Casual AMA with an Anonymous Rebel

Oli Gardner AMA
October 12, 2015
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October 14, 2015
Our first casual AMA.
As a former administrator of a bot net, a basic script kiddy, former creator of infamous fake IDs, former employee of the US federal government, processed for Top Secret SCI clearance with a full scope polygraph, and as the smooth talker that has safely talked himself out of multiple high speed traffic tickets. He can provide any type of advice from being prepared for interviews with corporations, small companies, government positions, clearance background checks, and also how to talk oneself out of traffic tickets.  He can also provide helpful insight on being successful in school, the workplace, and general personnel management.  

anon: Hello everyone

timhickle: Thanks for doing this, @anon!

sjoh527: Hello

anon2: Hey

timhickle: @danon: are you and @anon2 related?

anon: I am anon, and right now I handle support for a cloud computing company for over 50,000 customers

anon: Yes, anon2 is my big brother, and is the one who has inspired me to be involved in technology

anon2: @timhickle: indeed.

anon: Anyone can ask me anything. From being attached to a polygraph to what it’s like eating lunch at a startup

trevortheking: What kinda food do you guys have?

anon: mostly beer

julie: @anon: What questions did they ask you?

trevortheking: I like your place of work. How do I apply?

sjoh527: How did you get offered your current position?

julie: Which were you the most nervous to answer?

anon: I actually got offered my current position after my last ‘work from home’ job didn’t work out.

anon: I was nervous during the whole polygraph exam, It went awful

trevortheking: ” former creator of infamous fake IDs” – Were you doing McLovin quality or what?

anon: They ask you questions you already answered on paper, but they examine you very closely. They even have ‘quality analysts’ watching from behind a camera in the room

david: How accurate are polygraphs?

anon: They are accurate at showing physiological signs, but not good indicators of whether or not someone is lying

julie: Which Q’s did they ask you?

anon: I believed my IDs were ‘McLovin’ quality, but Homeland Security believed them to be of ‘drug cartel’ quality

anon: They ask you ‘counter-intelligence’ questions and ‘lifestyle’ questions. I believe it was 10 each

robertadler: What codebase did you use for botnet? Or if it was home grown, what callback protocol?

trevortheking: Hahah, that’s the good stuff right there. But please tell me about your smooth talking ways of getting out of traffic tickets? I don’t get nervous often, but when I do a cop is behind me.

anon: the counter-intelligence questions all were along the lines of: ‘have you ever planned, cohorted, or worked with others trying to overthrow the government’

anon: I’m not certain about the specifics of the bot net as my friend created it. The bot net was actually distributed in a “hack” for the game “Counter-Strike”

anon: I just had the fun of being able to enable key logging and execute programs, such as notepad

trevortheking: The good ole days of CS 1.6 – awe the days.

robertadler: Ahh, the aim … bot.

anon: usually when I get pulled over, I let the cop know that I’m nervous

trevortheking: thats a good start

anon: When they ask why, I tell them because “my insurance rates will go up, my parents will kill me, my aunt is a police officer”

anon: one of those usually gets them

robertadler: On a scale of 1 to over 9000, how many buffers have you overflowed?

anon2: So, from my devopsy point of view, SEO is on just this side of evil, up there with spammers trying to subvert infrastructure I try to protect. How would you convince me that SEO is actually a good and ethical way of promoting my fledgeling business, “”?

anon: that is an excellent question

anon: shouldn’t your website be at the top of results for “engineers” and “fashion”

anon2: If it received the most organic traffic, sure

timhickle: In your eyes, what does the future of cyber security look like? Should we be concerned about the future of our security, or is increased focus on data security towards companies enough to keep us secure?

anon: I believe the future of cyber security is going to be a lot more intense. there will be bigger players, bigger consequences, and visible effects which we are already starting to see with the likes of the Target security breach which effected many people

robertadler: Do you believe that the government’s intent with new laws, etc, based on overblown “events”, is actually to protect people or just being used as a vehicle to increase their data reach?

anon: We should be taking an active part in keeping information secure that we want to

anon: I think it is to protect their interests

anon: they want to know if you’re planning on doing something to overthrow the status quo or cause damage

robertadler: What OS is your daily driver?

anon: Mac OSX when I’m at work, Windows 7 when I’m at home

anon: I tried SteamOS, but I didn’t quite have the proper hardware requirements to make it worthwhile

anon: I’ve tried using Ubuntu, but can’t seem to consistently stick with it

timhickle: With the hundreds of terabytes of data they have, do you think our gov’t is anywhere near as big and scary as some have led us to believe, or could they be choking under the weight of the sheer volume of data they’re collecting? (If this is over the line of what you’re allowed to/supposed to talk about, no worries)

robertadler: When it comes to production networking hardware (or just in general, could be applied to almost everything), more of a fan of the enterprise-y systems like Juniper or Cisco, or of a “home grown” system such as pfSense / OPNsense (with HardenedBSD security layers built right into the OS).?

robertadler: (apologies I’m just going rapid fire, btw)

anon: yea, that’s interesting because: and most people wouldn’t know that: is actually

timhickle: hahahahahaha

timhickle: that’s about what i figured

robertadler: lol. anon knows all about that deep state packet inspection

anon: but really, there is such an enormous amount of data being collected, I think it is something that people ‘shouldn’t’ worry so much about

scott: What’s your opinions on TPP?

anon: what is the question @robertadler

anon: Trans-Pacific Partnership?

scott: yeah

robertadler: In english the question was: do you prefer to work with “off the shelf” type hardware, or build it yourself so you know what’s in it?

anon: I like the idea of off-the-shelf hardware, and I think things can work better using that method especially for enterprise sized operations

anon: I believe that build-it-yourself is typically wasteful unless you need something very specific

ethanframe: broad question: what motivates you most to get up out of bed in the AM? anything your working on on the side right now? do you enjoy your job?

anon: I’m not familiar with TPP, but what are the most controversial issues with it?

anon: I enjoy being able to wake up and knowing that I can help someone get past a ‘blocker’ or something that is blocking them from getting their work done

anon: I try and help people out on the side with anything related to IT, but side work has been slow

scott: for one, the secrecy behind the agreement is astounding. every now and again we get bits of info on it leaked but the general consensus is that there’s a lot of riders about internet restrictions and monitoring

scott: trademark, copyright, patent enforcement – and to what degree that can be taken

anon: that’s interesting, I believe there is already a lot of monitoring, so I don’t see what more monitoring will help with. It would probably be worthwhile for people to voice their concerns

timhickle: What aspects of cyber security/data security should we be paying more attention to? What should we be paying less attention to?

anandvc: anon, What’s the most useful thing you have learned recently?

anon: we should be paying more attention to who we hand our credit cards to. we should be reviewing statements from credit cards, and bank statements. we should worry less about data, pictures, and words said on facebook and twitter (after they are already said) discretion should always be used before hand

anon: the most useful thing i’ve learned recently is deploying an application on Modulus

>discretion should always be used before hand


david: @anon what’s your 5 or 10 year plan?

anon: I always try to provide lot of information up front as a sort of ‘honey pot.’ it worked well when I was looking for internships during undergrad and employers thought they found my real ‘facebook’

anon: :stuck_out_tongue:

nikita: joined #ama

claudiam: @anon: what is something about you that we would be surprised to know

anon: my 5 year plan is to lead a team of either support related or telecommunications related experts. Some sort of team lead. In 10 years I plan to be in a higher leadership position of a large corporation or within the government. Overseeing something in technology

anon: I almost crashed my car and likely would have died in a street race on the highway going over 130 mph

nikita: What do you think is more important in terms of sales of consumer products? The product (that it works as intended, executes its function, etc) or the marketing of that product?

anon: second most surprising thing is to know that I had the FBI and other agencies tailing me on my way from work to home when I was creating fake IDs

timhickle: What was that experience like?

anon: scary

claudiam: @anon: woah! LOL that’s so funny and badass

timhickle: Did you know at the time they were following you?

timhickle: Or did you find out later?

anon: I thought I was crazy at first, paranoid. When I found out later that my suspicious were confirmed…it was well still scary, but slightly relieving to know I wasn’t crazy

timhickle: was it the way i’m picturing it in my head? black SUV’s following you, etc, or were they more covert?

anon: there were literally black SUVs with lights under the grill that were following me

anon: they pulled out of random side streets that didn’t make any since. i.e. a park where fishers go.

anon: they followed me close enough even though I was going 80 in a 55. They stopped after I continued at speeds over 120 mph for more than five minutes

timhickle: WOW

timhickle: so this was an isolated incident? or did they tail you more than once?

anon: I think a product should work as intended, but I believe it is more important to market the product

anon: it happened on multiple occasions

timhickle: i can’t be the only one FASCINATED by this, right? haha

anon: two memorable occasions were when an unmarked car followed me back to work and parked a couple spots away

tmorris: Can you post you fav picture of yourself?

scott: @timhickle: you’re not alone. this is awesome.

anon: and I worked at the end of a cul-de-sac and knew every car at my work

anon: I got out of my car and stared at the person in their car

anon: scared to death not knowing if they were someone trying to kill me, arrest me, or if it was really just a coincidence

claudiam: @timhickle: totally not alone, I was waiting for something like this to happen haahah

scott: @anon: aren’t they supposed to be sneaky? and when did you find out it was FBI and not something more nefarious?

anon: favorite picture of myself..let’s see..

claudiam: @anon: nooooooooooo keep going!

anon: well I found out it was the FBI and Homeland Security when they came knocking on my door one morning at 6am as i was getting ready for my internship that year

anon: I was in the shower washing my hair

anon: my dad knocked on the door and said

anon: “ANON. Get out of the shower. The police are here.”

scott: hahaha

anon: I stopped mid-action and said “..What?”

claudiam: Hahahaha

anon: I just downloaded a torrent…how did they know? was my first thought

timhickle: hahahahahahaha

claudiam: omg

anon: the second thought was “oh shit…oh fuck. this isn’t about the torrent on the neighbors wi-fi”

anon: I collected myself and calmly replied. Alright, let me get dressed.

anon: I got dressed professionally and walked out with a blank face. Two men stood at my kitchen table.

anon: “Is there anything I can help you with” I said

anon: acting like nothing was going on :stuck_out_tongue:

scott: “you wouldn’t steal a car”

anon: I get a surprised look and one of the men holds up a large manilla envelope

anon: I would if I could download it

scott: lol

anon: “I was hoping you could tell us about this ANON.”

tmorris: So you went to jail?

anon: “I’m not saying anything until I speak with my attorney.”

anon: Surprisingly, no.

anon: “OH, REALLY, ANON? BECAUSE WE’RE HERE TO HELP.” the man replied, rather loudly

claudiam: WHAT

claudiam: OMG

nikita: Do you think that crappy products that are marketed well and thus sold in large quantities(even though 90% of consumers will think its crap after 1-2 uses and throw it away) are “successful”?

claudiam: PLOT TWIST

anon: Yes they’re successful! They sold!

david: Plot twist… They wanted to buy a fake ID.

anon: LOL

timhickle: hahahahaha

anon: I said nothing in reply to the man. My dad said “we better talk.” I asked “Can we go outside” we walked out on the back deck and talked

anon: my dad told me “I had no clue this was going on. You can either have us ‘your parents’ on your side, and you can ‘fess up. Or you can have us against you.”

tmorris: Did this story help with the ladies?

anon: I was so scared about the whole thing that I never really told anyone but a select few people

anon: I was lucky not to be expelled from school

anon: my school actually never found out

tmorris: Maybe you can get one of those OG girls now?

anon: I could have lost my job etc

anon: bahahahha

nikita: So if you were marketed a product that didn’t properly execute its function or did so poorly would you be pissed off that you wasted money on it and thus pissed off at the company that sold it to you or would you just appreciate the marketing effort chalk it up to a bad purchase?

anon: I think I would chalk it up to a bad purchase. I would probably voice my thoughts to the company so they could know to improve the product

anon: so after carefully thinking about the fact that several agencies were investigating me and that I was thoroughly fucked if I decided to fight the charge(s) I said that I would talk

anon: the first question I was asked by Homeland Security was:

claudiam: @tmorris really relevant question!

anon: “You had the perfect ID, Anon. Who trained you, and where are they?”

nikita: What if a good product is not something the company is after. Its just after the sales and profit and doesn’t really care if its product works as intended or not, just that it sells due to the intense marketing efforts?

anon: I don’t think I would like that very much Nikita

nikita: But thats not something you can know.

timhickle: So were you self-taught?

anon: more or less I was self taught. I had resources from a place or a group rather, but it wasn’t what they had in mind

anon: they had believed I was working with a mexican drug cartel to manufacture fake IDs, birth certificates etc. new identities

tmorris: @claudiam: That’s something a girl that would want Anon would say.

timhickle: So they question you, you talk to them (no attorney?) and they leave, end of story? Or are we missing something?

anon: once they found out I was willing to talk they waived off the multiple patrol cars in my driveway and the rest of the task force there to search my house

claudiam: @anon: Mexican drug cartel!? That’s a bit dramatic hahahahah

claudiam: this is nuts

timhickle: @claudiam: RIGHT?

david: Ever figure out how they found you?

anon: They asked me if I knew these 3 people, very hispanic names, I was completely confused.

anon: They found me through a friend that was helping me

anon: they ripped apart his house

anon: like cut-open-couch-cushions looking for hidden stuff

claudiam: OMFGGGGGG

anon: they also laid down a stack of papers which detailed phone calls, text messages, facebook messages, etc

anon: to my friend

anon: they had gone ‘patriot-act’ on my ass

claudiam: Daaaaaang

anon: after I thoroughly convinced them that I was simply a ‘college-kid’ trying to get in to bars with my older friends they threw out all of the felonies

anon: and left me with two misdemeanors

anon: my lawyer helped me with getting those expunged and my record sealed

timhickle: WOW

timhickle: that’s an incredible story


claudiam: i am so glad i asked my question

claudiam: this was incredible HAHAH

timhickle: SAME


brad: Talk about street racing for a second.

claudiam: ahahahhhaha

claudiam: @timhickle: we are obsessed

timhickle: AS WE SHOULD BE


anon: the street racing started with several miles of clear highway

claudiam: for real. like, tarantino movie

timhickle: so, after street racing, tell us… If the FBI shows up at our door one day, what should we do?

anon: the person in the other vehicle spotted my thoroughly blacked out car, and I saw his ‘coffee-can exhaust’ it was evident that a race was on

anon: say nothing

anon: find out what they know

anon: get an attorney

brad: How often did you street race?

brad: Was it for money?

brad: What car were you driving?

anon: it was really just for fun. other cars on the highway that wanted to do 80-plus

anon: I was just driving a shitty VW Passat LOL

anon: it was the same thing as an Audi B5 A4 though

anon: V6 30V engine

anon: nothing really fast

anon: but coming from driving my mom’s car in high school, it was certainly quicker

brad: I only skimmed through. Did you get in trouble from that?

anon: street racing, surprisingly no

anon: going 100+ in a 35 mph, and a 65 mph, yes

anon: but those times I wasn’t racing

timhickle: wait – i just remembered

timhickle: you said you were going like 120 with these guys following you… why didn’t they stop you?

anon: I did a burn out past a police officer ‘unknowingly’ and continued on to go “well over 100 mph”

anon: I think they must have had “orders” or something

anon: maybe to simply “tail” me and see if I meet with anyone along the route back home

timhickle: How long was it after you noticed them that they showed up at your door? Weeks? Months?

anon: maybe 3 weeks

claudiam: Oh wow

timhickle: Yeah, that’s an intense tailing!!

anon: up to the point they showed up, I was almost dying of paranoia

anon: my phone conversations continued to be tapped for years after the event

timhickle: really?? how do you know??

anon: part of it’s a gut feeling

claudiam: @anon

anon: another part is hearing a soft ​*click*​ and white noise after a dial starts

claudiam : how do you know its ended

sercan: joined #ama

claudiam: Ahh

anon: I stopped hearing the soft clicks and the white noise

claudiam: Sry saw that comment after hahah

anon: I may or may not have developed ‘exploding head syndrome’ from the whole event

timhickle: i can totally understand why!

claudiam: sounds approp

timhickle: have you overcome your paranoia since then?

anon: Yes, very much so

anon: Or at least, much much more

claudiam: Did you go to therapy?!

anon: yea. It was for something else a year after the event

anon: I casually mentioned a portion of the ordeal and the therapist thought I was mad

timhickle: hahahahaha

anon: I fell madly in love with a girl who mentally and emotionally was very hurtful. So I saw a therapist.

anon: I didn’t really realize how much my life was affected until I spoke about it more and got better

claudiam: @anon: oh man, I’m so sorry to hear that

anon: and by the next year I set my goals on working for the government

claudiam: I’m glad you’ve overcome!!

claudiam: Big feat

timhickle: Agreed, @claudiam! That’s a tough nut to crack, but congratulations on making it happen!! :simple_smile:

anon: My goals now are to finish my degree, which has unfortunately been put on hold for the last two years since my scholarships ended

anon: finish my degree, be successful in my field, inspire others

timhickle: well it sounds like you’re well on your way to accomplishing that! if you can overcome something like that and return to a solid mental state, that’s inspiring to me!

timhickle: i feel like i’d NEVER stop looking over my shoulder

anon: also during all of that craziness I found myself to be quite good at throwing massive college parties

anon: 3 keg parties with hundreds of kids and blaring house music from some excellent DJs

anon: I feel my life has got much more boring, but at the same time much more stable.

anon: anyways! thanks everyone for the good conversation!