Join 3,561 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Hacker Rattles Security Circles
September 12, 2011 8:34 PM   Subscribe

“My country should have control over Google, Skype, Yahoo, etc.,” he said by e-mail. “I’m breaking all encryption algorithms and giving power to my country to control all of them.” Is an independent Iranian hacker trying to help his government spy on its people?
posted by beisny (24 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
"independent Iranian hacker trying to help his government"

If he's trying to help that government, then he ain't independent: he works for them. Conclusion drawing fail.

DNRTFA :-|
posted by tumid dahlia at 8:38 PM on September 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


From the article: Mikko Hypponen, a security researcher with F-Secure Labs of Helsinki, said the hacker was “somebody who has skills, and he also has the old-school hacker mentality where he likes to boast.” Mr. Hypponen added: “If he were an intelligence analyst for the secret police he wouldn’t be doing this.”
posted by beisny at 8:40 PM on September 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


trollin' the goog.
posted by b1tr0t at 8:44 PM on September 12, 2011


Missing tags: ssl, diginotar, comodo, ...

(Flagged as double since the diginotar thread is still open, and a new thread about ComodoHacker ought to have more than one link. His twitter, for instance.)
posted by finite at 8:57 PM on September 12, 2011


There are obviously people with more LEET HACKER SKILLZ than he working directly for the Iranian Government. And the Chinese Government. And the American Government. And the Lichtenstein-ian Government. But they're paid to be quiet about it.
posted by oneswellfoop at 9:05 PM on September 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


I’m breaking all encryption algorithms...

Anyone care to make a small wager that he won't be twittering his proof demonstrating that P=NP any time soon?
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 9:22 PM on September 12, 2011 [7 favorites]


Silly Iranians. Just ask nicely like the US government does, they'll give you all the information you want.
posted by drjimmy11 at 9:57 PM on September 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Kid Charlemagne: Anyone care to make a small wager that he won't be twittering his proof demonstrating that P=NP any time soon?

I have discovered a truly marvelous proof of this, which these 140 characters are too few to contain.
posted by mhum at 10:02 PM on September 12, 2011 [34 favorites]


Is an independent Iranian hacker trying to help his government spy on its people?

Why the hell not? Political opinion in Iran is no less divided than in the United States. Ideas in the West of an entire population of repressed potential revolutionaries fighting the good fight against Ahmadinejad and the Ayatollah are nothing more than fantasies.
posted by Jimbob at 10:12 PM on September 12, 2011 [7 favorites]


Stewart Baker has a good post about this.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 10:35 PM on September 12, 2011 [5 favorites]


If he's trying to help that government, then he ain't independent

Sherlock Holmes helps Scotland Yard but is independent of them. Comodohacker is probably no more popular with the Iranian government than Holmes is with Lestrade.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 11:47 PM on September 12, 2011


Political opinion in Iran is no less divided than in the United States.

It also helps to realize that Iranian (or, perhaps better said to underline the sense of history at play, Persian) nationalist pride is something rather separate than direct support for the government and its policy platform in its entirety. The present government, in its role as ruler of Persia, inherits the mantle of that history, and there will always be those who support the leadership, as many nationalists would hold the nation and the state to be the same thing (this happens in America too, by the way: the 20% My Country Right or Wrong opinion that supported W's numbers even after it was clear to essentially everyone that he was a miserable failure).

The current government, of course, realizes this and does everything it can: the steadfast refusal of the state to do anything other than what it damn well pleases with respect to its nuclear program makes a bit more sense when you realize the primary audience is Iran itself, that the state can show its people we can do this difficult and powerful thing because we are worthy of you and your great heritage.

More than two millenia of nationhood and history is capable of attracting a fandom that makes Julian Assange and the idea he purports to stand for look like B-league ball.
posted by Vetinari at 12:41 AM on September 13, 2011 [5 favorites]


Chocolate Pickle's link has, in addition to an excellent explanation of how the hack works for those of us who don't know too much about these things, an interesting examination of the question of whether or this was a government operation.
posted by GeckoDundee at 12:41 AM on September 13, 2011


We are everywhere: gay and lesbian Iranians come out on Facebook. Campaign defies regime that punishes homosexuality with death by sharing personal stories online
posted by homunculus at 1:05 AM on September 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


See, this is what is great about MeFi: a good, but slightly thin post gets made, and is then thickened up with more links from other users already following the story. It's like it's a community weblog or something!
posted by Aizkolari at 3:37 AM on September 13, 2011 [6 favorites]


See, this is what is great about MeFi:

Agreed - this is what I was hoping for. I personally don't not much about this topic or the skills involved but I had a hunch that many here would be able to shed a lot of light beyond the NYTimes piece.
posted by beisny at 4:19 AM on September 13, 2011


The building housing the Dutch company DigiNotar, which issues digital Web site certificates and was hacked last month.

New York Times: I understand the need for stock imagery, but this is just lazy.
posted by crapmatic at 4:30 AM on September 13, 2011


Break ALL the encryption algorithms!!!!!
posted by Mick at 6:19 AM on September 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


There haven't been any 'algorithms' broken, merely the chain of trust. Poor translation perhaps? Your CA must keep their private key on a network accessible computer if their gonna automatically sign stuff.

Afaik, there are no encryption algorithms that successfully use the full force of P != NP, Kid Charlemagne. As a rule, NP-complete problems have far 'too many' easy cases to separate the easy from the hard cases. Factoring is merely in NP, not NP-hard. Yet, we know how to avoid easily detectable prime factors, making it useful for cryptography.
posted by jeffburdges at 6:26 AM on September 13, 2011


And for an encore, he's gonna hack the SHIT out of that Gibson.
posted by FatherDagon at 7:43 AM on September 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


This guy's taking way too high a profile in public.
posted by Nelson at 8:43 AM on September 13, 2011


“My country should have control over Google, Skype, Yahoo, etc."

Hmmm, creative new counter-intelligence op by the CIA to take down Iran?
posted by formless at 9:08 AM on September 13, 2011


Zahra’s Paradise: graphic novel about Iranian uprising is a story and a history
posted by homunculus at 11:40 AM on September 13, 2011


Technical Analysis from EFF: A Post Mortem on the Iranian DigiNotar Attack
posted by finite at 5:26 PM on September 16, 2011


« Older Trippy Sugar Rush: Munchies for your stones, by Al...  |  When a cowboy says 'women,' he... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments