HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Topics » Foreign Affairs & National Security » National Security & Defense (Group) » Nerds Shut Down ISIS

Sat Sep 28, 2019, 08:07 PM

Nerds Shut Down ISIS

Why don’t we hear much about ISIS anymore? Because the Obama Administration, the nerdiest White House since maybe Thomas Jefferson, waged nerd war on ISIS’s Internet assets.

Dina Temple-Raston gives us this riveting report on Operation Glowing Symphony (yes, that name captures what computer wizards feel when they are hammering away at their keyboards creating electronic magic and mayhem), which in November 2016 launched a cyber-attack from Fort Meade, outside of Baltimore, against the websites ISIS used to spread propaganda, raise funds, and recruit terrorists:

By the fall of 2016 there was a team, Joint Task Force ARES; there was a plan called Operation Glowing Symphony, and there were briefings — that had gone right up to the president. It was only then that there was finally a go….

They began moving through the ISIS networks they had mapped for months. Participants describe it like watching a raid team clearing a house, except it was all online. Logging into accounts they had followed. Using passwords they discovered. Then, just as their move through targets started to accelerate, a roadblock: a security question. A standard, “what was your high school mascot”-type security question.

The question: “What is the name of your pet?”

The room quieted down.

“And we’re stuck dead in our tracks,” Neal said. “We all look to each other and we’re like, what can we do? There’s no way we’re going to get in. This is going to stop the 20 or 30 targets after this.”

Then an analyst stood up in the back of the room.

“Sir, 1-2-5-7,” he said.

“We’re like, what?” Neal says.

“Sir, 1-2-5-7.”

“How do you know that? [And he said] ‘I’ve been looking at this guy for a year. He does it for everything.’ And we’re like, all right … your favorite pet. 1-2-5-7.

“And boom, we’re in.”

…Once they had taken control of the 10 nodes, and had locked key people out of their accounts, ARES operators just kept chewing their way through the target list. “We spent the next five or six hours just shooting fish in a barrel,” Neal said. “We’d been waiting a long time to do that and we had seen a lot of bad things happen and we were happy to see them go away.”

And there was something else that [Marine analyst Glowing Symphony conceiver] Neal said was hard to describe. “When you reach through the computer and on the other side is a terrorist organization, and you’re that close, and you’re touching something that’s theirs, that they possess, that they put a lot of time and effort in to to hurt you, that is an incredible rush,” he said. “You have the control to take that away” [Dina Temple-Raston, “How the U.S. Hacked ISIS,” NPR, 2019.09.26].


Nerds don’t just grow up to rule the world; they save the world from ISIS.

How do you stop bad guys with guns? You hack their file-sharing nodes, delete their folders, and throttle their Web access. Nice work, nerd-soldiers and nerd-President!

http://dakotafreepress.com/2019/09/27/nerds-shut-down-isis/

7 replies, 2272 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 7 replies Author Time Post
Reply Nerds Shut Down ISIS (Original post)
TexasTowelie Sep 28 OP
qazplm135 Sep 28 #1
MFGsunny Sep 28 #2
RainCaster Sep 28 #3
Perseus Sep 28 #4
patphil Sep 28 #5
Duppers Sep 28 #6
AnnieBW Sep 28 #7

Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Sat Sep 28, 2019, 08:16 PM

1. that is pretty cool

 

using hacking for good.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Sat Sep 28, 2019, 08:25 PM

2. Color me impressed. Nerd-soldiers and nerd-President yes, they could! n/t

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Sat Sep 28, 2019, 10:12 PM

3. The best way to stop a bad guy with a gun is...

to engage a good guy with a keyboard and a brain.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Sat Sep 28, 2019, 10:22 PM

4. Great job but, how about doing it now to Russia?

Lets get working on that one and null Putin.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Sat Sep 28, 2019, 10:25 PM

5. When it comes to cyber wars, we've got some top guns.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to patphil (Reply #5)

Sat Sep 28, 2019, 10:33 PM

6. Hope they're protecting our voting process. nt

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Sat Sep 28, 2019, 11:14 PM

7. Nerds who run the world

We will f**k your s**t up.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread