Tactics flow from a superior position.  –  Bobby Fischer

There are so many unanswered questions surrounding Op Sabu that it is like the endless puzzle. There’s definitely ethical questions about the length of the leash, but that’s not my department. My department is more a subgroup of the WHY department.  Why did this person or organization do this or that? What was the intended gain for each action.

y= (Method + Gain) – deception

Why allow Stratfor?  Why SOCA? Why OpCartel? Why Arizona Law enforcement, or 90k military emails?

High prices to pay, but nothing is exactly as it appears to be, and from the information I have been able to gather so far, these were not reckless expenditures. These decisions were based on a calculated algorithm designed to either achieve a desired result or establish credibility with a targeted individual, group, or organization. Each individual action will need to be analyzed for it’s potential value and it’s sensitivity to other actions.  So far, it looks like the FBI got a great deal.

For today’s exercise we will be asking the question: Why Beast1333?

Agent Sabu tweeeted endlessly about all kinds of things. Almost like there were more than one of him taking shifts. One that has always caught my eye was his fevered promotion of the rapper Beast 1333. At first I though it was purely because Beast 1333’s lyrics are controversial anti-government, anti-establishment, and have an intended audience outside the mainstream. What really got me interested, however, was when he began to promote free downloadable music files left and right.

What was obvious at the time is that Sabu had begun to try to use his influence on a larger scale. For all their bluster the LulzBoat was rowboat, and there were ocean liners to be had. Like the USS AntiSec.

I believe that the strategy used by the FBI was pretty complex. Like using law enforcement data dumps to draw in others who were trying to breach US law enforcement systems. Beast 1333 was the bridge in to the domestic social radical side of things. People within the U.S. that are anti-government, anti-capitalist, and are on the streets using their music as a vehicle to deliver their message. Classic vendor style information warfare back in the old days. During the 1960’s and early 70’s using music to send social or political messages was a normal occurrence.

At this point I have no real reason to doubt his credibility or suspect that he is a another FBI run entity. He is a self described Emcee, Activist who when asked what he thought about the FBI promoting him so heavily said “Thanks for the fans”. Running back through his timeline he’s too long in the game to be an FBI creation, and the odds of his willing cooperation are next to zero. However that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have the same value.

Beast 1333 also told me “I’m a rapper, not a hacker”, which is a statement that I firmly believe him on. However, he does have a few websites and a couple of social media accounts that could be of value. First, Monitoring his sites and accounts against the number and frequency of @AnonymouSabu promotions would allow you to be able to gauge the impact of your asset’s influence. There is a tremendous amount of value in that. Second it gets you a way in. Beast 1333 was an easy choice. Social media literate, and far enough out on the popularity bubble to dive on the opportunity for Anonymous’s support. Immortal Technique, who probably has the most credibility in that particular scene, would never have gone for it. Beast 1333 starts to incorporate Anonymous and their phrases into his music, and Anonymous (primarily Sabu, but there are a few others) began to promote and distribute his music.

Freeze frame right there. I love this part.

In exchange for corporate style advertising, the FBI would take care of distribution of all the radical digital media. (The social radical is doing a jingle for the FBI agent on welfare in exchange for FBI server storage space  and an advertisement quota) Wouldn’t be too difficult to mirror the audio files and include an exploit (like a pdf of band pictures, album covers, or maybe even a message from Beast 1333 or even Agent Sabu himself), breaches the computer it is opened on. I know, it sounds crazy.

Almost as crazy as the idea of Anonymous releasing an secure Operating System  that turns out to have been deliberately made less secure.

Which is like wearing a mask screaming that they’ll never take you down, but standing out in front of the police station naked with your drivers license hanging around your neck.

Would it have been possible for the FBI to have mirrored a payload enhanced version of the music (or any other type of file) that could have exploited the users machine? Absolutely. Would they do it? I’ll leave that decision up to you. Did they do it? I honestly don’t know. Beast 1333 was not willing to answer any questions about how the music was distributed, or provide the original source files or their corresponding file hashes. We don’t know if Beast 1333 knew Sabu was hosting his songs and linking to the mirrors, or if he didn’t. Even if he didn’t, would he care? It appears that he trusted Sabu at the time, and had more than just minimal contact with him. However I do not believe that Beast 1333 ever suspected that Sabu was working for the FBI. I think Beast 1333 was just an unwitting tool, like many others were, for Agent Sabu.

I don’t know if the FBI is monitoring Beast 1333’s social media accounts, website, or downloads. I don’t know if they’ve even interviewed him. What I do know is that they are most definitely interested in him. What their interest is could be many different things or a mixture of several. What stands out is the type of audience that is selected and the possible different scenarios involved with media distribution. The amount and frequency of original tweets (not retweets) from Sabu’s account is far too many and often not to be for a specific purpose. Looking over the logs a a whole it’s frequency leads me to believe that it was third or fourth on the priority list. This was also right around the time that the @AnonymouSabu twitter logo changed to a Hamas flag. It is possible that the association was built and promoted to establish credibility as being sympathetic to anti- US government, radical, social movements in the hopes he might be approached by a few of them. That is where I suspect the value truly lies. Put Agent Sabu out there like chum and see if any big sharks bite. There are already allegations by Jeremy Hammond’s mother that her son claimed to be “working with Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam, a black supremacist group in Chicago, as a part of his work with Anonymous, to promote an Islamic takeover of the United States”, so the idea of the FBI needing to heavily infiltrate Anonymous and the extremist groups that attempt to use them seems to be a good one. That and more, like an open letter to Anonymous from Jeremy Hammon’s mother, as part of an excellent article by John Ransom that can be viewed here: http://finance.townhall.com/columnists/johnransom/2012/03/16/hacktivists_mom_has_a_few_questions_for_anonymous/page/full/

Either way, the FBI was adamant about it. They wanted the two names associated with each other. When you hear Beast 1333, you think of Sabu. While I don’t expect Beast 1333 to come out and say that it worries him, it definitely should. If I was Beast 1333 (or even Immortal Technique by proximity) I would take a good look at my digital surroundings. The FBI has considerable ability to leverage both information and information technologies to their advantage. How many people are following you on Twitter and how many are really FBI associated people tailing you? I’d look. How many of the other Anonymous members that have been helping Sabu promote you are compromised? Did Sabu ever send you a file or get you to download something? If he did I’d DBAN the machine on the spot. The possibilities are endless. The only certainty is that the FBI was extremely interested in Beast 1333 and wanted others to be too.

Something to ponder:

Is there more than a passing random link between the FBI promoting an anti-US government radical and their almost numerically equal fervent promotion of the Occupy protests?