One in four U.S. hackers is on the FBI payroll, according to an investigation by the Guardian. “Cyber policing units” have done such a bang-up job of forcing hackers to co-operate by threatening them with jail time that they’ve managed to create “an army of informants deep inside the hacking community.” In some cases, FBI moles and agents have even taken over the management of entire crime forums. As you might guess, this is a recipe for paranoia and mistrust. “It makes for very tense relationships, says one expert. “There are dozens and dozens of hackers who have been shopped by people they thought they trusted.” The highest-profile informant to date is Adrian Lamo, a convicted hacker who informed on Wikileaker Bradley Manning, earning himself the title of “world’s most hated hacker.” Still, all this infiltration hasn’t stopped hackers from targeting the FBI itself. Recently, a group calling itself Lulz Security raided an FBI’s affiliate named InfraGard, stealing about 180 sets of log-ins. The group claimed it was responding to a recent report that the U.S. government was preparing to classify some cyberattacks as acts of war.
• One in four US hackers ‘is an FBI informer’ [Guardian]