[ISN] Cyanide Anarchist a Hacker, Too?

From: InfoSec News (isnat_private)
Date: Wed Apr 10 2002 - 01:44:17 PDT

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    [There's a few things I find troubling with this, one not being that
    the Chicago FBI dropped into the 2600 meeting, in fact I am glad to
    see that they are leaving no stone unturned, as we all know, that one
    small bit of information could fill in all the blanks for a stalled 
    No, what I find troubling is that Konopka is mentioned in the press as
    having worked in computer security, is wanted for hacking in
    Wisconsin, (the least of his troubles) not to mention several wants
    and warrants, but is in the company of a minor, in possesion of two
    stolen laptops (one with a wireless card) two seperate variants of
    cyanide, and is arrested in the steam and subways tunnels of Chicago.
    You have wonder how many other Konopka's there are out there (foreign
    or domestic) with a track record of destroying infrastructure,
    knowledge of computer networks, chemistry, and is hell bent on raising
    havoc for whatever reason. I for one am just glad that he didn't make
    it into the Big League with with an Aum Shinri Kyo like attack in the 
    subway as the writing on the wall was all there.  - William Knowles]
    By Declan McCullagh 
    2:00 a.m. April 9, 2002 PDT 
    A 25-year-old anarchist who goes by the moniker "Dr. Chaos" is not 
    only accused of being a potential cyanide-terrorist. The FBI also 
    believes that Joseph Konopka, charged with illegally possessing sodium 
    cyanide and potassium cyanide, is a nefarious computer hacker with 
    ties to 2600 magazine. 
    On Friday, about nine FBI agents swooped down on a public gathering of 
    hackers loosely associated with 2600 and interrogated attendees about 
    subway tunnels in Chicago, Illinois, where Konopka allegedly stashed 
    over a pound of poison. 
    "He had met with members of this group once or more than once in the 
    past," Ross Rice, a spokesman for the Chicago FBI office, said on 
    On the first Friday of every month, self-described hackers in scores 
    of cities convene for 2600 meetings -- events that are part social 
    gathering, part tech-tip swapping and sometimes a recruitment 
    opportunity for local Internet firms. 
    Around 6 p.m. last Friday, FBI agents surrounded the roughly 15 
    attendees at the Chicago-area 2600 gathering, held in the Great Hall 
    at Union Station. Attendees said that the agents showed them a photo 
    of Konopka and asked questions about chemical agents, explosives, and 
    tours of the subway system. 
    "They were asking me questions, if anyone had been offering tours of 
    underground tunnels, anyone talking about chemicals or explosives, 
    things like that," said Robert Sheehy, a 26-year-old 2600 attendee. 
    "They asked me what my nickname was on IRC. They seemed shocked that I 
    wasn't on IRC." 
    Sheehy said he didn't recognize the photo of Konopka but someone else 
    reported they had seen it in local news coverage. 
    FBI spokesman Rice wouldn't say what, if anything, the bureau learned 
    during the agents' 20-minute interview session: "I can't characterize 
    what was said or what was asked. People who are talked to in those 
    circumstances, the results of the interviews are confidential." 
    University of Illinois at Chicago police arrested Konopka on March 9 
    for trespassing in the campus' underground steam tunnels. He had been 
    wanted by police in Wisconsin for allegedly vandalizing utility 
    Police say a 15-year-old boy who was arrested with Konopka led them to 
    the stash of cyanide secreted in a Chicago Transit Authority subway 
    An affidavit by FBI agent Leslie Lahr said Konopka admitted to using a 
    laptop computer hidden with the chemicals for "'war driving,' which is 
    a way to access to networks without permission using a wireless 
    modem." Lahr said Konopka confessed to being part of an anarchist 
    group called Realm of Chaos, "the purpose of which was to take 
    personal entertainment" out of destroying public utility, water, 
    sewage, and telecommunication systems. 
    Last month, a federal magistrate judge ordered that Konopka be held 
    without bail because he presented "an extreme danger." 
    This isn't the first time that a 2600 gathering has been targeted by 
    federal agents. 
    In 1992, Secret Service agents raided a 2600 gathering at the Pentagon 
    City mall in Virginia. The agents seized property and recorded names 
    of attendees. 
    That altercation led to a court case brought by the Electronic Privacy 
    Information Center. An affidavit filed by Secret Service agent William 
    Burch in that case said the raid had to do with "long distance 
    telephone toll fraud." 
    William Knowles, a Chicago security analyst who occasionally attends 
    2600 meetings, said he was surprised to hear the news. 
    "Chicago meetings are pretty tame," Knowles said. "When I was going, 
    it was various subjects, what everyone else was up to. They're not 
    exactly the hotbeds of computer anarchy that federal agents might 
    [Related links: 
    http://www.wbbm780.com/asp/ViewMoreDetails.asp?ID=7985 ]
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