In the New York Times, Nadim Kobeissi tells how Sabu, at that time presumed to be the leader of the Anonymous network, tried to befriend him and get him into his schemes.
A Montreal-based student and also encryption specialist, Nadim (@kaepora) is also famous for crypto.cat, a communication tool that is used by many security groups and also activists worldwide to send privately messages, without fear of detection. The messages are encrypted, and not even the operator of the infrastructure cannot read the messages.
Even with the cryptocat cred, Nadim was still impressed to get messages from Sabu, and even more surprised to be invited to join in attacks. As most of you know, Sabu has know been revealed as the 28-year old NYC resident Hector Xavier Monsegur, paid by the FBI to reveal the identies of hacker “friends”.
Other signs show the growth of the hacker community in Montreal: in less than 3 weeks, Hackus will be in Montreal, with a software, hardware, and social engineering tracks. The initiative is advertised to most Comp Sci students in Montreal as well as various InfoSec companies. Teams are challenged for 2 days to solve simple to complex challenges, such as rooting a server, cryptography challenges, or hacking the network layer. For programmers or “regular” sys-admins, it would interesting to attend the event and see what are the challenges in security, if you are on the other side of the fence… especially if your server experienced an intrusion or injection recently.
Other initiatives also contribute to the growth of the community. Every month, MTLSEC has organized informal get-togethers where anyone can meet professionals or anyone interested in security, from governance issues to low-level implementation. The next meeting is tomorrow at Nyks Bistro near metro Place des Arts.
That’s without counting REcon, a world-class computer security conference. The event attracts companies and individuals interested in reverse engineering and exploitation techniques, and contribute into establishing Montreal as a security and hacker pole in North America.
That community is fuelled by the support of new startups like Subgraph, a developer of the open source security tool Vega. Many student groups from ETS to UQAM to Concordia are also heavily invested in that community… on what side you might ask. But that’s for another article.