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Reporting From the Web's Underbelly

Unknown Lamer posted about 9 months ago | from the shotgun-submission dept.

The Media 74

mspohr writes "The New York Times has an interesting article about Brian Krebs (Krebs on Security): 'In the last year, Eastern European cybercriminals have stolen Brian Krebs's identity a half dozen times, brought down his website, included his name and some unpleasant epithets in their malware code, sent fecal matter and heroin to his doorstep, and called a SWAT team to his home just as his mother was arriving for dinner.' His reporting is definitely on the edge. 'Mr. Krebs, 41, tries to write pieces that cannot be found elsewhere. His widely read cybersecurity blog, Krebs on Security, covers a particularly dark corner of the Internet: profit-seeking cybercriminals, many based in Eastern Europe, who make billions off pharmaceutical sales, malware, spam, frauds and heists like the recent ones that Mr. Krebs was first to uncover at Adobe, Target and Neiman Marcus.' The article concludes with this: 'Mr. Joffe worries Mr. Krebs's enemies could do far worse. "I don't understand why he hasn't moved to a new, undisclosed address," he said. "But Brian needs a bodyguard."' (He does have a shotgun.)"

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Why? (4, Insightful)

AlphaWolf_HK (692722) | about 9 months ago | (#46274289)

Chances are with as high of a high profile as he has, they'd just find him wherever he moves.

Re:Why? (-1, Troll)

flyneye (84093) | about 9 months ago | (#46274513)

A better strategy than waiting for attack and hoping someone can protect you is; to go on the offensive, locate the criminals and execute them in a way to provide an example to others. Several in quick succession should raise eyebrows. Lets just be careful of cops in other countries and remove ourselves before any meaningful investigations happen, if the cops could be bothered. Perhaps sharpen your teeth on a few domestic black hats for practice.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46274669)

Yes, and he should wear a black cape and cowl. Maybe even some kind of symbol on his chest. Perhaps a bat?

Re:Why? (4, Interesting)

usuallylost (2468686) | about 9 months ago | (#46274955)

I agree that any attempt he makes to move to a secret address is pointless.

My guess is that there are a couple of things that really protect him. One is that in addition to being irritating his reporting is also probably useful to the people he reports on. So there is always a calculation that if we do Krebs in we shut him up but we also lose a source of information. Another is that as part of his reporting he deals with a lot of people and touches a lot of data. It is very likely that in his notes and materials are a lot of things that would be incriminating to quite a few people. If something where to happen to him all of that stuff would very likely end up in the hands of law enforcement. Not because he does anything to make that happen but because it would all be evidence in a murder investigation. I suspect the idea of all of that information being seized by law enforcement isn't something that they'd want to see.

Re:Why? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46275181)

Maybe he could just change his name to Maynard G. Krebs and grow a goatee?

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46275577)

It is easy to disappear if you drop all ties to people and communicate through, say, Tor or Freenet or even public Wifi.(which would be irresponsible in this case)
Of course, that is the problem, if he vanishes, they will go after his family most likely.
He is literally in between the rockiest rock and hardest of hard places.
Uprooting a family to go in to hiding is a far harder thing to do.

I am honestly surprised he hasn't been killed yet. I fear for the guy.

See Kim Dotcom interview video - link (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46275945)

See Kim Dotcom interview video - link

http://m.vice.com/vice-news/kim-dotcom-the-man-behind-mega

Re:Why? (1)

mattr (78516) | about 9 months ago | (#46276079)

Probably it would be seen as a challenge I suppose.
Guarding someone like this would be a good use
Of DHS if not the Secret Service. I hope somebody is on the ball.

The web has an underbelly? (4, Funny)

SpzToid (869795) | about 9 months ago | (#46274327)

No kidding? To-date it seems to have only been reported to be a series of interconnected tubes. Who knew? Has anyone done a study of this? One can only wonder where this all leads to. There can be no good outcome.

Re:The web has an underbelly? (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about 9 months ago | (#46275091)

The web has an underbelly? No kidding? To-date it seems to have only been reported to be a series of interconnected tubes.

Where do you think the tubes are? In the belly .... just like yours.

Wall Street secret society crashed .. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46274345)

"I’d heard whisperings about the existence of Kappa Beta Phi [nymag.com] .. It was a secret fraternity, founded at the beginning of the Great Depression, that functioned as a sort of one-percenter’s Friars Club. Each year, the group’s dinner features comedy skits, musical acts in drag, and off-color jokes, and its group’s privacy mantra is “What happens at the St. Regis stays at the St. Regis.” For eight decades, it worked. No outsider in living memory had witnessed the entire proceedings firsthand ..."

Does that make me sociopathic? (4, Interesting)

Kokuyo (549451) | about 9 months ago | (#46274357)

A thought just came to me: If drugs are sent to his home often enough while he has plausible deniability, if the SWAT turn up often enough without cause... at which point does this man have immunity from law's scrutiny? At some point, the police will begin to just roll their eyes and tell him to just flush the coke down the drain, won't they? It's only human.

At that point... think of all the possibilities.

Re:Does that make me sociopathic? (1)

HetMes (1074585) | about 9 months ago | (#46274397)

No, it just makes you a not so smart person if you think that. Government doesn't have to research accusations against high-profile people; society will do that for them, including trial and sentence.

Re:Does that make me sociopathic? (2)

JustOK (667959) | about 9 months ago | (#46274419)

Cops will still come to collect certain types of evidence and take it to the uh, evidence room.

Re:Does that make me sociopathic? (1)

canadiannomad (1745008) | about 9 months ago | (#46274605)

I'm sure there are a good many things that make it to the uh, evidence room. Wallets, bags of cash, and easily sellable drugs probably all make it there on a regular basis...

The Coast Guard busted pot, sold to teenagers (0)

IgnorantMotherFucker (3394481) | about 9 months ago | (#46274647)

In the Summer of 1979, when I was fifteen, I was in the Youth Conservation Corps at Yerba Buena Island, the small island in the middle of San Francisco Bay that has a tunnel through which passes the Oakland Bay Bridge. We mostly cut firebreaks but we also built a nature trail. We stayed in an old firehouse that was right next to the Coast Guard Base, and dined in the Coast Guard enlisted men's mess. During that Summer the Coast Guard made a huge bust of a ship bringing marijuna in from Mexico, in between the hulls of a double-hulled ship. That must have been an intelligence operation, to know which ship to search. Shortly after the bust, my friends in the YCC reported that they were readily able to score pot from the Coast Guard men.

Re:Does that make me sociopathic? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46280121)

Cops will still come to collect certain types of evidence and take it.

FTFY

Re:Does that make me sociopathic? (0)

flyneye (84093) | about 9 months ago | (#46274515)

That would be a good time to counterstrike, find a few blackhats and unbrain them with the shotgun as an example to others.

Re:Does that make me sociopathic? (1)

PanAmaX (1102857) | about 9 months ago | (#46274787)

Nice observation! I wouldn't have thought of that.. but you're right.
Eventually the police will see every action against him as a waste of their time and resources.
At that point in time he becomes the largest operating hub for mail drop drug delivery.

Re:Does that make me sociopathic? (1)

mattr (78516) | about 9 months ago | (#46276013)

If he was immoral.
Which I doubt.
However I would not invite my mother to
a location targetted by x, y and z.

Re:Does that make me sociopathic? (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about 9 months ago | (#46275109)

... at which point does this man have immunity from law's scrutiny?

Up until he does something illegal himself, or fails a field sobriety test later confirmed by lab data.

Re:Does that make me sociopathic? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46276425)

If one becomes a high profile enough target, meaning that frequent weekly events related to his job occur, I would think the Fed's would step in and provide either onsite protection, or witness protection.

He is providing a public service, of sorts. And I'd wager it's in the Gov's interest to keep him safe. Then again, with the DOJ running almost unchecked in every capacity, they may not give a shit.

Duh du DUUUUUUUMMMMM (4, Funny)

sociocapitalist (2471722) | about 9 months ago | (#46274361)

He needs a whole new identity to be able to keep wearing the Brian Krebs persona as a modern day Superhero

Allah (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46274363)

Allah hates us, this we know
for the koran tells us so.
He's a devil, not a god
So say "fuck off" to the evil sod

I doubt he's in that much danger (2)

Viol8 (599362) | about 9 months ago | (#46274405)

The smart ones are the coders who write the malware, not the criminal morons who use it. The chances of some east european knuckle dragging thug flying to the US , getting through security, tracking this guy down and doing him some harm is pretty slim. I'd be more worried about mafia closer to home who probably also use the malware but being smarter tend to be better at concealing their activities.

Re:I doubt he's in that much danger (2)

swb (14022) | about 9 months ago | (#46274505)

That would be my first thought, too.

But the US has a pretty healthy presence of Russian mafia which no doubt has connections in Russia and the east bloc, so they wouldn't have to send some guy on a plane if they took out a contract on him.

The other angle is the shadowy nexus of Russian FSB and Russian organized crime, ex-KGB involvement in organized crime here and abroad. What if his exposes reach someone connected to the FSB? That could have repercussions with some very scary and very capable kinds of people.

From what I've seen, though, the kinds of people he exposes look pretty small-time in terms of connections.

Re:I doubt he's in that much danger (2)

Viol8 (599362) | about 9 months ago | (#46275571)

"The other angle is the shadowy nexus of Russian FSB and Russian organized crime, ex-KGB involvement in organized crime here and abroad. What if his exposes reach someone connected to the FSB? That could have repercussions with some very scary and very capable kinds of people."

  It could happen I suppose - but if the people are that high up they probably use highly sophisticated bespoke malware, not something off the shelf that can be tracked by this guy.

Re:I doubt he's in that much danger (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46274615)

To summarise your point;

Eastern European organised crime - dumb.
American organised crime - smart

Why? Because "Go USA!"

Re:I doubt he's in that much danger (1)

3.5 stripes (578410) | about 9 months ago | (#46274725)

Actually it was, sending a contract killer from eastern europe, or successfully contacting one in the US, difficult and expensive. Local mafia deciding to have him whacked, pass the job off to some nobody, cheap and easy.

Re:I doubt he's in that much danger (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46275131)

LMAO

They have money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46274637)

That's all what's necessary for a hit, by basically any local or less local criminal.

If they can send drugs to his doorstep, they can send a hitman too.

Re:I doubt he's in that much danger (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46274643)

It's not that hard to crowdsource an assassination contract, considering how hated he is.

Though I admit it's a bit harder to find an actual assassin.

There is no such person as Brian Krebs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46274411)

The whole thing, back history and all, is the carefully constructed persona of a small security agency out of Washington DC.

As if one person could generate as much output as "Brian Krebs" does.

I'm a junkie (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46274413)

Fucking A! I just found a new way to get heroin for free!

metastasizing on /.'s seamy underbelly (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46274433)

the mutation is ongoing.... the crooked little finger pointing is epidemic. it's not about us.. help is on the way? the beakers of composted (lhc accident) crown royal dna will not be administered to the custom made (in our own image) monkeys due to wardrobe problems, the new queen of the nile will still be a guy?

Editing still going strong, I see (2, Insightful)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | about 9 months ago | (#46274435)

What with the recent harsh criticism of Slashdot, I see once again that despite mentioning the fact that the guy has a blog, the editors cannot be bothered to do a simple search and put the link into the story. No, I don't want someone to reply and add the link, that's not what I'm talking about. The lack of self-awareness is just shocking, but then again I suppose that's why commenters are abandoning this site in droves. I'll be off myself shortly, I expect.

Re:Editing still going strong, I see (1)

vbraga (228124) | about 9 months ago | (#46274763)

Give SoylentNews a try, also a Slashcode-based site. It's live for two days now, but it seems to be going the right way.

Re:Editing still going strong, I see (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about 9 months ago | (#46275141)

The difficulty is seldom in starting something, but in keeping it going at a high level. Eventually controversies of various sorts will emerge there as well.

Re:Editing still going strong, I see (1)

SlippyToad (240532) | about 9 months ago | (#46276999)

I read Cuckoo's egg when I was in my early 20's.

It was published, back in my early 20's. Surprised to see anyone else even knows about it.

Re:Editing still going strong, I see (1)

Cruciform (42896) | about 9 months ago | (#46280703)

On Slashdot? There must be thousands who read Cuckoo's Egg and Hacker Crackdown.

Re:Editing still going strong, I see (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46276433)

They seem to be doing well, I've registered. Glad there's an alternative for when Beta is our only choice. When Classic dies, slashdot dies, because Beta is NOT slashdot.

I may transition to them from slashdot, it looks like /. is trying to attract more non-nerds, and I'm appalled at the number of new /. commenters who seem to be semiliterate high school dropouts who never read a book they weren't forced to. Their community seems to be a lot more like slashdot's used to be.

That's what killed K5, normals and trolls took it over.

Re:Editing still going strong, I see (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46292299)

I'll be off myself shortly, I expect.

Sure you will, buddy. [rationalwiki.org]

Beta seems to have got an improvement (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about 9 months ago | (#46274481)

Hey guys, the bastards seem to have fixed the narrow comment layout of the Beta site.

Re:Beta seems to have got an improvement (1)

Cenan (1892902) | about 9 months ago | (#46274525)

So?

Re:Beta seems to have got an improvement (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46290051)

It means they are afraid. Now is the time to strike. Elite squads of slashdotters should descend from above on whoever it is that wants to launch without allowing links to past comments.

So What? (1)

camperdave (969942) | about 9 months ago | (#46274587)

Hey guys, the bastards seem to have fixed the narrow comment layout of the Beta site.

Did you see how easily I quoted your post in Classic Slashdot? It was a simple click of the Quote Parent button. Watch, I'll do it again:

Hey guys, the bastards seem to have fixed the narrow comment layout of the Beta site.

So where is the Quote Parent button on beta?

"Easter Europeans" or "Russians" (1)

macson_g (1551397) | about 9 months ago | (#46274501)

Dear Americans, please, start distinguishing "Russians" from "Eastern Europeans".

Re:"Easter Europeans" or "Russians" (2)

Cenan (1892902) | about 9 months ago | (#46274551)

A Russian can be an Eastern European while an Eastern European can also be a Russian. I don't see the problem. Besides, the actual criminals that Krebs is covering don't seem to mind the mingling, case in point: A First Look at the Target Intrusion, Malware [krebsonsecurity.com]

From the second to last paragraph:

Group-IB goes on to link that account to a set of young Russian and Ukranian men who appear to be actively engaged in a variety of cybercrime activities, including distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks and protests associated with the hackivist collective known as Anonymous.

So I guess until the Eastern European criminals themselves make the distinction, you'll have to live with it. Or clean up at home.

Re:"Easter Europeans" or "Russians" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46274571)

Well, geographically, culturally, and ethnically, the slavic nations do have some things in common.

That does leave some of eastern Europe awkwardly included, e.g. Hungarians aren't slavs.

Re:"Easter Europeans" or "Russians" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46274795)

Your subject line is making me think of russian doll chocolate bunnies. Mmmmm.....

Re:"Easter Europeans" or "Russians" (1)

fsck-beta (3539217) | about 9 months ago | (#46277159)

dumb slav

Just a shotgun? (2, Insightful)

jafiwam (310805) | about 9 months ago | (#46274549)

This is a good example of where you need a fast-cycling firearm with decent capacity. Either of the AR / AK platforms would work, as well as a variety of (much more expensive) newer styles. Heck, even a Mini-14.

A shotgun will take care of one guy well enough, but if it's four, you are in deep shit real fast with only 8 or so rounds in a slow loading plaftorm.

Re:Just a shotgun? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46274595)

Don't be silly. If there are 4 guys trying to kill you, you are going to die. What good will being armed to the teeth do for you when you get sniped while doing groceries? When a stranger stabs you in the back when you walk in the street? When someone poisons your coffee?

Americans and their silly guns... well, as long as it makes you feel safe.

Re:Just a shotgun? (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 9 months ago | (#46274599)

Nothing, and I mean nothing, will get an intruder out of your house faster than the sound of a 12 gage going off in-doors. It's so loud in such an enclosed space that even you are likely to soil yourself when it goes off. The one time I've experienced this it was like someone threw a stun grenade in the room. I was stumbling around unable to see or hear for a good 2 minutes.

What he really needs is a dog. The best home defense is a dog and a shotgun. Just shoot in the general direction the dogs barking. You don't even really have to aim.

Re:Just a shotgun? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46274673)

"Just shoot in the general direction the dogs barking" -- this is why we try to limit gun ownership.

Re:Just a shotgun? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46274753)

Congratulations. You just shot your daughter unexpectedly arriving home a day early from spring break vacation.

Re:Just a shotgun? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46275185)

>implying

Re:Just a shotgun? (2)

SpzToid (869795) | about 9 months ago | (#46276805)

Actually I recall reading in the news a few years ago of a father who shot and killed his teenage daughter as she was sneaking back into their house via a window late at night. She'd been out fooling around with a boy and didn't want to get caught, which is why she was trying to sneak in without her father knowing. It is hard to forgot news like that when you hear about it really happening. Normally I try to cite stuff, but this is too vague now and too painful to bother making the effort myself. I'm pretty sure the guy used a shotgun to kill his daughter too, I remember that also.

Re:Just a shotgun? (1)

3.5 stripes (578410) | about 9 months ago | (#46274951)

I hope you shoot above the height of the dog.

Re:Just a shotgun? (1)

Ozymandias_KoK (48811) | about 9 months ago | (#46275079)

I think that stun grenade did more than damage your hearing.

At least from the sound of it, you're only going to kill your dog. Don't even have to aim? What's next? If you shoot someone with a .45 anywhere on their body, they'll explode? You work in a gun store, don't you?

Re:Just a shotgun? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46275633)

John Matrix, is that you?

Re:Just a shotgun? (2)

u38cg (607297) | about 9 months ago | (#46274761)

The point at which you are exchanging fire with four people is one that you would be better off taking serious steps to avoid. And in practice, you're best chance of winning such a firefight would be running in the opposite direction, dodging from side to side occasionally.

Re:Just a shotgun? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46275115)

Slow loading platform? I never realized Microsoft was in weapons manufacturing...

Re:Just a shotgun? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46275721)

"You may be thinking he can't get us all with that shotgun and you would be right... I can kill 1 maybe 2 of you... but which 2 will it be?"

Re:Just a shotgun? (1)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | about 9 months ago | (#46276571)

a slow loading plaftorm

A semiautomatic shotgun reloads just fine. I can pop off all 3 rounds in a couple seconds, easily, just like with a semiautomatic rifle. If I remove the plug then I can pack in several more rounds. Shutguns are a great home defense weapon. I doubt he has a bolt action .410 sitting there.

Re:Just a shotgun? (1)

evilviper (135110) | about 9 months ago | (#46278425)

A shotgun will take care of one guy well enough, but if it's four, you are in deep shit real fast with only 8 or so rounds in a slow loading plaftorm.

Shotguns are the most devastating firearms in existence. In WWI, the Germans (who used chemical weapons) were calling the use of shotguns by the Americans a war crime.

Today, the "street sweeper" is aptly named... A semi-auto sawed-off 12ga shotgun with a large magazine, can kill many dozens of people in seconds.

http://www.proguns.com/cobray-... [proguns.com]

There's a very good reason AR-15s are fully legal in the US, but the street sweeper is not.

Re:Just a shotgun? (1)

evilviper (135110) | about 9 months ago | (#46278541)

Though it doesn't show the lovely bucks-shot spread pattern, here's a decent video example:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]

THANK YOU MISTER OBVIOUS (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46274651)

Why would anyone submit a story they did not think interesting enough to share?

IOW, why harp about how wonderfully interesting your submission is, mistah speciah suh?

You thought it interesting enough to submit, I will decide whether I thought it was interesting enough to read, TYVM.

Nobody makes anything in USA no more? (2)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about 9 months ago | (#46275009)

We used to have the best criminals. Top of the class. Valentine's day massacre, drive by shootings, great train robberies, stage coach heists... But as it happens in all industry we have moved up the supply chain, do only high value crimes in USA now. Banksters privatizing profits, socializing the costs, cut back on maintenance of chemical storage tanks to take home the profit, declare bankruptcy when the storage tanks leak, leaving the municipality to clean up the water supply... They out sourced all the low value crime to third world countries.

It is inevitable, third world technology would reach a critical mass and then overtake the West. Now the brutal dog-eat-dog competition in the third world has created really tough breed of criminals and now they are the cutting edge in criminal behavior.

Wheres Anonymous the defenders (1)

Stan92057 (737634) | about 9 months ago | (#46275129)

Wheres Anonymous the defenders of everyone rights? Why don't they do something good for once and actually find the criminals? But my guess is that they are one and the same. Or is all they can do is DOS attacks?

I think I know where from (2)

RuffMasterD (3398975) | about 9 months ago | (#46275555)

I spent a couple of holidays in an eastern european country known as a major source of e-crime. I have fond memories of time spent in internet cafes trying to complete an assignment while traveling. One place was like a dingy smoke-filled crack den, with cigarette butts floating in an old coffee cup, broken chairs, filthy keyboards where the keys didn't match the characters on the screen, and some guy paying for something with a fist full of fake Rolexes. That was the busiest internet cafe for whatever reason. I wish I could understand what those guys were talking about. At another internet cafe I had an old granny playing online pokies to my left, and some some barely 20 year old guy maintaining his porn site while his girlfriend sat on his lap to my right. Good times :-) I fully recommend you visit a few internet cafes if you're traveling through eastern europe. They are very cheap, anonymous, and nobody asks any questions. Just leave your credit card, passport, camera, cellphone, whatever is worth stealing in a safe place before you visit.

profit seeking criminals? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46276043)

lazy bums. I looked at the want ads. IT professionals can make 60,000 - 125,000 legally. no fear of jail time for me. i don't mind working 40 hours a week. at least my employer pays for my health insurance.

Wireless keyboard and yellow stickies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46281183)

Keyboard is probably just bait to mess with people who see the photo.

I was hoping for yellow stickies with passwords written on them.

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