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    109: TeaMp0isoN

    While one person chose a path of destruction and harm, the other realized the impact of his actions and chose to use his skills ethically, creating a positive impact on society.

    en-usJanuary 25, 2022

    About this Episode

    TeaMp0isoN was a hacking group that was founded by TriCk and MLT (twitter.com/0dayWizard). They were responsible for some high profile hacks. But in this story it’s not the rise that’s most interesting. It’s the fall. Sponsors Support for this show comes from Thinkst Canary. Their canaries attract malicious actors in your network and then send you an alert if someone tries to access them. Great early warning system for knowing when someone is snooping around where they shouldn’t be. Check them out at https://canary.tools. Support for this podcast comes from Cybereason. Cybereason reverses the attacker’s advantage and puts the power back in the defender’s hands. End cyber attacks. From endpoints to everywhere. Learn more at Cybereason.com/darknet. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    🔑 Key Takeaways

    • While computers offer limitless possibilities, they also come with risks. It's essential to understand the dangers of certain online activities, including hacking, and take measures to protect ourselves. It's also important to recognize the positive role computers can play in shaping our experiences and learning.
    • Hacking can be a form of activism to fight against injustice without physical confrontation. Collaboration and partnership can lead to greater technical knowledge and experience.
    • MLT's experience shows how some hackers prioritize learning and developing their craft over political motives, and how moral considerations can guide their actions.
    • TeaMp0isoN used hacking to bring attention to their causes and exploit web vulnerabilities, but their actions led to investigations and arrests.
    • TeaMp0isoN's cyberattacks were driven by revenge and political motives. However, they also showed their ability to access high-profile targets and use their skills for charitable purposes.
    • TeaMp0isoN hack BlackBerry using a social engineering method by pretending to be from Google to gain access to the system and post a message on their website. The hack sparked controversy with mixed opinions on its justifiability.
    • Hacking can be addictive and thrilling, but it comes with serious consequences. Even those who join for the thrill eventually realize the dangers and choose to leave the group.
    • Anarchist hacktivist group TeaMp0isoN attacked UK's counter-terrorism hotline to protest against extradition but caused unrest among police. Cyber attacks have severe consequences and can harm members of the group.
    • Law enforcement may take unexpected actions after evidence is erased. Incarceration can change the behavior of individuals, leading to more extreme and violent views.
    • Social media can be a powerful tool for radicalization. Those close to individuals who have become radicalized should look for signs and try to intervene before it's too late. Refusing to support extremist activities is important.
    • Junaid Hussain's death by a US drone strike indicates the severity of the consequences when hackers aid terrorism. It highlights the need for greater vigilance and accountability to prevent such activities.
    • While one person chose a path of destruction and harm, the other realized the impact of his actions and chose to use his skills ethically, creating a positive impact on society.

    📝 Podcast Summary

    The Power and Danger of Computers: Matt's Story

    Computers are powerful devices that allow people to do many activities like building a career, getting an education, and accessing entertainment. However, they can be dangerous as well. A simple combination of keystrokes like hacking into a bank can have serious consequences. Matt's story reflects how computers and the internet have been growing since his childhood. It has allowed him to explore different websites and learn to create his own. He started with video game cheating and then shifted to modding the Xbox. For a teenager like him, the Anonymous group was a formative force to be reckoned with. They hung out in online chat rooms, shared memes, and formulated their ideas.

    How a Curious MLT Found TriCk in the Hacking Community and Targeted the English Defense League

    MLT was drawn to the hacker community out of curiosity but found Anonymous to be filled with distractions and trolls. He stumbled upon TriCk through poison.org, a generic hacking forum, and they hit it off, eventually targeting the English Defense League with a zero-day exploit. While MLT wasn't religious, TriCk was a devout Muslim and couldn't stand groups like the EDL with anti-Islamic beliefs. TriCk found hacking to be a way to fight back without physically confronting them. MLT gained more technical knowledge and experience and became interested in hacking as a result of their partnership.

    MLT's Moral Compass in TeaMp0isoN Hacker Group

    MLT became the co-leader of the TeaMp0isoN hacker group to gain more skills and see whether he was capable of it. While TriCk was politically motivated, MLT was not. Though initially, TeaMp0isoN's objective was to deface target websites, MLT's moral compass made him consider which websites deserved to be defaced and which did not. He believed that if it was a terrorist organization, then it was morally justified to attack its website. MLT's willingness to learn with a group drew him to TeaMp0isoN since he was not as skilled as TriCk. His experience shows how some hackers are motivated by the challenge of developing their craft rather than politics.

    The rise and fall of TeaMp0isoN: a politically motivated hacking group

    TeaMp0isoN was a group of hackers led by TriCk, who was politically motivated and had a Muslim background. They targeted various individuals and organizations, including Facebook and Tony Blair. Through their hacks, they aimed to bring attention to their causes and exploit vulnerabilities in web platforms. MLT, a member of the group, learned a lot about hacking from TriCk and other members, but it seems like he was not really involved in many of the high-profile hacks. Despite their activities, it is unclear whether TeaMp0isoN considered themselves to be hacktivists or extremists. The group's behavior eventually drew the attention of the authorities, which led to investigations and arrests.

    TeaMp0isoN's Feud with LulzSec and Hacking Achievements

    TeaMp0isoN, a hacker group affiliated with Anonymous, hacked into the computers of Sabu from LulzSec after he spread lies about them, which escalated the situation. LulzSec allegedly started DDossing the poison.org website and trying to deface it. This incident led to a Twitter spat between the two groups. MLT, a member of TeaMp0isoN, SQL-injected his school's website resulting in him getting into trouble at school and being grounded from using computers. TeaMp0isoN hacked into the hotel's network and managed to access P. Diddy’s credit card number. They donated a few hundred thousand dollars to charity and bought pizzas for anyone who asked on Twitter.

    TeaMp0isoN's Unique Social Engineering Method to Hack BlackBerry

    TeaMp0isoN used a unique method of social engineering to gain access to BlackBerry by pretending to be from Google. They called up BlackBerry employees, pretended their Gmail account was locked due to a brute force attempt, and obtained the unlock code. They then did a password reset request on the Gmail account, which gave them access to BlackBerry's WordPress site, where they posted a message crafted by TriCk. This hack had mixed reactions, with some seeing it as a good thing and others condemning it. MLT was personally curious about the social engineering method but didn't necessarily agree with the hack. TriCk was the driving force behind TeaMp0isoN's actions and messaging.

    The story of TeaMp0isoN's hacking career and MLT's involvement and departure

    TeaMp0isoN was a group of Muslim hackers from the UK who, between 2010 and 2013, targeted several organizations including the United Nations, NATO, and US, Australian, and UK government websites, among other random sites. MLT, who was involved with the group, claimed they hacked at least a few thousand sites. Even though most of their hacks were not for political reasons, they gained a reputation on the Zone-H website that hackers use to post their exploits. MLT said he joined the group for the thrill of hacking and to learn from his knowledgeable friends. The adrenaline rush of taking control of a government server was addictive, but eventually, he left the group.

    TeaMp0isoN's Attack on UK's Counter-Terrorism Hotline and its Consequence.

    TeaMp0isoN, an anarchist hacktivist group, attacked the UK's counter-terrorism hotline with a denial-of-service attack which caused panic among law enforcement and attracted police's attention. TriCk, a member of the group, did this out of protest against the extradition of alleged terror suspects from Britain to the US. However, the reasoning behind it was basically in support of terrorism, which MLT, another member of the group, did not support. MLT suggests that TriCk went too far and started attacking the Met Police, which caused further problems. The consequence of TriCk's actions was the arrest of a seventeen-year-old member of the group and paranoia among other members, including MLT who started wiping his computer and phone and covering his tracks.

    MLT's Arrest and TriCk's Release

    MLT erased all the evidence before returning home to the UK. He expected to get arrested at the airport but nothing as such happened. Later, the police raided his house, broke the door down and arrested him. They confiscated his computers and kept him in a holding cell for three days. MLT was tried as a minor and sentenced to two years supervised release. TriCk, the first to go to court, was sentenced to six months in prison. After serving a month and a half, he was released. MLT noticed a change in TriCk's behavior after he got out; he became more extreme and advocated for violence.

    How Twitter led to radicalization and joining ISIS

    The story discusses the radicalization of TriCk and Sally Jones, who went from being regular people to joining ISIS in Syria. TriCk and Sally met on Twitter while Sally was sympathizing with Muslims and becoming a Muslim herself. After TriCk got out of prison, they got married, but TriCk became more radicalized while in prison. He joined ISIS and started a new hacker group called the Cyber Caliphate. Sally and her son went to Syria to join TriCk. They changed their names and became citizens of ISIS. Sally even began training her 10-year-old son to become a child soldier. MLT, a friend of TriCk, was asked by TriCk to do hacking and credit card work for ISIS, but he refused.

    The Consequences of a Hacker turned Recruiter for ISIS

    Junaid Hussain, a hacker turned recruiter for ISIS, was Number 3 on CENTCOM's kill list because of his involvement in instructing foreign members to conduct acts of violence. Junaid and his wife urged people to commit acts of terror, making them targets of the US military. When they learned of Junaid's location, they sent out an attack drone, which eventually killed him. Junaid is the only known hacker to be killed by a US drone strike. This shows the severity of the consequences when hackers cross the line into aiding terrorism.

    Elimination of a notorious British Jihadist and a hacktivist turned ethical hacker.

    The notorious British Jihadist, Sally Ann Jones, who trained her son to be a child soldier for ISIS, was targeted and killed by a drone strike in Syria along with her 12-year-old son. The details are unclear as to whether the strike was intended for her or not. MLT, a former black hat hacker, shifted his focus to legal hacking by developing zero-day vulnerabilities and selling them ethically. He rather chooses to stick with lower payouts and sell the exploits to Trend Micros Zero-Day Initiative who develops anti-virus signatures for them and reports them to the software maker so that they can be fixed. This is the right thing to do and at the same time, he also has a clear conscience.

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