IRC.

    Memorable Quotes

    I iz famous nao?
    Dividing by zero...yes, he can!
    They think I have nothing but a heirarchy based on IRC [Internet Relay Chat] aliases! As 1337 as these guys are suppsed to be they don't get it. I have pwned them! :)


    —Aaron Barr, excerpt from one of many leaked email documents

    At any given time there are probably no more than 20-40 people active [in Anonymous], accept [except] during hightened points of activity like Egypt and Tunisia where the numbers swell but mostly by trolls… Most of the people in the IRC channel are zombies to inflate the numbers.


    —Aaron Barr, estimating the number of Anons on the internet

    But dude whos evil? US Gov? Wikileaks? Anonymous? Its all about power. The Wikileaks and Anonymous guys think they are doing the people justice by without much investigation or education exposing information or targeting organizations? BS. Its about trying to take power from others and give it to themeselves. I follow one law. Mine.


    —Aaron Barr, on the evil’s of Anonymous and Wikileaks

    I really dislike corporations. They suck the lifeblood out of humanity. But they are also necessary and keep us moving, in what direction I don't know. Governments and corporations should have a right to protect secrets, senstive information that could be damage to their operations. I think these groups are also saying this should be free game as well and I disagree. Hence the 250,000 cables. Which was bullshit… Society needs some people in the know and some people not. These folks, these sheep believe that all information should be accessible. BS. And if they truly believe it then they should have no problem with me gathering information for public distribution.


    —Aaron Barr, on why governments should keep secrets.

    Hopefully my research will] start a verbal braul between (myself and Anonymous) and keep it going because that will bring more media and more attention to a very important topic.


    —Aaron Barr, on viral marketing.

    Cyber threats are human. The attackers who target intellectual property, infastructure, identity, and personal safety are human beings - criminals, terrorists, or state agents. Security is not an IT problem, it's an intelligence problem.


    —HBGary Federal Home Page Slogan

    The cyber world has grown out of control. State and national law enforcement mechanisms are not equipped to deal with the rapidly evolving threat. The complexity of information systems has far exceeded the ability to secure them, while reliance on these systems has only increased. HBGary has an intimate understanding of this problem; We know that understanding the attacker and his methods is the only way to defeat him. This is the core strength of HBGary and why our technology and services outperform the competition. To us, it's personal.


    —HBGary's Mission Statement

    (The chat logs) demonstrate that, contrary to the repeated claims of Anonymous members, the group does have ad hoc leaders, with certain members doling out tasks, selecting targets, and even dressing down members who get out of line.


    —Adrien Chen & John Cook, all key members of Anonymous use one IRC room

    While Anonymous describes itself as a leaderless collective, the #HQ channel had a clear head honcho, a hacker who goes by the name of Sabu who claims credit for conducting the HBary hack.


    —Adrien Chen & John Cook, on Sabu: Imperial Wizard of Anonymous.


    Take-home action items

    • never sign on a security company that knows nothing about security
    • especially if they have powerpoint presentations with corporate bullshit leaked [2]
    • and/or get their corporate website defaced with propaganda FOR their declared enemies [3]
    • and/or 66,000 of their e-mails published on their own website and a torrent [4]
    • and/or draw attention to their completely futile pet projects, like war on benefactors of mankind [5]
    • and/or get battleplans leaked by targets that reveal "pushing independent journalists to dropping support" [6]
    • all this is of particular importance for taxpayers if the given security company is a government contractor [7]

    Anonymous honors the offer, or: from Aaron to AarOn

    With trademark promptness and lambent ease, Anonymous followed up on AarOn Barr's invitation the same night. AarOn, his company and other executives thereof got more than his mouthful of worth of sexuality:

    • 66,000 corporate e-mails leaked [8]
    • website content replaced by brief, but poetically written, Anonymous pamphlet [9]
    • professional twitter- and linkedin accounts of several HBGary executives royally augmented with truth and humor [10]
    • bland, stilted, powerpoint presentations and memoranda for Wikileaks-disruption and Anonymous-trolling leaked [11]
    • backups erased [12]
    • documents sent to the FBI for free that AarOn had planned to sell to them for lots of money (despite being worthless)

    A major part of this totally lulzworthy series of extraordinary pwnage was played by an allegedly 16 year old girl who social engineered the companies network admin. Because of the cyber terrorists he was up against and the security expert he is, Mr. Barr even had to unplug his router because they tried to "pop his box" and he knew just how to deal with such situations. Maybe this was the best way to avoid all the shame he would face for the rest of his life now.

    In other words: this orgy of pwnage would have been enough to please legions of ass-itchy executives for more than one Superbowl weekend. It even sucked Penny, the president of HBGary (HBGary Federal's inverstor), into the powerplay. Penny begged for mercy in an anon-ops chat, imploring Anonymous to not leak tens of thousands of private e-mail messages -- to no avail, of course.

    Penny: if what you are saying is true then why is Aaron meeting with the FBI tomorrow morning at 11am? PLEASE KEEP IN MIND WE HAVE ALL YOUR EMAILS


    —Sabu reminds Penny that Anonymous can read her mind

    <+Penny> Hey the Fallout is a great game


    —Penny responds

    Nevertheless, in a particularly despicable gambit, Penny tried to put all the blame on her minion AarOn. You can read the Template:Pastebin; AarOn's handle is "CogAnon". Penny is even liked by some, but be aware that, at the time of the chat, it was not yet known that she, her hubby Greg and her investment AarOn were plotting to smear Wikileaks and to "push" Salon journalist Glenn Greenwald into giving up his support for Wikileaks -- all for profit and on behalf of Bank of America. (NOT NICE!)

    Outing of central Anonymous operatives

    What about the real names of Anonymous operatives, as researched by Penny's security pOwerhOuse? (Leaked here: [13]) Well... some people are in trouble now, or are they?

    • Ms Allis Free (say it!)
    • Mr Max Mustamaan -- possibly a misspelled relative of German celebrity Erika Mustermann [14]
    • Mr Kerlchen vom Hof -- German for "chappy from the yard"
    • Mr Hans Meier -- the man with almost 300,000 google hits [15], because he is almost as legion as Anonymous or John Doe [16]
    • Mr Daniel Dusentrieb -- no other than the famous inventor Gyro Gearloose in German [17]

    Protip: always fact-check the results of your intelligence contractor with google and wikipedia. If Google or Wikipedia or both show that the intelligence sucks, fire the security contractor and tell all your friends.

    The butthurt loudmouth, or: "This is not over!!!1111" (says hubby)

    In a somewhat schizophrenic move, HBGary explained that it was butthurt by a cyberwar attack on its website and that it was taking "this crime" seriously. This, too, is a bad omen for smart security consumers: pathetic whinery. Simultanously, Greg Hoglund, founder of HBGary Federal and Penny's husband, was talking tall, showing off the newly goatsed anus of his insecurity company:

    They didn’t just pick on any company, but we try to protect the US government from hackers. They couldn’t have chosen a worse company to pick on.


    —The operative words here are "we" and "try"

    After reading some of Gregs emails it was clear, that he was a hell of a security expert and consequences will never be the same for Anonymous (also he bought a copy of "The Multi-Orgasmic Man: Sexual Secrets Every Man Should Know".

    I hit a piratebay link and got popped on latest IE and the fucker put fake AV on my laptop.Man, I was so pissed. Downloaded Sandboxie for all further researching on net.


    —Greg Hoglund, giving some hardcore security advises

    I know you are busy with the "world of blackhat" but stick your head out for a moment - I am a serious bad ass right now and I'm not sure you realize that.


    —Greg Hoglund, being a serious badass

    Update: industrialization of sock-puppeteering imminent

    The revelations from the leaked HBGary e-mails include good news for internet addicts, trollfaces, forum pamphleteers, moralfags, batshit crazies and/or all of the above. The magic word of 21st century living on the web is "computer aided persona management", and it is about time that we, the people of the internets, benefit from a good, long subsidy-sip from the military-industrial complex. HBGary Federal and other private-sector companies are developing miracle technology for putting the power of legions at the fingertip of the individual in the government who wants to streamline online campaigns and let loose the wrath of his sock puppets army without duplication, confusion or cross-contamination.

    From HBGary's sales brochure:

    To build this capability we will create a set of personas on twitter,‭ ‬blogs,‭ ‬forums,‭ ‬buzz,‭ ‬and myspace under created names that fit the profile‭ (‬satellitejockey,‭ ‬hack3rman,‭ ‬etc‭)‬.‭ ‬These accounts are maintained and updated automatically through RSS feeds,‭ ‬retweets,‭ ‬and linking together social media commenting between platforms.


    Cool story bro

    To this end, smart people have created virtual-machine-assisted astroturfing software for managing up to 10 socks per real person. From the brochure:

    Software will allow 10 personas per user, replete with background, history, supporting details, and cyber presences that are technically, culturally and geographacilly consistent. Individual applications will enable an operator to exercise a number of different online persons from the same workstation and without fear of being discovered by sophisticated adversaries.



    Very soon this government-approved cyberpunk sockware will trickle down to a torrent near you!

    Update: MMOs

    And, just a last bit of advice, remember that you did all the hard work getting to this point, so don't let the investor take full ownership of your game company :-)


    —Barr, trying too hard to convince others he's not a complete newfag to the software industry [18]

    Hilariously, Battle.net has decided to immediately delete any and all mentions of Barr's astronomic goof up on the internet, or its in-depth coverage by Colbert, such as this one and this one. Google this to see this for yourself.

    Update: Resignation

    Great news, mission acc...no, wait...

    ...given that I've been the focus of much of the bad press, I hope that, by leaving, HBGary and HBGary Federal can get away from some of that.


    —Barr, in an anticlimactic ragequit. [19]

    The real reason for the resignation is that AarOn just can't sit down for a while after what became of his rear end, no matter how swanky the CEO chairs may be. (The swelling from the hornet stings doesn't help.)

    See Also

    External Links

    Tips for Tards

    • Now that all the n00bs are slowing down the hbgary.anonleaks.ch site, use a Google Cache search like [20] to get the goods.
    • See the Cliff Notes for the action so far.
    • The torrentz are for people with 4.71 GiB free and the bandwidth to download it, not losers like You.
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    HBGary Federal is part of a series on


    Visit the Truth Portal for complete coverage.

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    HBGary Federal is part of a series on

    Homosexual Deviants

    Visit the Faggotry Portal for complete coverage.

    Article of the Nao May 6, 2011
    Preceded by
    HBGary Federal Succeeded by