The following is a transcript provided to Infosec Island by anti-jihadi hacker The Jester (th3j35t3r) who recently addressed a class at the University of Southern Maine.
The infamous hacktivist opened himself up to a bevy of questions from the students regarding his operations, methodologies and motivations.
The subject matter included his campaigns against radical militant websites, his take down of WikiLeaks in late 2010, his tussles with the Anonymous movement, his military service, and a variety of current security issues.
The participants asked some interesting questions, and a few even challenged The Jester on some of the more controversial operations he has conducted. All in all, it makes for an interesting read - enjoy...
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teague hi all
th3j35t3r howdy folks.
VVookie Hi, This is Tiffany. How are you Jester?
th3j35t3r so you guys all from UMaine?
th3j35t3r Hi ma'am, good to finally hook up.
VVookie From the Univ. of Southern Maine...the more awesome campus
VVookie Good to catch up with you.
th3j35t3r To the room - Tiffany has been trying hard to collar me for weeks, it's my fault it hasnt happened until now.
VVookie Nah..we know you have been busy. : P
VVookie I'm asking students about questions.
th3j35t3r So what can I do for ya?
VVookie What do you use to build your tools?
th3j35t3r I use a variety of best practice languages for the required effect
th3j35t3r I wrap them up in a bespoke GUI.
th3j35t3r for my ease of use lol
th3j35t3r shell-hopping gets tedious.
eric Do you have some sort of manifesto that defines your ethics?
th3j35t3r to close and destroty the enemy, using a full spectrum of tactics and tech.
eric Ok, then how do you pick/define your enemy?
th3j35t3r I try not to get personal, I started out against online jihadist radicalization, training etc.
th3j35t3r I took exception to the wikileaks dumps
th3j35t3r and then had anons all over me.
th3j35t3r but I am still here.
th3j35t3r many of them are not.
th3j35t3r but in answer to your original question
VVookie Question: Was it personal with the Congressman from RI? What led you to do that QR Code attack?
th3j35t3r ref jihadists - I used to source my own targets
th3j35t3r now I rely on hundreds of tipoffs a week
VVookie Do you share your findings with the Feds?
th3j35t3r and then have to confirm via my own validation methods that its a target, or a bluey.
th3j35t3r VVookie, Dan gordon makes his own bed. I helped tuck him in.
th3j35t3r VVookie, to date I have no involvement with any LEA.
th3j35t3r I 'share' so to speak via my public twitter timeline.
th3j35t3r ^^^ no official route, I like it that way.
M0arB0ar Would there be any incident or reason for you to work WITH anonymous or Lulzsec?
th3j35t3r none whatsoever.
M0arB0ar no fun:(
M0arB0ar any future targets in mind?
VVookie A question from the class: Do you forsee any kind of SCADA attack?
th3j35t3r absolutely, SCADA vulns have been around for years, but it's coming to the fore now.
M0arB0ar the qr code injection you used over twitter, those were curious and scanned and not a target, what was your protocol with handling this information?
Jesse How did you learn about computers? College? Military? or on your own?
th3j35t3r technical or moral protocol?
VVookie Question from the class: Are you a man or a woman? ; )
th3j35t3r holy shit folks, stay calm.
VVookie Someone is excited for you to be a woman.... ; )
th3j35t3r To the class: what do you think I am?
th3j35t3r your first thought is probably correct.
th3j35t3r unless you are a lesbian.
VVookie Odds are, they think you are a man.
VVookie Or you could be Robin Sage....
th3j35t3r Robin Sgae was created by Tom Ryan, another fine operator.
eric What led you to get into the work that you're in? Tiffany had mentioned that you were in the US military.
who do you attend defcon?
VVookie Tom broke some hearts
th3j35t3r I was in the militar.
VVookie 2 in this class attending Defcon, a bunch attend from previous classes.
th3j35t3r I served 4 operational tours.
eric Care to specify a branch?
th3j35t3r no sir.
M0arB0ar thanks for your service, regardless
eric No worries.
eric Yes, thank you.
VVookie Did your Tours encourage you to become The Jester?
th3j35t3r thank you guys. Wars wont be fought with boots on the ground soon.
th3j35t3r they willo be fought and won with fingers on backlit keybs.
th3j35t3r yes my military life, had a hand in what I do now.
M0arB0ar is there a significance to the alias?
th3j35t3r more out of finding where I can do something. *something* - to hit back.
th3j35t3r no alias significance, I purposl;ey chose something that was in no way connected to my real life identity.
VVookie Question from Class: Could you have done this same kind of work by being a White Hat hacker for the US gov?
th3j35t3r maybe. But I never went down the easy route.
who any more politicians in mind?
th3j35t3r sucker for the underdog story lol
th3j35t3r nope gordon popped onto my radar, thats not my game.
VVookie Question: Did anything end of happening to Gordon? Did the Feds investigate the claims of false purple heart, etc?
th3j35t3r to be fair, he's not really on my radar, I havent kept up with that pissant.
th3j35t3r ya know busy busy busy ;-)
Jesse Do you have any formal education?
th3j35t3r I graduated uni.
VVookie Was it in Comp Sci? IT?
VVookie Really, how did you get your skill set for the students in the class who are learning about infosec careers.
th3j35t3r but it was later that I joined the mil
eric Do you see it as an inevitability that you'll end up arrested? If so, are you just trying to do the most good until you are caught?
th3j35t3r I was a coder for a telecoms firm
th3j35t3r and got bored, so joined the mil.
th3j35t3r got excited.
th3j35t3r I imagine I will get suckered and caught
who can you lower gas prices before that happens
th3j35t3r I also imagine a jury of 12 will convict.
th3j35t3r who, I wish.
jwa720 What do you feel is the main difference between other hackers such as Anonymous and yourself?
th3j35t3r I dont release private individual infos - untill you are an anon and cross me, I hit known valid jihadist targets, and as long as you leave me alone I leave you alone. Theres more to it than that, my timmeline should show it.
th3j35t3r oh and who can argue with WBC?
th3j35t3r or gaddaffi? hits?
th3j35t3r google its all there
eric What do you think of the situation in Syria?
VVookie Do you know of any fatwas that have been placed on you?
VVookie Have the Feds every asked you to do their "dirty work" for them? They have to abide by laws -- there is speculation that you are an "Agent" of the Feds.
th3j35t3r VVookie, I work alone.
th3j35t3r I choose my targets - nobody else.
th3j35t3r at this time.
VVookie Do you think that the Feds, who claim to have a Lulzsec member, got the right guy?
th3j35t3r VVookie, I ref fatwahs, I have no knowledge of an official fatwah, but receive numerous deth threats per day.
M0arB0ar coming from someone who has infiltrated anonymous to a partial level, are they more hype from the media then actual threat?
VVookie ...or is it spin to show that the FBI really has it together.
th3j35t3r the real guy they want is @proharris
BallofWax none of them have it together
th3j35t3r he's the new(old)sabu
VVookie Is he from Europe? Poland, perhaps?
th3j35t3r ^^^ thats an exclusive.
th3j35t3r numerous personalities tweeted from sabu's old account.
th3j35t3r @proharris being the most prolific.
VVookie I knew it! (this is Tiffany..)
eric How do you know that?
th3j35t3r he is not a pole
th3j35t3r and he is not in US
VVookie [ask me in the classroom]
th3j35t3r he is in UK
th3j35t3r he puts lots of disinfo out, all part of the game, but he slips up.
VVookie Okay, the "how do you know that" question is for you.
th3j35t3r because I am J ;-)
th3j35t3r trust me.
eric Haha ok
th3j35t3r (I am not a doctor tho)
th3j35t3r to be honest folks
VVookie Do you have more awesome 0 days you're working on?
th3j35t3r I treat #anon #lulz as a 'live firing range'
th3j35t3r target practice if you like
th3j35t3r they are a nuisance
th3j35t3r if I can avoid the 9000 lol
th3j35t3r I dont gotta worry about the jihadis getting me.
who where would you say most of the anon kids come from? 4chan?
th3j35t3r they used to but with OWS etc its escalated.
M0arB0ar do you believe anon or lulz has any hackers of your calibur?
th3j35t3r but their numbers are made from losers generally speaking
who well 4chan = scum of the internet so yea
eric Would you consider taking an apprentice?
th3j35t3r people that need to feel they belong to something
VVookie Question: Do you disagree with Wikileaks because they put US troops in danger or is it that they released confidential info?
th3j35t3r people that want to fight but have no reason to
th3j35t3r almost like conscripts
th3j35t3r you see
th3j35t3r a small force of professional volunteer soldiers will anihilate a larger force of conscripts
th3j35t3r as I have said previously
th3j35t3r and to quote the late steve jobs
th3j35t3r one or two A players will run circles round a team of B and C players.
th3j35t3r VVookie, REF wl - all of the above.
VVookie Question from class: Would you go after the US gov, itself, if you felt they were morally compromised?
VVookie LOL, we thought that would be the answer.
th3j35t3r if the gov takes me down - its fair game.
BallofWax fighting with no reason - US has enough to be embarassed over
VVookie ..that was a potentially incriminating question. : P
th3j35t3r VVookie, I break the same laws the bad guys do.
th3j35t3r I am under no illusions that I am also a criminal.
M0arB0ar are you a necessary evil though?
BallofWax Perception is relative
th3j35t3r you tell me.
th3j35t3r I follow my heart.
VVookie [asking the class now]
th3j35t3r My duty too.
BallofWax your timeline shows that
eric What's your duty? Who, or what, do you answer to?
th3j35t3r I answer to myself guys.
th3j35t3r I answer to my experiences.
th3j35t3r I answer to what makes me tick.
VVookie Question from the class: [batman reference] Are you afraid you may become the evil you are fighting?
th3j35t3r sometimes I let things get personal.
th3j35t3r that will be my downfall.
th3j35t3r I am aware of this fact.
VVookie We are not asking if you will become jihidist, but if you are afraid the work will get the better of you. You take a lot of risks.
VVookie okay, answered.
Jesse Do you have a day job?
th3j35t3r I do
BallofWax The path to hell is paved with the best of intentions....
th3j35t3r I have a question...
VVookie Thanks for permission [this is Tiffany]. I know everyone in this channel.
th3j35t3r if thats okay - to the class.
eric I'm up for it.
VVookie Sure, ask us. ; )
VVookie : )
BallofWax I'm not part of her class!
VVookie But I know who you ARE....: )
VVookie (answer to Ball of Wax)
th3j35t3r what is your perception of me, what I do and that said would you do it?
th3j35t3r given that I have been candid here
VVookie Actually, I asked this question on their midterm exam. I haven't read them yet, but I will let you know if they don't answer now.
VVookie [asking them now]
jason remember black september and the 72 olympics?
jason and Mossad's response?
jason lots of people were on both sides of the fence, but the operation acted as a fulcrum
jason I can see why you do what you do, and do admire your target selection criteria
jason but, in the end you're reliant on data
jason just like the mossad kidon teams
jason bad data == serious screwups
jason with the kidons, it was a misID of a palestinian employee at a norwegian resort
th3j35t3r copy that jason
BallofWax Your comment on them 'being a group of losers' struck me - you are simply a realist. Acting on experience only can relate to how either disappointed or angry you are at the end results. My perception is that you are a very rare breed who, whether in theory or in actuality, has huge fraking balls.
VVookie ...and comments have been made that we would do the same if we felt as strongly about a mission as you do.
th3j35t3r ^^^^ its known as testicular fortitude.
M0arB0ar i have respect for your dedication to your beliefs and your actions you take but feel as though you eventually will come to the crossroads of doing whats morally right and what's best for the general public
th3j35t3r thankyou folks.
BallofWax Thank you
VVookie Another comment: [batman ref] If you don't have a Robin, how will you have a "checks and balances" on your actions?
th3j35t3r I tend not to get drawn on specifics, so anyone who feels they dont get an answer, its not peronal.
BallofWax Robin way a homo
th3j35t3r I dindnt say I dint have a Robin.
BallofWax well let's not call him Robin
M0arB0ar need an alfred?
th3j35t3r alfred thats better
eric But you said you worked alone?
BallofWax All sidekicks are homos
Jesse I disagree with what you are doing, but like many whose freedom you have fought for, you have earned the right to do it. Even if it is against the law. I was also in the military, and I served so that others could have the freedom to make their own decisions, even if it is not what I personally agree with.
th3j35t3r Maybe my Alfred, doesnt know what I speak of, when I explain, psuedo-stuff.
th3j35t3r ^^^ the advice would be the same.
VVookie Tiffany says: Maybe, if the Feds come for you, you will have enough supportors to stand up for what you do and a "jury of 12" won't convict.
th3j35t3r okay folks - thankyou for your time
BallofWax With the state of everything the world holds...what is the real thing to fight for?
eric Thank you
BallofWax thanks again
th3j35t3r I mean it thank YOU for your time ;-)
Jesse Thank you for talking with us!
M0arB0ar thanks for everything
th3j35t3r I gotta bail.
VVookie Thank you!
th3j35t3r stay frosty.
eric Have a good one!
th3j35t3r and ...
M0arB0ar you've hacked all our computers
th3j35t3r there's an unequal amount of good and bad in most things... the trick is to work out the ratio, and act accordingly.
th3j35t3r ^^^ take that with you in your lives.
VVookie very true advice. Thanks SO much for talking with us.
th3j35t3r ty Tiff.
who thanks, good luck on the lamb :-p
BallofWax take care