Assange ties to DARPA cybersecurity program hiring "hackers"

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Assange ties to DARPA cybersecurity program hiring "hackers"

Postby lupercal » Fri Dec 03, 2010 4:44 pm

An Interview With WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange
FORBES - Nov. 29 2010 - 5:02 pm

FORBES: I wanted to ask you about [Peiter Zatko, a legendary hacker and security researcher who also goes by] “Mudge.”

Assange: Yeah, I know Mudge. He’s a very sharp guy.

FORBES: Mudge is now leading a project at the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to find a technology that can stop leaks, which seems pretty relative to your organization. Can you tell me about your past relationship with Mudge?

Assange: Well, I…no comment.


FORBES: Were you part of the same scene of hackers? When you were a computer hacker, you must have known him well.

Assange: We were in the same milieu. I spoke with everyone in that milieu.

FORBES: What do you think of his current work to prevent digital leaks inside of organizations, a project called Cyber Insider Threat or Cinder?

{snip}

Assange: New formats and new ways of communicating are constantly cropping up. Stopping leaks is a new form of censorship. And in the same manner that very significant resources spent on China’s firewall, the result is that anyone who’s motivated can work around it. Not just the small fraction of users, but anyone who really wants to can work around it.

Censorship circumvention tools [like the program Tor] also focus on leaks. They facilitate leaking.

Airgapped networks are different. Where there’s literally no connection between the network and the internet. You may need a human being to carry something. But they don’t have to intentionally carry it. It could be a virus on a USB stick, as the Stuxnet worm showed, though it went in the other direction. You could pass the information out via someone who doesn’t know they’re a mule.

FORBES: Back to Mudge and Cinder: Do you think, knowing his intelligence personally, that he can solve the problem of leaks?

Assange: No, but that doesn’t mean that the difficulty can’t be increased. But I think it’s a very difficult case, and the reason I suggest it’s an impossible case to solve completely is that most people do not leak. And the various threats and penalties already mean they have to be highly motivated to deal with those threats and penalties. These are highly motivated people. Censoring might work for the average person, but not for highly motivated people. And our people are highly motivated.

Mudge is a clever guy, and he’s also highly ethical. I suspect he would have concerns about creating a system to conceal genuine abuses.


FORBES: But his goal of preventing leaks doesn’t differentiate among different types of content. It would stop whistleblowers just as much as it stops exfiltration of data by foreign hackers.

Assange: I’m sure he’ll tell you China spies on the U.S., Russia, France. There are genuine concerns about those powers exfiltrating data. And it’s possibly ethical to combat that process. But spying is also stabilizing to relationships. Your fears about where a country is or is not are always worse than the reality. If you only have a black box, you can put all your fears into it, particularly opportunists in government or private industry who want to address a problem that may not exist. If you know what a government is doing, that can reduce tensions.

http://blogs.forbes.com/andygreenberg/2 ... assange/7/
....................................................................
Could "wikileaks" be a DARPA-funded pinata for "Mudge" and his fellow DARPA hacker pals to whack at, with other useful benefits like poking Obama's State dept. in the eye and ginning up wars?

Hacker 'Mudge' gets DARPA Job
Gets Job as Program Manager at Defense Department

Image
Peiter Zatko, also known as "Mudge" (CBS)

(CNET) Peiter Zatko--a respected hacker known as "Mudge"--has been tapped to be a program manager at DARPA, where he will be in charge of funding research designed to help give the U.S. government tools needed to protect against cyberattacks, CNET has learned.

Zatko will become a program manager in mid-March within the Strategic Technologies Office at DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency), which is the research and development office for the Department of Defense. His focus will be cybersecurity, he said in an interview with CNET on Tuesday.

One of his main goals will be to fund researchers at hacker spaces, start-ups, and boutiques who are most likely to develop technologies that can leapfrog what comes out of large corporations. "I want revolutionary changes. I don't want evolutionary ones," he said.

He's also hoping that giving a big push to research and development will do more to advance the progress of cybersecurity than public policy decisions have been able to do over the past few decades.

"Not much has changed" with regard to strengthening the U.S. cybersecurity position, he said. "As a society, we have a larger dependence on being wired in, yet the government only focuses on particular areas."

The connectedness of commercial, government, and military networks makes the situation even more dire, he said. "I'm going to argue that they're all pretty much intertwined now and we've seen how vulnerable some of those sectors are now. That's unacceptable," Zatko said. "I aim to fix that."

{snip}

He started the corporate information security group at BBN Technologies in the 1990s, was chief executive at L0pht Heavy Industries when the hacker space decided to incorporate, and founded security consultancy @Stake, which was later acquired by Symantec. Since 2004, he's been back at BBN, working as division scientist and technical director for the company's National Intelligence Research and Applications department.

Zatko has also done his fair share of work for the government. He was appointed to the Information Assurance sub-committee out of the Executive Office of the President, named as a subcommittee member to the Partnership for Critical Infrastructure Protection and testified several times before Congressional committees. The main hacker character in the book Breakpoint by former U.S. cybersecurity guru Richard Clarke is believed to be based on him.

"I don't want people to be putting out virus signatures after a virus has come out. I want an active defense. I want to be at the sharp pointy end of the stick."

He's not the only self-described hacker to embrace public service. Jeff Moss, founder of the Black Hat and Defcon conferences, joined the Homeland Security Advisory Council last summer.

One of the reasons Zatko decided to take the job is that the new DARPA director, Regina Dugan, is entrepreneurial and is looking to engage more with academics, following years of DARPA being closed to nongovernmental researchers for national security reasons, he said. "Now they are running more programs out of DARPA that are not classified beyond what they need to be, so it will enable more people to have visibility into them," he added.

Another lure of the job was the budget he will have. Zatko said he doesn't know exactly how much of the $3.5 billion a year DARPA spends to fund research he will oversee but said it's likely to be a "good chunk."

From his many years doing penetration testing and working to break security systems, he understands what it takes to try to defend networks and how to come up with innovative solutions to break through barriers and get around obstructions.

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/02/ ... 4372.shtml
............

the plot thickens..
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Re: Assange ties to DARPA cybersecurity program hiring "hack

Postby JackRiddler » Fri Dec 03, 2010 4:55 pm

Thanks.
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Re: Assange ties to DARPA cybersecurity program hiring "hack

Postby lupercal » Fri Dec 03, 2010 5:31 pm

No problem. I think the only question left to answer about Assange is how many spook payrolls he's on and how much he collects from each. His politics incidentally are pure RW nut.
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Re: Assange ties to DARPA cybersecurity program hiring "hack

Postby Nordic » Fri Dec 03, 2010 6:59 pm

This is a hell of a story.
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Re: Assange ties to DARPA cybersecurity program hiring "hack

Postby Wombaticus Rex » Fri Dec 03, 2010 8:10 pm

FORBES: Mudge is now leading a project at the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to find a technology that can stop leaks


What a fucking fantasy. There's really only ever been one technology that fits the bill, and it's not exactly cutting edge stuff....

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Re: Assange ties to DARPA cybersecurity program hiring "hack

Postby jingofever » Fri Dec 03, 2010 9:00 pm

I don't see what is supposed to be so sinister about Julian Assange knowing mudge.
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Re: Assange ties to DARPA cybersecurity program hiring "hack

Postby Nordic » Fri Dec 03, 2010 9:03 pm

Not necessarily sinister, just ... really interesting.

Anarchist hacker vs. the hacker who went to work for DARPA.

Both equally brilliant, now possibly pitted against each other. It's like a movie plot.
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Re: Assange ties to DARPA cybersecurity program hiring "hack

Postby 2012 Countdown » Fri Dec 03, 2010 11:12 pm

Inside The Bahnhof Bunker, Home Of Wikileaks' Servers
TPM PHOTO GALLERIES
If you're going to reveal a quarter of a million diplomatic cables that one of the most powerful governments in the world doesn't want you to reveal, you're gonna need secure servers. Bahnhof AB, a firm that offers hosting on its servers, is housed in a former bomb bunker drilled into the White Mountains of Sweden.
Wikileaks was hosted by Bahnhof when it began publishing the cables. When Wikileaks was felled by a denial of service attack, it briefly moved to Amazon's cloud servers before it got booted off. Now, it's back on Bahnhof and back in the mountains.
Here, some photos of Bahnhof's mountain lair, courtesy of its web site.
http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/galler ... .php?img=1
----------

Image
Image
Image
Image



website-
http://www.bahnhof.se/pionen/gallery/

=======


White Mountain, Fit For A James Bond Villain!


This is the first edition of Data Center Pulse, On The Road. In this episode, Jon Karlung, CEO of Bahnhof, a local teclo gives Dean Nelson a tour of his Pionen, White Mountain datacenter in downtown Stockholm, Sweden. It is located in a bunker 30 meters under solid bedrock. It was a cold war bunker that was converted into this datacenter and is said to be able to withstand a Hydrogen bomb blast. It is very unique and reminds me of a James Bond movie! And that is what Jon was going for.
=====


Fascinating place.
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Re: Assange ties to DARPA cybersecurity program hiring "hack

Postby AlicetheKurious » Sat Dec 04, 2010 2:47 am

Image

sorry, i couldn't help it.
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Re: Assange ties to DARPA cybersecurity program hiring "hack

Postby Wombaticus Rex » Sat Dec 04, 2010 3:25 am

So...hold on, I'm slow...holy shit that "infographic" that AtK just posted is real? I've seen it before, oftenish, but I always assumed it was The Onion's handicraft. Yet I re-read the captions and there's no actual jokes...I can't find a clear attribution on Google. Was this image actually released with a straight face? I have already squirted beer out my nose in the meatspace even contemplating this as a possibility. That cave fantasy was "Real" ?? Someone help a mammal out.
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Re: Assange ties to DARPA cybersecurity program hiring "hack

Postby barracuda » Sat Dec 04, 2010 4:01 am

The Lair of Bin Laden is a fictoid that originated in the highly-enterprising British press on November 27th, 2001. The chronology is as follows. On November 26th, the New York Times carried a story based on the account of an a ex-Russian soldier, Viktor Kutsenko, who had served in Afghanistan in the nineteen-eighties in which he claimed that there had seen an elaborate cave complex in Zhawar with "iron doors" that contained " a bakery, a hotel with overstuffed furniture, a hospital with an ultrasound machine, a library, a mosque, weapons of every imaginable stripe; a service bay with a World War II-era Soviet tank inside, in perfect running order." The historic story then added "Mr. bin Laden is reported to have upgraded both it and a nearby camp in the 1990's."

On November 27th, the London-based Independent came up with its own fairly similar troglodyte story, except that it had moved the underground fortress from Zhawar to Tora Bora, where the manhunt for bin Laden was about to begin, and advanced it in time from the nineteen-eighties to the present.

The Independent headlined: "Al-Qa'ida almost 'immune to attack' inside its hi-tech underground lair." In the story, its correspondent Richard Lloyd Parry, in Jalalabad, described a vast redoubt burrowed deep under a mountain, with labyrinthian tunnels sealed by with iron doors. "It has its own ventilation system and its own power, created by a hydro-electric generator. Its walls and floors in the rooms are smooth and finished and it extends 350 yards beneath a solid mountain." It was therefore tunneled almost as deep as the World Trade Center was high. It was also " so well defended and concealed that – short of poison gas or a tactical nuclear weapon – it is immune to outside attack. And it is filled with heavily armed followers of Osama bin Laden, with a suicidal commitment to their cause and with nothing left to lose."

It further claimed that fortress was built " reportedly employing expertise from Mr bin Laden's Saudi construction businesses" and housed "as many as 2,000 Arab and foreign fighters." The story's putative unidentified witness— the lone deep throat— explained, "It's like a hotel, with doors on the left and the right."

The idea that Osama and his followers had entombed themselves in an unassailable fortress under a mountain immediately embedded itself into the imagination of the American press. The Associated Press put The Independent story on its services, which went to hundreds of major newspapers and broadcasting stations. ABC News re-headlined the story "Bin Laden Hide-out Resembles Hotel: Witness," depicting "The cave complex ... filled with bin Laden's fanatical followers." Yahoo noted in its Internet service "Bin Laden has reputedly built a fortress 1,150 feet (350 meters) beneath the mountains, equipped with water, electricity and ventilation and guarded by hundreds or thousands of fighters ready to die for their leader." CBS, expanding the story, reported that an Afghan "commander thinks bin Laden is in a cave fortress known as Tora Bora. The massive hideout was built by the U.S. to house forces fighting the Soviet Army in the 1980s. The complex - nicknamed "bin Laden's ant farm," is burrowed deep into Gree Khil peak -- soaring 13,000 feet above the village of Tora Bora. It is virtually impregnable -- a latticework of tunnels, storage rooms for arms and munitions, and accommodations for up to a thousand fighters. Ventilation shafts bring fresh air 1,200 feet inside the mountain. A nearby river provides hydroelectric power to the complex... at least 2,000 of bin Laden's al-Qaida fighters are believed to be hiding there," In the Los Angeles Times Professor Mark C. Taylor added to his essay on an ancient troglodyte Hittite city in Turkey that "This city and others like it provide the prototype for the underground fortresses where Bin Laden and his followers are presumed to be hiding;" The Atlanta Journal-Constitution put the underground city in context, saying "The bitter and brutal end game between Osama bin Laden and U.S.-led forces is being played out in a mountain fortress the CIA helped build... equipped with ventilation and hydroelectric power." This bunker-fortress, the story continued, "provides bin Laden with significant advantages... it is considered invulnerable even to bunker-busting bombs and impregnable to conventional military attack." The Times of London meanwhile illustrated its story with an artist's rendering of the underground fortress, which dwarfed even Hitler's infamous "eagle's nest" fortress.

The story probably reached its high point on NBC's Meet The Press on December 2nd when Tim Russert, the host of the program, provided Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld with the artist's rendering of bin Laden's fortress. The interview proceeded:

    Russert: The Times of London did a graphic, which I want to put on the screen for you and our viewers. This is it. This is a fortress. This is a very much a complex, multi-tiered, bedrooms and offices on the top, as you can see, secret exits on the side and on the bottom, cut deep to avoid thermal detection so when our planes fly to try to determine if any human beings are in there, it's built so deeply down and embedded in the mountain and the rock it's hard to detect. And over here, valleys guarded, as you can see, by some Taliban soldiers. A ventilation system to allow people to breathe and to carry on. An arms and ammunition depot. And you can see here the exits leading into it and the entrances large enough to drive trucks and cars and even tanks. And it's own hydroelectric power to help keep lights on, even computer systems and telephone systems. It's a very sophisticated operation.

    Rumsfeld: Oh, you bet. This is serious business. And there's not one of those. There are many of those. And they have been used very effectively. And I might add, Afghanistan is not the only country that has gone underground. Any number of countries have gone underground. The tunneling equipment that exists today is very powerful. It's dual use. It's available across the globe. And people have recognized the advantages of using underground protection for themselves.

A few weeks after the "Meet the Press" interview, US special forces and their Afghan allies occupied Tora Bora. They painstakingly searched Gree Khil mountain and the surrounding area. They found no underground fortress, no hydro-electric power plant, no 2000-room hotel, no ant farm, no iron doors, no ventilating shafts. The troglodyte Lair of Bin Laden turned out to be mythic.


From here.

Here's what was actually found in Tora Bora:

Image
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Re: Assange ties to DARPA cybersecurity program hiring "hack

Postby wintler2 » Sat Dec 04, 2010 6:15 am

jingofever wrote:I don't see what is supposed to be so sinister about Julian Assange knowing mudge.


There isn't anything particularly sinister about Assenge knowing him.

It is sinister tho that Lupercal feels somehow emboldened to smear Assenge as being on many spook payrolls despite having no evidence of him being on any.

Did it give you a thrill, lupercal?
Or did it make you feel safer, proving yet again that there is no point in trying?

Assenge is achieving his objective, and a good one it is too. Who would want to bring him down?
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Re: Assange ties to DARPA cybersecurity program hiring "hack

Postby lupercal » Sat Dec 04, 2010 7:28 am

Assenge is achieving his objective, and a good one it is too. Who would want to bring him down?


Hi wintler, I'm sorry you're offended as my intent is not to shit on your hero, but simply to point out that Assange is a rather transparent player in a long line of swiftboat campaigns designed to undermine Democratic leaders and their policies, in this round, START treaty ratification, canceling the Bush tax cuts, and the predictable war propaganda among other "objectives" which I strongly disagree with.

This might not be obvious to you but I can assure you that if you lived for example in California, where Gray Davis was taken out in a similar campaign after Enron rigged the utility market to make way for a GOP stooge who bankrupted the state and impoverished its citizens in every possible way, it would be obvious. Anyway if you want more evidence check out this thread:

viewtopic.php?f=8&t=30436
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Re: Assange ties to DARPA cybersecurity program hiring "hack

Postby wintler2 » Sat Dec 04, 2010 7:39 am

lupercal wrote:..Anyway if you want more evidence check out this thread:
viewtopic.php?f=8&t=30436


If thats your evidence then your judgement is worthless. Carry on smearing if you dare, by your works shall we know you.
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Re: Assange ties to DARPA cybersecurity program hiring "hack

Postby lupercal » Sat Dec 04, 2010 8:50 am

^ If you're looking for the cheer bus, it's parked at DU:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/di ... id=4640754
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