Information Security News
mailing list archives
Meet the mysterious Mr. th3j35t3r
From: InfoSec News <alerts () infosecnews org>
Date: Mon, 12 Aug 2013 06:58:03 +0000 (UTC)
By Rachel Marsden
Major media outlets have featured him as representative of a new
generation of “patriot hackers.” He sent an old laptop to the
International Spy Museum in Washington, D.C., where it’s now on display.
He claims to have launched hacking attacks on websites ranging from
jihadist forums to WikiLeaks. Last week, a guest on the syndicated radio
program “Coast to Coast AM” described the individual hiding behind “The
Jester” moniker (or “th3j35t3r” in hacker lingo) as “not somebody in
someone’s basement in a T-shirt.”
Except that he does appear to be just a regular guy, and not part of some
sophisticated operation. He is nevertheless an iconic figure in the world
of cyber-spying. A U.S. Army cyber-operations specialist issued a report
that used the “Jester Dynamic” to illustrate a new breed of online
warrior. I spent three hours on the phone with a man claiming to be The
Jester in the wee hours last week. This is a cautionary tale about the
smoke and mirrors in the new frontier of cyber-espionage, which U.S.
intelligence leaders described in March as the top security threat to the
United States ― surpassing terrorism.
I discovered The Jester’s existence a few weeks ago, finding the persona
charming and amusing but quickly realizing that he wasn’t actually
hacking. Rather, he was using a readily available tool to launch a deluge
of junk data at websites, causing them to become unavailable to users.
There was no actual intrusion.
As a pro-Western “hacktivist,” he claimed to have hacked a Venezuelan
newspaper’s website when that country’s president considered granting
asylum to NSA intel leaker Edward Snowden. Leaving the target website
untouched, he effectively directed his audience to a spoof page he created
that replaced certain articles with his own. He did the same to a Libyan
newspaper during the anti-Gadhafi operation. Legitimate cyber specialists
tell me The Jester has requested that they perform technical wizardry on
Find the best InfoSec talent without breaking your budget!
Post a Job! $99 for 31 days
- Meet the mysterious Mr. th3j35t3r InfoSec News (Aug 12)