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Hacktivism, Tools, and the Arab Spring

Friday, July 13, 2012: 4:00 pm (Dennis): During the Arab Spring of 2011, agents of Telecomix, members of Anonymous, and a multitude of independent hackers took direct action to aid dissidents by helping to circumvent censorship, disseminating photographs and video footage of violence against peaceful protesters, redeploying dialup modem pools, and using DNS hijacking to warn people of online surveillance. During this time, some interesting discoveries were made by Telecomix, namely, man in the middle attacks with forged SSL certificates and the installation of deep packet inspection hardware in the networks of a number of Syrian ISPs for the purpose of Internet censorship. The activists used logs from Blue Coat web gateway devices to reverse engineer the rulesets Syrian authorities were using, so as to better advise protesters on methods of evasion. Telecomix was also instrumental in tracing where the Blue Coat DPI devices were sourced from and how they were delivered to Syria in violation of United States export regulations. The presenters (all agents of Telecomix) were among those active during the Arab Spring, and will discuss what surveillance measures they encountered, some of the threats against protesters in Syria and Egypt, and how strategies for supporting protesters evolved in response to the changing situation on the ground.

Hosted by Peter Fein, Andrew Lewis, Geoff Jiraffa, Meredith L. Patterson, and The Doctor




HN9A06$5.00