LEARNING FROM OTHERS’ MISTAKES. LIBERTAS, DPR, SABU, LULZSEC
This comes from http://www.deepdotweb.com . It is from security guide published by a denizen of the dark net – Jolly Roger.
A little change of pace for this next post. I want to talk about one of our fallen moderators Libertas.
It has finally been confirmed, what we all were hoping for that Libertas, one of the 3 arrested moderators was released on bail recently according to an article.
“The Silk Road moderator Gary Davis, aka Libertas, is officially free on bail and awaiting an extradition hearing on February 13. The FBI flew to Ireland that night for the express purpose of taking Davis into custody and interrogating him in Ireland, with regard to his position and functions “being a moderator on a website allowing transactions to facilitate the sale of drugs online.”
So as you can see, just because Libertas was a moderator on the site, he is being charged with allowing transactions to faciliate sales of drugs. He is basically being charged as a drug dealer.
“However, Davis was found in possession of illicit substances which could result in a minimum sentence.”
He unfortunately was found with drugs on him at the time of his arrest, which made things much easier to keep him in custody. And it turns out that the alleged former owner of Silk Road, Ross Ulbricht (Dread Pirate Roberts – DPR) is fully complying with law enforcement to attempt to identify senior vendors on Silk Road. According to the article, Ross communicated with the vendors frequently and likely in plain text (is my guess).
The reason I bring this up, is that we need to remind every user on here of the mistakes that were made by Ross, and the other three moderators so that we can hopefully learn from them. We need to avoid these types of mistakes, never ever EVER give anybody any personal information about yourself online. The story goes, that Ross required moderators to give him copies of their IDs in order to become moderators of Silk Road, and he likely kept a record of these on his computer. Unfortunately, these are now in the hands of the FBI and 3 moderators have been arrested as a result since. And now, according to the article, they are after senior vendors as well.
A few take homes are:
1. Always use PGP encryption in all your communications, which unfortunately in this case would not have mattered because Ross ended up giving up his private keys to the feds. But it is still another hurdle in their way to protect you from them taking away your freedom.
2. Never give out any personal information to anybody online about yourself.
3. Never put your trust in somebody else’s hands, because at the end of the day, nobody is going to go to jail for you. Ross found an opportunity to possibly reduce his sentence and he is fully taking advantage of the opportunity.
4. < This one is from us, InformOps>: Keep your other life activities squeaky clean and compartmentalize. Keep your family’s activities squeaky clean. Don’t give anyone an opportunity to capitalize on errors you are making in other areas of your life if you happen to draw attention to your liberty activities.
This exact same scenario happened with Sabu from LulzSec was threatened with 112 years in prison, he quickly turned on all his friends and worked with the feds to get them all locked up to help reduce his sentence. Sabu has 2 kids and obviously decided he would rather snitch out his friends and have a chance at being a father rather than spend the rest of his life locked up in jail. Again, nobody is going to go to jail for you.
<InformOps parting comment>: Please take note here. No agency is cracking tech as far as anyone knows. Encryption works. Tor provides anonymity. The subjects are making OPSEC errors which lead to exploits on them or their tech, but it all starts with lack of OPSEC discipline. From there, it is good ‘ole fashioned police work as they lean on the suspects to make them squeal. Cracking your wetware is infinitely easier than cracking your software.