Hacked Documents Show Chamber Engaged HBGary to Spy on Unions
I noted yesterday how mind-numbingly ignorant analysis of Glenn Greenwald’s motivation as a careerist hack that was provided by HBGary. And if the allegations in the excerpts of former WikiLeaks volunteer Daniel Domscheit-Berg’s book are accurate, HBGary’s analysis about WikiLeaks itself is even more ignorant.
Add in the fact that this “security” company got hacked in rather embarrassing fashion.
Which, I’m guessing, is going to cause the Chamber of Commerce to rethink the spying work with HBGary it apparently has been considering.
Let me start with this caveat: what follows is based on emails available by Torrent. The parties in this affair are making claims and counterclaims about the accuracy of what is in there.
But it appears that back in November the same parties involved in the pitch to Bank of America–Palantir, HBGary Federal, and Berico Technologies working through Hunton and Williams–started preparing a pitch to the Chamber of Commerce. At that point, HBGary started researching anti-Chamber groups StoptheChamber.com and USChamberWatch. At one point, HBGary maps the connections between SEIU, Change to Win, and USChamberWatch as if he’s found gold.
By the end of November, Barr starts working on a presentation outlining the difference between StoptheChamber and USChamberWatch, as well as “a link chart of key people in the distribution of information, background information on each individual and ways to counteract their effect on group.”
On January 13, HBGary believed they had signed a contract.
This afternoon an H&W courier is bringing over a CD with the data from H&W from phase 1. We are assuming that this means that phase 1 is a go (We’ll let you know once we confirm this) and I’m wondering how we will integrate that data. Should we bring the CD over to Tyson’s Corner?
On February 3, law firm H&W came back to the three security firms and told them they’d be doing their Phase I work on spec, until the Chamber had bought into the full project. At that point, the firms put together a plan including a proposed February 14 briefing.
In response, Aaron Barr boasted (as is his wont) that his upcoming presentation at BSides security conference on Anonymous should be proof enough.
Let them read about my talk in two weeks on my analysis of the anonymous group.
Should be proof enough. But willing to discuss.
Which gets us just about to the point where Barr blabs his mouth, this security firm is badly hacked, and the Chamber of Commerce’s efforts to use intelligence firms to investigate activists exposing the Chambers own work is revealed.
I’m guessing HBGary just lost that contract, how about you?
Update: TP has a related take on this, describing more about what the proposal is:
According to one document prepared by Team Themis, the campaign included an entrapment project. The proposal called for first creating a “false document, perhaps highlighting periodical financial information,” to give to a progressive group opposing the Chamber, and then to subsequently expose the document as a fake to undermine the credibility of the Chamber’s opponents. In addition, the group proposed creating a “fake insider persona” to “generate communications” with Change to Win.