Anonymous State of the Union threat is official: What you should know

Anonymous State of the Union threat is official: What you should know

Summary: A new Anonymous 'Operation Last Resort' strike is official in a clear threat to prevent Web broadcast President Barack Obama's State of the Union Address tonight.

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TOPICS: Security
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Anonymous has promised to attack Web broadcast of President Barack Obama's 2013 State of the Union Address tonight in the name of its new 'Operation Last Resort' campaign, demanding U.S. legal reform.

In a video released earlier today, Anonymous warned that tonight the President and Congress "will face an Army," and "there will be no State of the Union address on the Web tonight."

Anonymous' threats to disrupt tonight's State of the Union (SOTU) began issuing from its 'Operation Last Resort' campaign channels early on Monday, and increased in intensity, fury and details until the video was released around 3 p.m. PST today.

The video transcript states:

The President of the United States of America, and the Joint Session of Congress will face an Army tonight. 

We will form a virtual blockade between Capitol Hill and the Internet. Armed with nothing more than Lulz, Nyancat and PEW-PEW-PEW! Lazers, we will face down the largest superpower on Earth.

And we will win. 

There will be no State of the Union Address on the web tonight.

Anonymous 'Operation Last Resort' appears to have made a sub-operation called "OpSOTU" specifically for tonight's attack.

Anonymous: ramping up OpSOTU for 24 hours

broyale

The 'Operation Last Resort' Twitter account has posted updates with increasing fervor over the last 24 hours, focusing on today's State Of The Union Address, as well as Congress' rushed re-introduction of cybersecurity bill, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA).

These posts have included yesterday's publishing and distribution of a file containing detailed information about every security and surveillance camera in the Chicago area. Chicago has the largest surveillance program of any city in the United States.

Less than a day ago, 'Operation Last Resort' made public documents ("doxd") revealing sensitive information about Richard A. McFeely, the FBI executive assistant director of the Criminal, Cyber, Response, and Services Branch.

We heard he was after us so here you can go after him >> DOX on FBI Agent "Rick" Richard A. McFeely

McFeely was quoted in the media following the massive hack and defacement of the U.S. Sentencing Commission Web site which launched 'Operation Last Resort,' saying the FBI was "concerned" and would launch a criminal investigation into the matter.

Anonymous' tweets regarding the McFeely "dox" linked to several blogs posts that contained contact information for McFeely and the names of his family—though it should be noted that the information was less than could be obtained through a "people search" service, and the post was signed by #AntiSec.


Operation Last Resort: We reject unchecked power

In its tweets leading up today's clear threat, Anonymous' 'Operation Last Resort' indicated that the President would omit from the State of the Union address topics including, "the extra-judicial and unregulated justifications for targeted killings of citizens by military drones," and "Bradley Manning, 1,000 days in detention with no trial for revealing military murders."


In the new video and accompanying text, as well as the cited foundation of 'Operation Last Resort,' Anonymous continually cites the recent suicide of hacktivist Aaron Swartz saying it is a "line that has been crossed."

Anonymous' statement explains its 'Operation Last Resort' campaign is retaliation for Swartz's tragic suicide, which many—including Swartz family—believe was a result of overzealous prosecution by the U.S. Department of Justice and what the family deemed a "bullying" use of outdated computer crime laws.

ZDNet has a copy of the entire Anonymous 'Operation Last Resort' statement here.

Its further reasoning for tonight's threat against the State of the Union address is published in today's statement, saying:

Tonight, the President of the United States will appear before a joint session of Congress to deliver the State of the Union Address and tomorrow he plans to sign an executive order for cybersecurity as the House Intelligence committee reintroduces the defeated CISPA act which turns private companies into government informants. 

He will not be covering the NDAA [National Defense Authorization Act], an act of outright tyrannical legislation allowing for indefinite detention of citizens completely outside due process and the rule of law. In fact, lawyers for the government have point-blank refused to state whether or not journalists who cover stories or groups the Government disfavours would be subject to this detention. 

He will not be covering the extra-judicial and unregulated justifications for targeted killings of citizens by military drones within the borders of America, or the fact that Orwellian newspeak had to be used to make words like "imminent" mean their opposite.

He will not be covering Bradley Manning, 1000 days in detention with no trial for revealing military murders, told that his motive for leaking cannot be taken into consideration, that the Government does not have room for conscience. 

He will not be covering the secret interpretations of law that allow for warrentless [sic] wiretapping and surveillance of any US citizen without probably cause of criminal acts, or the use of Catch-22 logic where no-one can complain about being snooped on because the state won't tell you who they're snooping on, and if you don't know you're being snooped on, you don't have a right to complain.

How Anonymous might accomplish its threat tonight is still unclear. But Operation Last Resort has proven that it is more than capable of carrying out its threatsso far.

The 'Operation Last Resort' faction has hinted in social media over the last 24 hours that there will be "lazers" and "pew pew"—and in one instance has mentioned vintage video game 'Donkey Kong'—which all may be a reference to its success at commandeering the U.S. Sentencing Commission Web site and ultimately turning it into a playable game of 'Asteroids'.

The State of the Union address is tonight, February 12, at 9 p.m. EST, on ABC, CBS, NBC, and PBS as well as carried on cable stations Bloomberg TV, C-Span, C-Span 2, Current TV, Fox, Fox News, MSNBC, Mun2, and Telemundo.

President Obama specifically selected President Lincoln's birthday as the date of his address.

President Obama will reportedly issue an executive order on Wednesday morning aimed at bolstering U.S. cybersecurity following tonight's address.

According to Bloomberg: "The administration has been drafting an executive order on computer security since at least last fall, before the Senate failed in its second attempt to pass Obama-backed legislation to create cyber standards for companies."

News of the order comes just after House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers announced last Friday they will reintroduce the controversial CISPA cybersecurity bill on February 13. Like he did with the bill's introduction in April 2012, Rogers is trying to rush CISPA into law by citing imminent threats. CISPA was widely opposed, with Aaron Swartz even calling it "a Patriot Act for the Internet".

Referencing last week's Anonymous 'Operation Last Resort' bank database hack, and The New York Times compromise by China, Rogers said in an e-mailed statement: "This is clearly not a theoretical threat—the recent spike in advanced cyber attacks against the banks and newspapers makes that crystal clear."

We'll see if Anonymous carries its State of the Union disruption threat to fruition, and will keep you updated to the minute with developments.

Topic: Security

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14 comments
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  • Idiots in Washington are clueless

    They are passing laws and signing executive orders which eliminate all freedoms for citizens because the government feels threatened by our growing distaste for the lot of them. They target only threats to government, not threats to the people. In fact, the government assumes every citizen is a potential threat to itself. That mindset is totalitarianism. The government is not supposed to protect it's own powers at the expense of the people. It is supposed to be protecting us from outside threats, not threatening/killing any citizen who opposes their power grab. That "for the people" mandate has been lost on our government for about 30 years now.

    It reminds me of the insanity of the record companies. They beat down their paying customers for many years in a futile attempt to catch a few who were listening for free. Then, they claimed the lost sales were due to increased piracy. Morons. By attacking their customers, they caused many of us to stop buying music. It wasn't until they removed the copy protection, and stopped extorting/bankrupting grandmothers, that I started buying music again.

    The government is going to push the citizens of the U.S. to the point where we just stop paying them and start a new government. If everyone stops paying taxes at once, the government will fold in weeks. If they keep attacking us, they can look forward to a second revolutionary war, only this one will be fought electronically and by withholding their cash flow. When our own government is trying to justify killing U.S. citizens on U.S. soil for opposing the government, something needs to change and quick. They don't own us. We own them.
    BillDem
  • We need better standards for code, justice and behavior

    The Federal Reserve hack was made possible by the use of a crappy, insecure product, ColdFusion, that was long known to be crappy and insecure, yet was still used anyway in a very sensitive environment. You compare the cost and problems that irresponsible decision caused compared to what "problems" Aaron Swartz caused, and then you can begin to understand the frustration and anger at how bad behavior, if it's big enough, doesn't seem to draw the law and penalties nearly as much as the relatively penny antics that Swartz engaged in.

    The U.S. Supreme Court building has engraved on its front for all to see, "Equal Justice Under Law," which means what it says: the law is *suppose* to enforce justice equally. But in practice, it's been long corrupted by money, connections, politics, and even laziness (the low hanging fruit doesn't lawyer-up like the top fruit does.) In this case, years of irresponsible (but apparently legally "safe") behavior has apparently led to a Pandora's Box of cyber vulnerabilities throughout government and private computer systems. Of course the knee-jerk response by clueless/corrupt government officials and corrupt/clueless government contractors is to slap on more layers of unsticky masking tape to supposedly beef up security and to huff 'n' puff about hackers while actually only blowing away more and more protections for privacy, liberty and due process.
    JustCallMeBC
  • Declaration of Independence pegs him as a tyrant

    yep. national archives
    Gwenyth Larsen
    • Nope

      Your post actually pegs you as clueless. I really don't want to get into politics, but compared to the not quite on public view shenanigans of both Bushes and even Reagan, Obama has been Mr. Goody Two-shoes.
      JustCallMeBC
      • Eh...

        For every inch Obama's conceded on civil liberties, we've lost a mile on our other rights.

        Tyranny done in broad daylight is none the less tyranny.
        H P Zind
      • Wow -- Myopia

        This is so wrong it makes me want to spit. The only way you can make the claim that Obama is a goody two shoes, is by unrelenting failure to notice the glaringly obvious. Once upon a time I was trying to make a list of these things ( nothingchanged.org ) but I burned out. Let me summarize it for you:

        -- Due process free execution. The notion that one man in secret and without having to answer to any oversight, can choose people to die, is the absolute hallmark of despots. GWB could never have gotten to this level of authoritarianism because there would be blood in the streets, so to speak, from the likes of Marty Lederman (a lawyer who spend years excoriating the GWB administration for using secret legal memos to support due process free detention ... and then efin WROTE Obama's secret legal memo supporting due process free execution).

        -- Due Process Free Detention. Despite promising to close Gitmo, it remains. And yes, there was a time when congress stood in the way of "closing" Gitmo, but notice that "closing" was used politically. What Obama wanted to do was close the facility and transfer the _practices_ to a Federal supermax in Illinois, gitmo north if you will. Talk about disingenuous. I doubt most people associated "closing" with the word "transferring."
        -- Libya: destroyed the war powers act (the great attempt post Viet Nam to bring the making of war back into its constitutional framework, i.e., that Congress decides when to go to war, not presidents). Remember to thank Obama next time we have Dick Cheney in the office and he starts a war on his own, even in the face of congressional disapproval.

        These three things should be enough for anyone to deeply distrust Obama. There is no power more likely to be abused than the power to murder anyone, imprison anyone, or war with anyone merely on the whim of one person. We expect this of crazy third world dictators -- not America. But it doesn't stop here.

        -- excused torturers.
        -- excused illegal wiretappers.
        -- exceded even GWB in making government opaque through excessively marking everything top secret.
        -- war on whistleblowers, has already used the espionage act 6 times now, when in it's previous near century it had only been used thrice.
        -- has utterly failed to hold Wall Street accountable, but instead, hires it into his cabinet. The S&L crisis was 1/40th the size of the recent debacle and 1000 banksters went to jail. Look up William K. Black and read some of his writings (he was a big shot player in the prosecution of S&L fraudsters)
        -- has tried to undermine an international treaty on cluster bombs.
        -- tripled troops in Afghanistan.
        -- tried to extend the Iraqi war but when Iraq refused to extend SOFA (Status of Forces Agreement, made it so Iraq could not prosecute in Iraq, soldiers for crimes they committed in Iraq), he withdrew and took credit for "ending the war."
        -- Demanded congress reauthorize FISA with no changes, not even an amendment that asked for a mere estimate of the number of Americans illegally spied upon. This is the same FISA that "candidate Obama" said was evil prior to his election.

        Social Issues:
        -- He's attained the Dick Cheney level of morality on gay rights.
        -- He's allowed his DSHS head to play the exact same games a Federal court tore up GWB for with respect to Plan B birth control, essentially allowing someone with a masters in public policy or some such nonsense from a flyover state U, to override the FDA, headed by a Harvard trained MD and backed by reams of research.
        -- War on drugs, especially against medical marijuana increased under Obama.
        -- Simpson Bowles: the cat food commission.
        -- He's essentially promised to cut social security in the debates.

        I mean what do you want? If he went on Oprah and admitted being a closet republican would that matter? I don't think so. Politics anymore is purely tribal, purely based on hero worship. If it was based on policy, Obama would be heckled off every stage he stood on by Democrats because his policies are GWB's policies. Even Dick Cheney has said that. But the love he gets from the DNC proves they only care about their tribe. And the hate he gets from the GOP shows they only care about their tribe. Policy, morality, justice, fairness -- these are just words to use in soundbites for these groups. They mean nothing.

        In closing, my favorite quip: Democrats are the New GOP and the old GOP is merely a parody of itself.
        nothingChanged
        • Sigh....

          Instead of regurgitating nonsensical garbage you picked up on the seedier, nut-o-verse sections of the web, might I suggest you try to use the Internet to get smarter and more knowledgeable?
          JustCallMeBC
          • Everything backed by citation

            go to http://nothingchanged.org -- every single issue I referenced is backed by references to reputable sources. Except the bit about about FISA. As I said I burned out on updating it, but here's a link for that: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/dec/28/fisa-feinstein-obama-democrats-eavesdropping

            It is exactly this sort of dismissive put down that Democrats use against liberals who point out just what evil Obama has been doing. It is exactly this sort of ill informed attitude that demonstrates that America is not merely ripe for authoritarian dictatorship -- it craves it.
            nothingChanged
          • Well, and a few more

            Some others citations:

            simpson bowles: Start w/ wikipedia. Note that Obama established this commission and its conclusions a foregone conclusion: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Commission_on_Fiscal_Responsibility_and_Reform

            Obama promissing to cut ss: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/06/obama-social-security-debate_n_1945124.html

            And my site needs updating on pot, it essentially says that GWB and Obama are the same, but that has changed since I stopped updating it:
            http://www.sfgate.com/politics/article/Medical-pot-advocates-cool-to-Obama-3907656.php
            nothingChanged
          • I'll pick out a few for you

            "-- excused torturers."
            "-- excused illegal wiretappers."

            They were done under orders during the previous administration -- if you don't convict Bush & Co, you can't convict the people who follow their orders. Also, the President has to put the interests of the US first, and officially admitting to torture actually taking place would have massive legal ramifications.

            "-- exceded even GWB in making government opaque through excessively marking everything top secret."

            That's just stupid. Bush and his people lied and engaged in a massive disinformation campaign to justify invading Iraq and removing Hussein. And further they engages in systematic smear campaigns against anyone posing any threat to their storyline, even if meant outing a CIA NOC agent. There was never even a hint of "transparency" and no discussion whatsoever. That we are even having a public discussion here makes Obama's up front method far, far more transparent and open.

            "-- war on whistleblowers, has already used the espionage act 6 times now, when in it's previous near century it had only been used thrice."
            You have a little bit more here, but not much: the Thomas Drake business started during the Bush years and was apparently mostly pursued by military and NSA people, but that was dropped by Obama wisely via a pseudo-technicality over. And in the case of Manning, he actually did covertly pass classified military info to an outside source, and that's not debatable, but whether he should be harshly prosecuted is quite debatable. But you are only how many times the Espionage Act was used to gauge Obama behavior towards ahistleblowers versus Bush's and this is where your argument completely falls apart: whistleblowers during the Bush years were dealt with using an arsenal of punishments, including successful blockage of the "Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act of 2007" that would have provided more protection against whistleblowers. And from that Solon article: "The CIR/Salon investigation reveals that the whistle-blower system — first created by Congress decades ago and proclaimed as a cornerstone of government transparency and accountability — has in reality enabled the punishment of employees who speak out. It has had a chilling effect, dissuading others from coming forward. The investigation examined nearly 3,600 whistle-blower cases since 1994, and included dozens of interviews and a review of confidential court documents. Whistle-blowers lose their cases, the investigation shows, nearly 97 percent of the time. Most limp away from the experience with their careers, reputations and finances in tatters."

            "-- tripled troops in Afghanistan."
            Yeah, in case weren't up on current events back in 2001, Bin Laden and his crew operated out of Afghanistan during the 9/11 attacks as guests of the Taliban, and Bush quickly backed away from Afghanistan after the initial beat-down to focus on Iraq, allowing the Taliban to resurge.

            Pretty much your entire list is made up of likewise illogical, out of context, badly researched rubbish. Also this is a tech site and there are other venues for me to more thoroughly bash people like you and your rubbish lists, so I'm letting you off with just a spanking, and you should be thankful for that.
            JustCallMeBC
  • Egg of your face / mask!

    Jeez, talk about egg on ur face / mask. Anon just released a video / statement basically saying no SOTU if CISPA and the President out-flanks them and signs an executive order enacting a CISPA like set of conditions. Huh? Anon needs to live up to its promises. If they send out a video claiming retaliation, then it should not be a veiled threat. Now they have egg on their faces and look very silly. Now I'm wondering if the anon video was misinformation from the feds? Hmm... Regardless, it's time for them to re-group and send a strong message as we do NOT accept this executive order as it violates our privacy rights. -- Joseph Villarosa
    Joseph Villarosa
    • Oops - make that "on" not "of"...

      Egg ON your face / mask...see above
      Joseph Villarosa
  • Since everyone else is sending in their two cents...

    Obama is making personal crusades and has essentially blocked out the idea that what he's doing will make people mad.

    And go Anon. I always liked to see people up-in-arms about something.

    I hope we get to see some interesting things happen.
    NexusSloth
  • Nobody cares about the SOTU address on the web

    So anonymous 's threat of blocking it really carries no weight. At the end of the day their is very little that they can do to stop him
    Panwo1@...