Somebody emailed al-Jazeera a cache of documents from Mossad, MI6, FSB, and the Australian and South African intelligence agencies. Which means someone who views Qatar favorably was part of a network that had the kind of access to these agencies needed to get these documents.

Someone calling themselves "BillCaseyHoneyPot" and "the rodeo clown" made some comments to the Washington Post about alleged past covert operations, the Washington Post scrubbed the comments, Cryptome republished them, and Network Solutions blocked access to Cryptome (likely a coincidence -- see note at bottom of this post). Copies of the comments are held SkidPaste and The comments look like the ramblings of a total crank and touch on several subjects:

  • A DARPA data harvesting project called GROVER that was capable of recreating the Washington Post's internal database in 2005
  • A satellite called Big Bird that could read the label off a golf ball from orbit
  • A satellite called SK-91 that orbits three times a day
  • A key: E4A966FF04DD296A41F5AAD497C64494 that should "scare the hell out of the CIA"
  • A 3/4 inch "Helms tape" that, if it were released publicly, would put Henry Kissinger and Porter Goss on death row, implicate Donald Rumsfeld and Richard Cheney, and collapse the US dollar and make everyone go over to LlamaCoin, a cryptocurrency for people who don't think Dogecoin sounds dorky enough
  • Porter Goss "should be very grateful" that someone named Roman "is controlled"
  • Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid, who he claims the NSA is making no effort to track
  • "Kabul - Kazakhstan - Unocal - Bearden - NORTH"
  • "16 people shot" in Balochistan after Timothy L. Towell is dispatched there by Hillary Clinton, possibly a reference to an incident in 2010
  • Towell drugging a man and tying him to a bed in Uruguay. There is no evidence online that this ever happened. [Edit Mar 2] The location was Paraguay, and Towell was charged with rape.
  • The assassination of Northern Alliance commander Ahmad Shah Massoud. He claims the CIA did it and that he has a full trail of documentation.

About the author:

  • He claims to have participated in talks by the Helmand Valley with North (Oliver?), Casey (Bill?), and Bush (George Sr?).
  • He claims to have enrolled at a university in Pennsylvania at 12 years old in 1973, which should make it easy to identify him.
  • He he claims to have taken the Helms tape in his first year at university.
  • He doesn't know how to use Youtube or else that tape would be online already.
  • He claims to have "taken everything from Loftus's computer", a possible reference to CIA historian John Loftus.
  • He claims that the Department of Justice is tracking him for talking to Edward Snowden.

It's possible that this is a real spook going senile or drunkposting, but it has a very crankish feeling to it.

Llamacoin is a nearly blank webpage with the text "You may also know Llamacoin by the name of TurtleCalabrese Coin." About which no, you may not have because no one else on the web has ever mentioned TurtleCalabrese Coin or any variation of Turtle Calabrese. There is another Llamacoin related to an Andres Abad in South America, but this seems to be a different person.

The takedown of Cryptome may be a coincidence. Reading between the lines of their twitter account, it looks like they were hosting the full-length movie Citizen Four and ate too much bandwidth for their shared hosting plan. The Internet Archive has also deleted a copy of the movie that they were hosting.

[Edit Mar 1] Cannonfire has additional detail in two posts. Cryptome sorted out their bandwidth problem and has a PDF with a bunch of his rants. Briefly...

About himself:

  • BillCaseyHoneyPot is Timothy Felix Miltz, born around 1969. This puts the 1973 date off by ten years. According to his Microsoft profile, Miltz started programming Honeywell mainframes at age 9.
  • "I started University at age TWELVE into the Computer Science Department at Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 1980"
  • He claims that his father set next to John Kennedy for a reason.
  • He claims his first job was to set the font for a banner at Kabul Airport.
  • He often posts his social security number alongside his threats as if daring people to come after him.
  • He claims to have "clout" with the owner of a Bentley that is never ticketed while being illegally parked outside the Locke-Ober restaurant in Boston. The restaurant had closed a year before he made that statement.

Who he works for:

  • He claims to work as a handler for ROMAN, an acronym for something based in Qatar, formerly active in Yemen, and "far outside the bounds of DOJ" with the capability of launching drone strikes in Pakistan. He gives another name, SNOWMAN, in the same context.
  • He raises the name of the International Criminal Court in such a way that it is unclear whether he is claiming to work for them or whether he is threatening to bring Carmen Ortiz ([Edit Mar 2]the prosecutor of Aaron Swartz[/Edit]) before them.
  • He claimed to be aligned with Wikileaks, to have already delivered data to the Hague that would have led to war crimes charges, and that there would be no 2012 election. From 2010: "I am JUST an unemployed software engineer who just happens to be at DEAD CENTER of wikileaks."
  • "I can press speed dial for Prince Alwaleed bin Talal bin Abdulaziz Alsaud and bring and end game CHECKMATE move to DOJ - THANKS to their FAILED ANTI-TRUST unit."

Methods and capabilities:

  • He claims to be "aware of every possible exploit in TCP" and to have "been THERE" in 1977 when Vint Cerf merged the ARPA computer networks.
  • He mentions the word "tornado" in the context of surveillance methods superior to those of the NSA
  • He again claims to have access to high powered satellites and other surveillance equipment: "I get 1.44 MM on the RAYTRACING off the windshield while you drive to work. CORNELL - TAX PAYER FUNDED - I get LIVE ACCESS TO YOUR CELL PHONE"
  • He claims to have internet access to a UAC satellite through an unpatchable firmware vulnerability, and that provides access to EITS, apparently a satellite imagine system. He describes the satellite's specs as 3,864 RISC chips for video processing, 38 lens cameras, 5.8 petabytes of online storage, 20 centimeter resolution, 2 centimeter resolution on a "hot spot", and 23,000 miles from the surface. He says he helped build the firmware and can exploit the vulnerability with 36 bytes.
  • From 2010, as NationalismDividesHumanity:

Carmen Ortiz allegations:

  • Mintz, under the name paindeer and signing some messages with his full name, went off on prosecutor Carmen Ortiz for threatening Aaron Swartz with 35 years in prison for trying to copy the JSTOR database. He names Aaron Swartz as a "valued potential asset" and "a candidate for onramp", whatever that is.
  • He ties Ortiz to the October Surprise and Operation Just 'Cause and he made some curious statements about not liking Violet Crayon and liking Spring Green Crayon, as if these are code names that Ortiz would know.
  • He tells Ortiz she "Can't rely on flights out of Logan" and relates this to "the deconstruction of Afghanistan". This fits with Indira Singh's claim that al-Qaeda has a drug smuggling presence at Logan.
  • He says he will use "killing machines" designed by "MIT alumni", suggesting drone strikes. Drone strikes had been in the news days before he made these threats. He threatens to kill 27 people on January 27 unless Ortiz resigns, suggesting knowledge of a specific meeting and its attendees. Wikipedia's list of drone strikes in Pakistan does not include any on or shortly after the January 27 deadline.

The CIA and Afghanistan:

  • He claims to have identified three CIA agents killed in Bolivia and implies that Ortiz was involved.
  • In threatening Ortiz he claims to be CIA and takes credit for a murder at the Hotel Ariana, possibly a reference to an attack in September 2011 that left two dead. He references the Salt Pit, a CIA prison that had been in the news. He also takes credit for the killing of former CIA Director William Colby who died mysteriously in 1996.
  • Regarding Oliver North and the October Surprise, he claims "North went through Herat regarding October Surprise" and implies that Tommy Franks was made a board member of Bank of America as part of the Afghanistan war operation.

The NSA:

  • He repeatedly quotes Weird Al's "All About The Pentiums" in threats to NSA director Keith Alexander.
  • He claims that a plan by Keith Alexander to centralize the NSA's data resulted in all of it being stolen and stored offshore his people.
  • He pledges to "nail you to the cross of a new religion" about "sharing" everything the NSA has collected.
    NSA ? didn't
    CHINA OWNS YOU - but I'm not involved with that.

Turncoats at the CIA and State:

  • He claims that Porter Goss sent a memo telling CIA employees to "play ball or get lost", leading many of them to turn coat.
    Why doesn't the NSA SPEND MORE TIME ON THAT ?"

Abu Ghraib:

  • He blames the Abu Ghraib scandal on Monica Goodling and Lane McCotter
  • In the context of Abu Ghraib, he blames Porter Goss for a "Tripod" scandal that Bush "intentionally firewalled himself from".
  • He claims to have 20cm resolution video from Abu Ghraib that would expose war crimes not currently known to the public.


  • He claims that the majority of Countrywide's mortgages are in coastal areas because someone is counting on the properties being flooded by rising sea levels due to global warming, and that a Ukrainian scientist in Antarctica has guaranteed that the Pine Island glacier would break off and cause a global 1-inch sea level rise.
  • He claims to have data involving Iran, money laundering through UBS, and a $238 million bank account in the name of Bill Casey that has not been touched. He also mentions "post Kenya" accounts in "1998 to 1991" that "just sit there too".
  • He claims expertise on banking instruments:
    I HAVE ROCK SOLID UNDERSTANDING of just about EVERY of the 300+ banking products offered at Commercial to Community banks - that is an area I specialized in - not for fun let me tell you - WORK - period.NO ONE at Treasury OR Central Bank has seen what I have - I've seen more REAL banks books - and I've WITNESSED PERSONALLY the HELOC madness- we're ALL doomed on housing - it can NOT recover.
  • He mocks PNC Financial Services Group security director James Weslager for calling the police on him.


  • He gives a key 193CD0A329FE in reference to a Wikileaks file related to the Pentagon and Kandahar.
  • A Tim Miltz with the same WRITING STYLE was posting on Veterans Today in 2009, which does not surprise me. He mentioned a "SKY test" offered by Wayne State University to detect "mutations in someone's chromosomes" caused by exposure to chemical weapons or depleted uranium. He mentioned "300 billion in Abu Dhabi sitting on the sidelines". He gave a favorable mention to "Red Mercury", which I suspect was a scam to defraud Russian investors, claiming to have a DIA document confirming the value of the substance signed by neutron bomb inventor Samuel T. Cohen and a mercury scientist named Dr. Szasz, possibly Andras Szasz.
  • He describes GWB et al as "a coup by an ILLEGAL - UNCONSTITUTIONAL Christian fascist theocracy" and says "9.11 was a GREETING card from an Islamic theocracy- saying -welcome to the world of theocracies - hope you can swim, this is how we play
  • He claims that Germany "did technically detonate a nuclear weapon with some success" on March 3, 1945. The claim appears to be based on a 2005 book by Rainer Karlsch.

A former US Army psyops officer named Scott Bennett has published a report titled "Shell Game" alleging that data on al-Qaeda's finances are hidden from US intelligence and military by US government officials at the highest levels. It opens with an executive summary alleging that:

  • unnamed members of the intelligence community are committing treason.
  • unnamed people responsible for "intentional" intelligence failures.
  • Union Bank of Switzerland banker Brad Birkenfeld was jailed for reporting terrorist funding to US intelligence agencies.
  • Booz Allen Hamilton fired Bennett for reporting terrorist finance issues up the chain of command.
  • Edward Snowden turned traitor after seeing what happened to Birkenfeld.
  • Bennett predicted the Benghazi attack.
  • The Department of Justice attempted to assassinate a whistleblower.

Bennett ties together so many big claims that the report is difficult to believe. I almost stopped reading at this point. The report opens like a crime novel, not a report. The facts are buried under layers of rhetoric. Stripping that away, Bennett makes a number of notable specific claims. These claims include:

About Booz:

  • Booz Allen Hamilton ran the terrorist finance investigation unit of the US Central Command. It was called the Optimus Foundation and stationed in Fort MacDill. Bennett worked there.
  • BAH antiterrorist officials include Mike Maravilla, William Lubliner, Troy Hensely, and Bob Thompson.

About Bennett

  • Bennett worked counterterrorism and psyops at the State Department before he joined the Army, and was given a "VIP" flight to Florida on the executive jet of Eric Olson, head of US Special Operations Command.
  • Shortly after arriving in Florida, Bennett was arrested off-base by MPs, interrogated for 12 hours, and beaten by Detective Edward Garcia and Lt. Col. Martin Mitchell. The supposed justification for the arrest was a failure to properly register privately owned firearms that he had declared.
  • Mitchell distributed "BOLO" wanted posters of Bennett to every US military post showing his picture and describing him as an Army intelligence officer investigating al-Qaeda's money supply. Bennett describes this as an attempt to have him killed by supposing that the information would reach al-Qaeda through a spy.
  • The Army made some kind of policy change "due to negative stigma given to Psychological Operations by another defense contractor named Mike Furlong", a former coworker of Bennet.
  • Bennett forecasted the Benghazi attack in report written two years before the incident on the subject of the Furlong-inspired psych policy change and a prediction of its strategic impact.
  • After writing the psych report, Bennett was prosecuted by the Department of Justice for the earlier gun incident. Bennett claims that this is the first time in US history that the military has surrendered its jurisdiction to civilian authorities.
  • Assistant US Attorney Sara Sweeney "invented all kinds of exaggerations, had me followed by Secret Service, and engaged in the same illegal harassment which the Justice Dept. had employed against Senator Ted Stevens", and Special Assistant US Attorney Timothy Goins dressed in a US Air Force uniform to give the jury the impression that the military supported the prosecution.
  • Bennett is selling a book titled Conspiracy, Torture, and Betrayal at US Central Command. It is self-published on Lulu and the single review is not good.

About the DoJ:

  • Attorney General Eric Holder and Assistant AG Lanny Breuer formerly worked for UBS and suppressed attempts to prosecute the company.
  • The DoJ "assassination attempt" against Birkenfeld was in the form of writing a letter to UBS claiming that Birkenfeld was giving away proprietary banking information. The letter was forged in the name of an Islamic "international banking friend" in London. The letter came from the CIA substation in Bern.
  • Bennett suspects DoJ attorneys Kevin O'Connor and Kevin Downing of being behind the forgery against Birkenfeld, and alleges that the two have connections to Rudy Giuliani and an Abdullah Azziz named as an al-Qaeda financier in Matt Taibbi's article Too Big To Jail. There is no one by that name in Taibbi's article, but it does mention Sulaiman bin Abdul Aziz Al Rajhi of the SAAR Foundation. Bennett also calls the Golden Chain the "Golden Triangle".


  • Edward Snowden personally observed CIA communications regarding the operation against Birkenfeld and turned traitor because of it.
  • In 2009, Hillary Clinton agreed to jail Birkenfeld and release two Uighur terrorists from Guantanamo Bay in exchange for "the US being given preferential status on a Swiss financial treaty." This treaty is likely the US-Switzerland tax information exchange treaty of 2009 The detainees are likely Arkin Mahmud and Bahtiyar Mahnut who were transferred to Switzerland in February 2010 (according to Wikipedia).
  • Birkenfeld's information was not known to the Optimus Foundation, the National Counterterrorism Center, Treasury's Office of Terrorism and Financial intelligence, the Defense Intelligence Operations Coordination Center, the office of the Director of National Intelligence, SOCOM, JSOC, CENTCOM, CAPOC, or EUCOM.
  • Senator Carl Levin personally suppressed Birkenfeld's report on al-Qaeda's finances from reaching Army intelligence. The evidence is that Birkenfeld claims to have given Levin this information, and it did not spread any further.
  • President Obama personally suppressed Birkenfeld's information as repayment for campaign contributions from Robert Wolf. No evidence is presented.

Overall conclusions:

Bennett does not seem like a reliable source. The report is written like a work of fiction. The most sweeping stuff is most likely bullshit.

The most serious allegations, in the sense of being able to take them seriously, hinge on the presumption of Birkenfeld having this information about al-Qaeda financing.

[Edit Feb 11] Regarding the naming of "Fort MacDill", from a comment to WaPo in 2009:

FYI, yello, if you Google "Fort MacDill" with quotes around it, you get 160 hits, the gist of which are that Fort MacDill is the informal nickname of the two Army headquarters based inside the larger MacDill AFB complex. One is CENTCOM, Central Command, Gen. Petraus's outfit, the unit with jurisdiction over the Iraq and Afghanistan theaters. The other is SOCOM, Special Operations Command, one of Clancy's great loves. ... It would appear that Clancy did his homework so well he knew the special "insider" nickname of CENTCOM and SOCOM. Posted by: Curmudgeon- | May 29, 2009 10:06 PM | Report abuse

A bunch of financial data from HSBC was leaked to a consortium of journalists. What they have released so far includes this scrap of information about Abdul-Karim Dan Azoumi which is small enough that I will copy it in full:

Abdoul-Karim Dan-Azoumi is the owner of Badica, the largest diamond exporter in the Central African Republic (CAR). An October 2014 United Nations report by a panel of experts branded Dan-Azoumi’s company a key financial backer of the rebel Seleka group which has been fighting government forces in the CAR conflict that has resulted in the deaths of thousands of civilians. The United Nations alleged that fees paid by Dan-Azoumi’s companies to Séléka rebels in order to illegally export diamonds allowed the rebels to remain armed. Dan-Azoumi lives in Antwerp, Belgium’s diamond capital.

Dan-Azoumi became an HSBC client in 2000. He was linked to five bank accounts. Two of them were associated with a client account under the name of “Kampala Holdings S.A.,” which lists Dan-Azoumi as beneficial owner. The maximum amount in the account in 2006/2007 was $467,592. The other three bank accounts belonged to a numbered client account, which was closed in 2006. He was linked to “32618 BG” alongside another individual. HSBC bank communications explain that the bank closed the account for the benefit of an offshore account that was going to have Dan-Azoumi as beneficial owner.

So according to this report, this guy was a key financier of al-Qaeda's invasion of the Central African Republic (mentioned earlier and earlier). Neither this guy or his company appear in a web search, and I cannot find this supposed United Nations report. Al-Qaeda had been involved in the West African diamond trade in the 1990s, as described in Douglas Farah's book Blood From Stones.

From J.M. Berger:

ISIS has released a video that appears to show Jordanian pilot Muath al-Kassasbeh being burned alive.

Quick thoughts:

  • 1. Jordan is where much of ISIS was trained. By the USA. Expect this to end if it hasn't already. They might spread around some incriminating information about this training.
  • 2. Retaliation is the default reaction, but Jordan is on leashes by the USA and its own public which is far more pro-terrorist than the leadership. The fact that a Jordanian was killed is going to anger and split the public unless they fall for ISIS propaganda that it was his fault for opposing Islam.
  • 3. If Jordan wanted to invade Syria to rout ISIS, there is nothing to stop them. There is no border anymore.


  • Limited retaliatory airstrikes
  • Civil disturbances in Jordan if the retaliation goes beyond limited airstrikes
  • Increased Jordanian cooperation with Iraq, and possibly Iran
  • Drop in Jordanian respect for US
  • Increased distance from Israel (afraid of Iran, wants Assad gone) and the Gulf Arab states (funding ISIS)
  • Weaker Jordanian pro-Western monarchy. It has already lost the public and is losing allies.

Addendum: The news says Jordan killed an ISIS prisoner in retaliation. Unconfirmed reports have that Jordan was already attacking ISIS (which would explain why their pilot was shot down) and that the prisoner was killed a month ago and everyone knew it, both of which suggest that this measured response may be as much as Jordan will openly do at this time.

[Edit Feb 7] There are reports of limited airstrikes as originally predicted, so I was wrong about being wrong.


Jan. 23rd, 2015 03:04 am

Saudi Arabia's new king funded al-Qaeda in the 1990s and has told us all the problems in the Middle East would go away if we'd kill all the Jews. Expect less cooperation.

Edit: this may become a moot issue since the guy is 79 years old.

The Obamacare website is giving away Americans' personal information to marketing agencies. They claim not to provide people's names, but Facebook and Twitter can correlate that and much more that from your IP address.


Jan. 17th, 2015 02:38 pm

Lizard Squad stored their customers' passwords in plaintext. They do have a skiddie reputation and this certainly adds to it.

On second thought, that may have been intentional. Most people use the same usernames and passwords on multiple sites. The Lizards now have a plaintext username and password pair for each of their customers, and there are certainly some people dumb enough to use a common username and password when doing business with criminals.

Here's a big long blog post about Benghazi. The theory goes that Qatar was arming ISIS with US/NATO weaponry, UAE and Saudi families put up the money, US managed the logistics, and it was run under NATO's authority to get around the DoD. Take it with all the grains of salt in the Morton packaging plant, but at least somebody's looking into it. This excerpt is interesting:

2002 through 2010 saw zero occurrences of SAMS, Stingers, or MANPADS in general. Within months after delivering weapons to the Benghazi and Darnah rebels (May, June and July 2011) we began facing MANPADS in Afghanistan.

Here's someone saying the "Innocence of Muslims" film was produced by John Brennan's Analysis Corporation. That's John Brennan is an head-of-the-CIA John Brennan. They also say the filmmaker was a meth dealer who had been recruited as a DoJ asset in 2010, and that the film was shown as "The Innocence of Bin Laden" and marketed to the local Arab community of Los Angeles in mid-2012. This reminds me of Walid Shoebat's claims, mentioned earlier.

Petraeus's mistress Paula Broadwell leaked that the CIA was holding prisoners at the Benghazi annex during the fight. In possibly related news, The DoJ is currently pressing felony charges against Petraeus.


Jan. 4th, 2015 06:24 pm

Nim (formerly Nimrod) looks like an interesting language. Via lobsters. Some links:

Reddit has a Bit of News bot that summarizes a news article into a few brief points. Sometimes it glitches in amusing ways. Follow the permalinks to see the user responses.

  • From Risk Based Security's excellent timeline of events:
    • Sony was crushed on November 24.
    • Guardians of Peace at that time had public contact info and a facebook page. RBS was able to contact them.
    • GoP claimed to have collected 12 terabytes of data from Sony.
    • GoP began publishing Sony data on December 1, one week after shutting down Sony's network.
    • GoP uses a different e-mail address every day, and these emails are likely compromised accounts of real people.
    • NBC News was first to suggest North Korean responsibility on December 1.
    • The FBI attempted to visit security research Dan Tentler, who has been investigating the Sony hack, for "illegal downloading".
    • Someone claiming to represent GoP sent emails to Sony employees threatening the lives of their families. Another email from GoP denied responsibility.
    • Mandiant was hired to investigate the Sony hack before it became public.
    • From leaked emails, a group called God’sApstls had emailed Sony executives on November 21.
    • An anonymous pastebin identifies Guardians of Peace as Tunisian Hacker Team members Beent1988, sillux, TheEyetion, and Supothis. RBS warns that the information is not reliable.
  • From the FBI's Dec. 19 report:
    • The malware is similar to the malware used in the 2013 attack on South Korean banks
    • The malware is similar to malware previously known to be used by North Korea
    • The infrastructure used is known to have previously been used by North Korea
  • From CyActive:
    • The Destover file deletion tool used in the Sony attack is very similar to the Disttrack/Shamoon tool used in a 2012 attack on ARAMCO in 2012 and the wiper used in the 2013 DarkSeoul attack on South Korean banks and television.
  • From Marc Rogers, the top security guy of Cloudflare and the Black Hat conference:
    • The Shamoon source code was leaked and is widely available if you know where to look.
    • All but one of the alleged C&C servers are known public proxies used by multiple actors.
  • From Bloomberg:
    • From an anonymous source, the GoP used the network of the St. Regis hotel in Bangkok on Dec. 2 just after midnight local time
    • From Liam O Murchu of Symantec, the GoP used a C&C server that was used in the 2013 attack on South Korean banks.
    • McAfee had found similarities between the 2013 attack and attacks on US and South Korean military sites dating to 2009.
    • CrowdStrike has tracked the attackers since 2006 and identifies them as North Korean.
  • From the GoP hacker Lena, via Verge:
    • GoP had physical access to Sony's facilities and "staff with similar interests" let them in.
    • Lena initially claimed that GoP's goal was "equality", saying "We Want equality. Sony doesn’t. It’s an upward battle."
  • From Fusion Media and Business Insider:
  • From Kurt Stammburger at Norse Security, cited by CBS:
    • Stammburger has tentatively identified Lena as a ten-year Sony employee who left Sony in May and "was in precisely the right position and had the deep technical background she would need to locate the specific servers that were compromised."
    • The "North Korean" malware identified by the FBI is generic and in wide use by all sorts of hackers.
    • The GoP did not make any demands regarding the movie The Interview until late in their campaign.
  • From Brian Fung at WaPo:
    • Hackers claiming ties to Anonymous launched OpRIPNK to to DDoS North Korea.
    • TheAnonMessage endorsed OpRIPNK and was denounced by YourAnonNews for a separate issue.
    • Lizard Squad celebrated the DDoS of North Korea.
  • From Bloomberg:
    • The speed with which the national security apparatus blamed North Korea for the hack is suspicious.
    • IntelCrawler has identified several Lizard Squad members as members of Guardians of Peace.
    • Sony has been compromised by multiple hacking rings for years.
    • Sony was warned in late 2013 of hackers stealing gigabytes of data.
  • From Radar citing leaked Sony emails:
    • A high-ranking CIA agent met with Sony's head of security Stevan Bernard on October 31.
    • Undersecretary of State Richard Stengel and other feds asked Sony to produce propaganda against ISIS.
  • From Marc Rogers:
    • The Guardians of Peace text "reads to me like an English speaker pretending to be bad at writing English" rather than a Korean with poor grasp of English.
    • The Guardians of Peace did not mention North Korea or The Interview until after the media suggested that North Korea may have been behind the attack because of the movie.
    • The code was written on a PC with Korean locale, but Rogers suggests this is meaningless.
    • The destruction of Sony's data combined with the failure to take advantage of it suggests that the attacker was motivated by revenge.
  • From The Daily Beast:
    • The Guardians of Peace laughed at the FBI's assumption that North Korea was responsible.
    • The GoP linked to the "You Are An Idiot" video.
    • Richard Nixon once referred to South Korea as "the guardians of peace", a possible origin of the group's name.
    • An anonymous pastebin claiming to represent a group of 25-30 Anonymous members threatened further hacking attacks against Sony if they failed to release The Interview.

Comic relief:

Edit Dec. 26: Lizard Squad got doxxed by Finest Squad. Most of the lizards are high school age or younger, suggesting that there are leaders yet to be identified. The oldest name in the list is a 32yo who goes by "Criminal", "CGOD", or "Fatally" online, suggesting he might be the most experienced in the group (that we know of) and inclined to criminal behaviour. The full list of names is: chF/chFthemango/FTBG cHF, clerk/nitrous/verdict, TokenTheGod/OMG Treh/BaseSquad, kms/underscore, Criminal/CGOD/Fatally, Jordie, MLT. A separate doxx by "Dox Squad" identifies additional members: Satan666/Satan600, Teridax/AlphaQuintesson, PriNc£/Dox_Boi, Komodo/SYNACKtra, BP/Onion Cow/GaySexWithDad, Niko/PussySquirting, and Cedrick/Cedrick8I. Additional names are given for chF: chFTheCat, Clerk: Savaged/NotClerk. Another doxx lists TokenTheGod as Lizard Squad's leader, GDK Jordie as co-leader, chF as manager, and gives additional names: Souly (IP provisioning), dox_boi (doxxing and swatting), lolaristocrat (doxxing), Talos. It mentions that Criminal/Fatally had been raided. Most of the Finest Squad doxx was copied and pasted from a Dec. 9 doxx by YourAnonGlobo. Also, Lizard Squad is threatening to doxx Finest Squad back.

None of these doxx mention any alleged links between Lizard Squad and GoP, so IntelCrawler's claim that they are related has no outside support yet.

Edit Jan 10: Rumor has it that several lizards have moved to Team P0ison. The /baphomet/ group on 8chan is pointing the finger at DeleteSec / Deadman1420 as a lizard affiliate who was dumb enough to go to 8chan from his home IP and brag that he DDOSed them. It's not impossible that someone else was using his system as a proxy.

Edit Feb 1: Unconfirmed chatlogs and rumors suggest that Lizard Squad's Vince Omari and Julius "Ryan" Kivimaki got picked up by the police in January, were released, and then started attacking 8chan's Gamergate forum. That ain't suspicious at all.

IntelCrawler has released a report on Lizard Squad attempting to link them to Guardians of Peace.

  • The strongest link is that a lizard admitted "knowing some people from the GOP" and "handed over some Sony logins to them".
  • Lizard Squad domain host Abdilo/Notavirus/Survivaton "left Lizard Squad in October", has a history of hacking South Korean targets, and had tweeted about GoP after the group had been named in the press.
  • Teridax was tweeting jokes about 9/11 around the time a GoP paste mentioned 9/11, which is entirely meaningless
  • lolaristocrat joked about being from North Korea after the media blamed the Sony attack on North Korea, which is even more meaningless

That's not very strong. Additional Lizards named by IntelCrawler are ladykiller/labelled, sp3c, Vagineer, Chameleon, ryan (Kivimaki), dragon, and Gecko. I suspect that Chameleon, dragon, Komodo, and Gecko probably have different names and took lizard-themed names for Lizard Squad. Abdilo has been known to livestream his attacks, has openly attacked .gov and .mil sites for months from his home IP, and has not been arrested. The hacking group The Empire published Abdilo's request for membership.

So far it looks like the link between Lizard Squad and GoP is very weak.

Edit Dec 28: Not about the hack but worthy of a facepalm, Sony pirated some of the music in the movie. This from the same company that put rootkits on its music CDs.

Edit Dec 29: Norse Security has now identified six individuals involved in the hack. Charles C. Johnson has identified a second Sony employee as an involved hacker. This "lena2" is a senior systems administrator in Sony's payroll department, which Sony's consultants Bain & Co. eliminated. Leaked data suggests that lena2 may be Shahana Manjra, but nothing is confirmed yet.

From Jonathan Langdale: "They are looking at the wrong Lena. Lena was a June pink slip, used as a decoy. They have another name though."

Edit Jan 10: The FBI denounced Norse's information as not credible.

Edit Jan 10: The RBS timeline has updated.

Edit Feb 1: The NSA claims it had broken into North Korea's network and watched the attack go down. That would be exceptionally strong evidence if true.

Here's a conspiracy theory found while googling around for more info about the attack: TahoeBlue at Prison Planet thinks Sony did it to themselves to distract the public from the movie "Unbroken", about a Japanese POW camp during WWII. This idea has motive and nothing else going for it.

Here are some freeware games that have had Tang's attention lately.

Vilesteel by Firevictory is a top-down RPG where you click on the bad guys and hold down the mouse button until they're dead. In later missions you will also have to push a button to quaff potions when your health gets low. The plot is generic and the gameplay is repetitive but it is built around a solid RPG character engine, the ambient music is pretty good, and the placement of enemies sets an entertaining pace of advancing through small victories. Multiple upgrade paths allow you choose your character's powers and provide the opportunity to replay the game with a different play style.

Hint: If you choose an archer character as I did, the "composite shot" power lets you launch multiple attacks at the same speed as regular attacks. The 400% upgrade to your attack power is like turning on easy mode.

Tang's rating: 2/4 good effort, bad execution.

Sky Quest by Berzerk Studio is a side-scrolling shooter where you use the mouse to move your psychotic angel antihero around the screen to dodge bullets and blow up monsters while you are backed up by an airship providing heavy artillery support. The airship also has an HP bar, so you have to protect it too. The game's features include multiple upgrade paths, equippable items to improve your stats, and optional challenge levels including some extra-difficult levels near the end of the game that provide a final challenge after you finish the story line. With each level being around five minutes long, Sky Quest is an excellent choice for casual gaming.

Hint: The store sells better items than you can get from drops even with item drop quality maxed out, but selling the weaker drops helps you afford the rare items from the store.

Tang's rating: 4/4 well polished and addictive as hell.

Last Scenario by SCF is an RPG that came out in 2007, but I ran across it recently and it has been taking much of my time. According to the seer's prophesy, the last descendant of the ancient hero of legend is destined to become the hero of today who will fight off the demons that are about to awaken. That's all well and good and it's exactly what that guy wanted to hear, but what does it mean to be a hero? Last Scenario raises that question with an intelligent script that puts the would-be hero in such complicated situations that he begins to question the very nature of heroism.

Being an RPG Maker game, the music and battle system are fairly routine, although much of the artwork is original. The most notable deviation from the norm is that magic spells are not learned but are equippable Spell Card items usable by any character, and each character can only equip two of them until you unlock additional slots. The battle rewards and item costs are balanced well enough that you will have trouble equipping everyone with the best gear available while also keeping a full stock of healing items. There is an optional strategy sub-game that I do not play because I am terrible at it.

Hint: You cannot easily replace most MP-replenishing items, so buy Tents and use them at save points.

Tang's rating: 3.75/4 losing a quarter point for a few quibbles with the battle system.

Phoenotopia by Quell is a platform adventure with an interesting storyline, many sidequests, numerous well-hidden secrets, bustling communities full of interesting characters, and game mechanics that prove that there are still new things that can be done with the genre. The pastel pixel artwork, soft music, and predictable action patterns produce a calming ambience that make this a rare action game that can be described as relaxing. The charming atmosphere and strong design combine to make this one of the best freeware games of the year.

Hint: Bring one or two Honey-based speed items into the tech center under the pit on the other side of the great wall. You may need them after defeating the mechanical boss.

Tang's rating: 4/4 the best Metroidvania game since Cave Story.

The Awakening by RockLou is an RPG with a simple interactive battle system where you press A to attack or D to dodge, and you ignore the other battle options because they are not as useful and you are not going to need them. It gives you about two hours of gameplay before it abruptly ends with a message from the programmer that he ran out of energy and decided to release what he had, so consider it as a demo. For a demo, it's pretty good.

Hint: The game does not yet include any point where you need to use Caleb in battle, so you do not need to waste time grinding his stats.

Tang's rating: 1/4 a pretty good demo but a flawed and incomplete game.

Farmyard Chronicle by Flapbat is an action puzzle game. The puzzle is in finding ways to collect the lost farm animals that an apprentice wizard accidentally teleported all around the castle. The action is in chasing the damn things down as they wander around the room while you avoid the ones that will knock you across the room if you're not careful. This is much more entertaining than it sounds. The game benefits from making good use of stock RPG Maker music and graphics resources, giving you magic powers that progressively open up new areas. and having several secrets to find if you want a perfect ending.

Hint: One of the more important powers is found across a gap on the left side of a room. You will need help getting there.

Tang's rating: 3.5/4 a fun diversion.

Flash's Bounty by ZyBy is a remake of the 1990 game King's Bounty, and it feels like a tactics game from 1990: inspired, fun, and flawed. In the exploration half of the game you collect gold, raise armies, and encounter or avoid enemies. In the combat half of the game you position your units on the field and watch the battle play out. There are two flaws that stand out enough to be mentioned. There is little variety in unit attack patterns and abilities, making the game repetitive after a while. A more serious problem is that your gold sources do not replenish. If you lose all of your units, you will not be able to afford to rebuild your army so you may as well restart the game. You are allowed to retry lost battles, but not to retreat without losing everything, so it's all over if you walk into a lost cause. Even with these flaws, it's a good game and worth playing.

Hint: Ghosts are powerful and increase in strength for every unit they defeat, but they will leave your party after a number of turns. There is an easily discovered bug that can be exploited to keep them in your party, which makes the Ghost unit a total game breaker that removes all challenge from the game. Be aware that this might not be what you want.

Tang's rating: 2/4 flawed but entertaining.

Tiny Dangerous Dungeons by Adventure Islands is a delightful little platformer with retro-themed graphics and sound. The game is one level long and can be beaten in under an hour, which is right about when a player may start to get annoyed by the retro-themed graphics and sound. What little the game does, it does well.

Tang's rating: 2/4 just a demo, but a good one.

Chaos Dawn is a flash RPG from 2010 that seems like a flash game from 10 years earlier. The artwork is bad. The voice acting is bad. The battle system is generic. The story is even more generic. The hero-is-an-idiot comic relief had been done before and done better. Somehow this game managed to draw me into it. Perhaps the amateurness of this game reminded me of the early days of flash gaming when Absalom was the bleeding edge of the state of the art, providing a comforting nostalgia. Who knows? For whatever reason, I liked it enough to give it a mention in this list.

Tang's rating: 1/4 why can't I stop playing it?

[Edit Jan. 4: one more game]

Homework Salesman is an easygoing RPG where there are multiple itemcrafting skills you can build up in addition to your combat level. The worldbuilding and aesthetics are excellent, but the game is hampered by a difficulty cliff between dungeon levels that requires a great deal of grinding to overcome. It also crashes from time to time, so save often.

Tang's rating: 3/4 too much grinding and too crashy, but everything else is great.

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