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Who is Anonymous‘ Commander X? Not this guy
A San Francisco man was named by HBGary’s Aaron Barr as the ringleader of Anonymous. Not so, says Ben de Vries.
Benjamin Spock de Vries would like the world to know he is not a cyber terrorist.
But if you read some of the 40,000+ emails that were stolen from HBGary Federal by Anonymous and posted on Pirate Bay, you might think otherwise.
It seems Aaron Barr — the CEO of HBGary Federal who thought he’d make a big splash by outing the leadership of Anonymous and instead ended up getting ridden hard and put away wet by the very hackers he sought to expose — decided de Vries is in fact the mysterious Commander X, alleged puppetmaster of the Anonymous collective. So he said as much in some of the thousands of private email conversations the Anons just shared with the world.
[ See also: That new Facebook friend might just be a spy ]
This did not make de Vries happy.
“I am not Anonymous,” de Vries told me during an agitated phone conversation last night. “I have never logged onto any Anonymous sites. I don’t use IRC. I couldn’t hack my way out of a paper bag.”
In fact, de Vries says he hadn’t even heard of the whole HBGary-Anonymous mishegas until Barr contacted him on February 5 via his Facebook alter ego, Julian Goodspeak (yes, really), and begged de Vries to please call off the DDOS attack on HBGary’s servers.
What attack? de Vries asked.
What followed was a weirdly elliptical conversation in which Barr chatted with the person he thought was Commander X while de Vries thought they were talking about something else entirely.
The reason Barr thought De Vries was the elusive X? Because de Vries is the founder and admin of a Facebook Group called Global Strike 2011, which appears to be popular with the Anons. That, or many of its members are just particularly enamored of Guy Fawkes masks and wicked cool handles like Anarcho Femmina and Anonomous AnonopsEsp (then again, who isn’t?).
PLF Communique from Commander X
DATE: Wednesday – February 16, 2011
Greetings World —
Ben De Vries is NOT, repeat NOT Commander X. I am. I have been hacking under the name X for over 25 years. And while I am personally a part of the idea known as Anonymous, I am far from any sort of „puppetmaster“ or leader. I am respected among those who call them selves Anonymous Operations, but the truth is we fight amongst ourselves constantly and I am more likely than most to get tossed from an op chan.
The reason for this friction is that I am actually the second in command and founding member of a group known as the Peoples Liberation Front, or PLF. The stress between groups comes not from a difference in goals or of philosophy so much as a simple organizational difference. Anonymous Operations is a consensus building cooperative, and the PLF is Cyber Militia (NOT terrorists).
I will not apologize to Ben, that’s for Aaron Barr to do – but I would advise Ben to sue him. I am here to say Ben is innocent. Aaron Barr was made and will continue to be made to pay a terrible price for his immoral folly, both by the PLF and Anonymous.
SINCERELY — Commander X
PLF Field Commander
Peoples Liberation Front
And To All The Stupid Reporters I Am NOT A Fucking Terrorist
Note from me: Press lies, look for a sinner. Commander X is NOT a terrorist. Each of the action against a hacker, I make your day. Because I am Anonymous and we are many. Find the scapegoat elsewhere or we come to visit you. We will seek and find what we do, and then the whole world knows it.
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