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Black Ops and HBGary

Ars Technica has a chilling take on how HBGary — the “security” company that sought to expose Anonymous and ended up getting exposed themselves — wrote backdoors for the fedgov. The article is long and technical, but it gives a shudder-inducing glimpse into one tiny corner of the vast paranoid-industrial complex that’s metastasizing around government.


  1. s
    s February 24, 2011 12:43 pm

    All hat and no cattle.

    The record is quite clear: HBGary talked a good game, but delivered nothing. They were going bankrupt for a reason – they had nothing of value to offer.

    Talk is cheap. Getting information from secured facilities is expensive. HB Gary managed to dupe stupid people regarding their hype, but there is zero evidence that they delivered any payload at all. Even a steaming load of BS, which was their particular specialty.


  2. Claire
    Claire February 24, 2011 12:59 pm

    Agreed, -S. But it seems the fedgov has a propensity for falling for exactly this sort of cloak-and-dagger BS.

    The whole atmosphere around the secret security state appears to encourage the HBGary’s of the world. This one may be a laughable phony. How many more out there are doing seriously malicious stuff — inspired by, financed by, and for the nefarious purposes of government and its allies?

  3. S
    S February 25, 2011 9:35 am

    “How many more out there are doing seriously malicious stuff — inspired by, financed by, and for the nefarious purposes of government and its allies?”

    Um, all of them, I think.

    Seriously, there was a major scramble to get on the national security gravy train post 9/11, and there are an increasing number of departures every year. There is zero coordination, zero accountability, and zero evidence of any effectiveness other than massive wealth transfers and turning the nation into a full blown police state.

    Yes, it is organized to encourage the HBGary’s of the world. These are guaranteed sales. Followed by improvements, renovation programs. Spare parts for 25 years. Who cares if it works or not? Price doesn’t matter, competence doesn’t matter, results don’t matter. A screwup that gets innocents jailed or murdered can be spun as success, as there is never, ever anyone held accountable.

    The money is just too good, any sociopath with minimal writing abilities can grab a place at the trough. Many are.

    As the WaPo’s unremarked series demonstrated, we have a secret government of at least 854,000 people, so vast and so secret that nobody knows what it does or what it is. That’s a recipe for massive graft and corruption, but not for competence.

  4. Claire
    Claire February 25, 2011 9:51 am

    “Um, all of them, I think.”

    LOL, well said, S. Very well said. And so depressingly true.

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