Notes on Security & Data
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- Information Methods, Online and Offline: Notes on Security and Data
- The principle locus of cyberstalking, which formed the original visible event of 2002 online and in messages, is of course computers. Amid a torrent of messages at the time barely glimpsed, and the escalating pattern that followed me across the web and IRC that they formed part of, a security compromise was suspected, and upon later inspection was considered indispensable. Internet tracking by online attackers able to access forums I already frequented, guestbooks associated with websites, new forums I sought out, spam email addresses as they were created and abandoned in concert with their other activity, follow me from the web to Internet Relay Chat, beyond the confines of website IP logging or cookies, and tout their access to sites, private data and emails in messages or the magazine, indicate the fundamental role of spyware in some form.
- Fingerprint motifs unite the many websites, forums, guestbooks and spam emails, messages and events at the magazine, and their systemic examination better illuminates their meaning and limited participants. A single repeating obsession, with which the data is rife, the exchanges of a single forum, or a single item of private data restricted to my PC or associated with a sole email, say, will link and track the stalkers of website forums, authors of messages and the access to private data at the magazine or beyond. Stolen data and work have since been recognised filtered into commercial media including press, advertising, pop and film, and personal work has continued to be exploited as recently as 2015.
- The unity of data divulges online tracking and participation. Its motifs, note, while repetitive, may be inspected interminably without resolution until traced to their origin, be it a stolen document, a media article, or the prevalent repeating motifs of film and its 'system'; the obsessions with horses, sailing and drowning seen in the magazine are all features of this cinematic system now established over forty years of inspected data, and my own earliest experiences can now be seen as specific subjection to what is systemically true. The same sequence in TV and film illuminates the utterances of the likes of Eugene Byrne and Anna Britten, whether they knew it or not. Similarly, were there any doubt, the events of the net and Venue magazine in 2002-3 now show clearly in film, as I continue to be subjected to the criminal and cultish operation. It is hardly any surprise, after the inexplicable obsession with Elvis that linked one Messenger stalker, a fake teen band site, Venue website messages and mention by Melissa Blease in the magazine, to find Elvis 'in prison' and starring in lookalike form in 2007's White Noise II.
- I began using the internet in 2001, with very little knowledge or awareness and no formal protection, lacking anti-virus software or third party firewall. Software had been principally provided by Joe Parry, later to be alluded to (in the demonstrated fashion) in messages with his mother and sister, and he had installed the operating system I was using at the time as well as depositing unsorted miscellaneous data on the PC. Files were received from Joe and Jasper overall, neither suspected of illicit activity (see below). My initial internet access derived from a free trial AOL account courtesy of mass-mailed CDs that had been deliverered to the area in 2000 or 2001, and while free this required a credit card, for which I utilised Jaz's with his permission. This connection was replaced briefly by a BT account in early 2003 before I terminated all access to the internet with my home phone number, now equipped with a mobile phone.
- Internet activity in the first half of 2001 was limited, and included contact with the Koestler Parapsychology Unit (KPU) and limited forum usage, later forum membership to one psychology site, experimentation with administrative traceroutes and spidering of sites, and researching subjects related to my parents' political activities, including disinformation sites, research into psychology subjects, and research into Josee and her musical activities.
- At the time, little was suspected. In hindsight, of course, spyware proved an indispensable feature of what took place, and those events were of dramatic consequence. However, it is also clear that computer crime alone could not possibly account for what was seen, and this limited view has since been surpassed. The scam that unravelled in 2002 made use of numerous methods of which computer crime was merely one; in addition, burglary, suspected at the time and since corroborated, and a degree of unofficial surveillance implicit in years of stalking and house watching, so-called 'social engineering' or confidence fraud named in one personals ad on the Venue website by a self-titled media professional, and collaboration on any scale, were all of equal or greater import. Upon examination it is also my view that the events of 2002 were not 'caused' by a computer vulnerability at all, but were the deliberate and planned outcome of years of stalking and criminal activity and the influence and intended cultural events of media and of film particularly to which the internet and computer crime presented an ideal opportunity.
- The participation of Venue magazine themselves is also an outcome of inspection of original data in this regard. Venue were not merely viewing messages appearing in their magazine without participation, but can be seen with access to common websites, spam emails, participating in events and messages, and with access to both stolen data and the incriminating activities of stalking across prior years and illegal access to my home address. The magazine would finally link themselves, perhaps unsurprisingly, to the wholesale theft of thousands of pounds of personal affects and goods from storage in 2010. Behind the scam, and at the center of Venue's business at this time, was a considerable and very murky criminal operation.
- Nor were Venue alone in media. The subsequent exposure of the illicit activities of the News of the World, uniting private investigation, police corruption, methods including phone hacking, burglary, house watching, etc., and child pornography, and a newspaper albeit principally motivated by the aggressive pursuit of news value, is illustrative of the operation of media in general, far beyond the confines of the few sectors of the press affected by The Guardian's limited exposure. The News of the World pursued a program of systematic and illegal hacking, etc., under the management of Rebekah Brooks, herself originally highlighted by Massive Attack following acquittal as part of Operation Ore. The Massive Attack arrest is blatantly signalled in the online data I recorded and was exposed to. The Guardian, meanwhile, prove a principal influence, participant and censor, matching the events of cyberstalking and assimiliating the data of the messages and subsequent harassment as I was violently targeted in Bristol, while fingerprint data identifies the magazine, even Massive Attack's own 2003 video director Daniel Levi.
- Data Theft and Stolen Work
- Key data present on my system at that time included personal diaries, including limited records of nights out in Bristol and a diary of dreams, academic and political documents including items on Italian radical political figures and the radical politics of the 1970s, and my father's obituary, also searched online, photographs of myself and family members including both dead parents, emails retained from contact with Fiona Steinkamp at the KPU prospective to participation in experiments in precognitive dreaming, a textfile of names, addressess, phone numbers and email addresses for a limited selection of contemporary contacts, limited early computer graphics work, reference image libraries, and some "soft" adult heterosexual pornography/erotica.
- Examples of stolen work or borderline items include publicity for Katy Perry's 2010 EP Teenage Daydream, designs for the Humanz and related stencil in the 2009 movie Gamer, private advertising appearing in an Italian paper in 2010, or concepts included in the 2015 Wachowski Brothers movie Jupiter Ascending. Venue's events, and its messages and personalities, have long since been starkly assimilated into film. The role of stolen work is of course principally the illumination of media operation, rather than financial worth, while I am correspondingly deprived of the means to work and earn.
- Categorically, then:
- 1) Spyware was an indispensable feature of online events and messages and magazine during 2002-3, allowing a unified attack across the web and IRC, magazine messaging, and access to private and stolen data;
- 2) Forum events, emails and private data unite the events of the net, messages and the magazine and beyond, local and national press, etc.; items in contemporary media, press or film, vice-versa, can further be identified influencing the events of the net, magazine and locale;
- 3) The linking of prior established stalking and surveillance, and the role of illegal intrusion at my address, social engineering named on the website, information about persons and the social network so described, and the role of professional media at Venue or in proliferate media all rule out a lone or isolated remote attacker by considerable degree;
- 4) Information identified in messages and related content divulges further information about media habits or culprit activity.
- Decisive Evidence of Spyware Exploitation
- A couple of key online incidents illustrate the specific role of spyware, though evidenced overall and within the operation of professional media including Venue magazine.
- 'Poetgirl' was encountered on IRC, apparently randomly, in mid-2002, as events that had so far been restricted to the Inertia site, an alleged teen band site and the Venue website, and email, barely began to spread to the R. D. Laing forum and Jung Pages. As I sat idle in a chat forum, I was private messaged by her, and a ten minute or so long exchange took place during which she divulged her alleged first name, alleged job and location, interests, etc. Claiming to be called Helen, an apparently Catholic psychiatric nurse able to speak Italian, living and employed in Bracknell and Henley near Reading, with a hardline biological psychiatric dogma, and a paradoxical interest in psychology and poetry, Poetgirl was given a serviceable email address which she claimed she was 'testing'. The email address given out, as a text record of the exchange I actually made shows, was not my principal Hotmail address, by now, due to spam, set to exclusive, but a replacement address (firstname.lastname@example.org). Nothing apparently from her was ever received to this address, despite her claim, but it was the recipient shortly afterward of a virus email carrying the Klez computer virus and bearing the domain name of a Christian conservative anti-pornography group, demanding why they were in possession of a disposable standby Hotmail account I had recently opened and barely used. When I later returned to the chat room, I encountered the same or apparently the same user again (it is possible to adopt someone else's username on IRC providing they are not present under this name on the same network at the same time). Having received nothing so far to the address I had given, I queried the one I had given her. The user produced my principal account, not the one I had given, and when this problem was demonstrated to them by pasting the text of the original exchange into the chat window, they disconnected from the chat and IRC. Subsequent friendly attempts to message the user on two networks brought no response.
- It is obvious that 'Poetgirl' was up to more than she had divulged, and somehow had access to my principal email address. The alias I was using had no usage beyond IRC at that time, making any hypothetical net search pointless, nor was the email address attached to my IRC ID. IRC does not log IP addresses like websites, though IPs are visible to channel operators or 'ops', nor does it utilise cookies, a feature of websites. Despite this, a supposedly random conversant had gained access to more information about me which she had accidentally divulged. The incident is thereby a strong candidate for the use of spyware.
- Meanhile, Poetgirl's appearance and self-description match messages appearing in the magazine in print and the prevalent preoccupations of what I was seeing on the affected forums and the magazine's slurred psychiatric theme. The earliest recorded messages from the magazine show both a psychiatric nurse, actually named Jenny, and Reading services, nearby, while its ensuing torrent includes the psychiatric motif that would become state collaboration and coverup, the qualities of the Savile scandal, a figure also named, etc. Poetgirl's interest in poetry, Jung, and her Catholic and Italian links, her writing style, and her penchant for alcohol, match the identifiable imprint of several websites, making her likely one of two identifiable personalities involved in tracking me online, and match items appearing on The Guardian website at the time and the bulk data leading up to the Massive Attack Ore arrest, with this encounter potentially linked to a worm virus and the pornographic themes part of the sex crime and moral conservative slant of the scam, following the torrent of pornographic spam to which I had abandoned several email addresses since late-2001. 'Luciano' appeared on the Laing forum following an article on The Guardian's website on Luciano Pavarotti and his relationship with a woman half his age and their mention of purple an unlucky colour to artists in Italy, and was duly followed by 'Lucky' on the Jung Page forums and 'Luciano', again, now a blind blackjack dealer, inspired by my email address, on the same forums.
- Jenny the psychiatric nurse was to reappear in an article on the The Guardian website years later, illustrating their willing role in the criminal scam and its relationship with medical services. The use of my mother's name matches Anna Britten's "new mum" mention, the air of vendetta associated with a scam that had reenacted my mother's own family abuse scenarios as a means to attack and exploit her son, illustrating the deliberate multi-generational pattern, and this sickening feature is implicit in targeting since birth or childhood and the content of media throughout, itself influential at the magazine, including upon Anna Britten (see Doctor Who circa 1973, 1975, 1984's Chocky or 1985's Back to the Future). The Guardian had only been mentioned in Venue by Anna Britten.
- In conclusion, Poetgirl was an online stalker, one of two distinct personalities that can be identified amid the noise across the web and IRC, was linked to events on dispirate websites and messages in the magazine in Bristol and Bath, and was using some form of spyware to cyberstalk me; she was also influenced by and acting in concert with The Guardian newspaper.
- The character of events, linking computer crime, pornography, child sex crime, press and media, etc., in the most shady form, is of course indicative of the kind of murky activities that were attributed by The Guardian to the likes of the News of the World before its closure; despite this, The Guardian's own content indicates the events of the net and Bristol in more than imitation, shows the paper embroiled with the magazine, television and other media, criminal activity and the family to the online events and subsequent offline harassment, and assimilates them with a veracity unmatched in much of the press. Similarly, while the employment of psychiatric and medical concepts may seem discreditable, is has been matched by the collaboration of medical systems and psychiatry in two countries, illuminating their real operation in society, and the related fallout from the likes of the Savile investigations.
- The death of the American popstar Prince in 2016, apparently due to virus, is an interesting additional footnote to the Luciano Pavarotti article and connection, and the unlucky status of purple to artists - or artists formerly known as Prince - in Italy.
- During 2002, while sending occasional messages for appearance on the Venue website, I noticed the coincidence of apparent responses with my own messages but appearing at the same time, indicating either the work of Venue staff able to see them prior to posting or the role of spyware and the contributions of its exploiters, or indeed both. In light of Venue's own visible activity, and magazine messages coincident with editorial content only visible to staff prior to publication, the former is assumed, regardless of the possibility of the latter. Venue staff also repeatedly appear in messages themselves, under initials, first names or slight alias.
- Viruses and Firewall
- Following my receipt of a single email to email@example.com in mid-to-late-2002, I found my ability to view the internet deteriorating, with Internet Explorer unable to properly display websites and forcing me to access and record data by right-clicking 'view source', while my PC if left on but disconnected from the internet would be heard engaged in avid harddisk activity now understood the attempt to independently access the net and proliferate a virus. The klez worm virus, named as Kelz_32, was identified by anti-virus software after the system was rebuilt in early 2003. A review of the habits of this virus confirm the likely culprit to have been this single anomalous email dating from mid-to-late 2002, a blank email with an attached textfile of code and a single image indicative of an internet cache and bearing the domain of a conservative anti-porn and pro-marriage organisation. The email address was associated with Poetgirl, to whom it was given and who claimed she was 'testing my email', potentially somehow indicating this virus email, and was influential on the associated stalkers of other sites, particularly 'blind blackjack dealer' Luciano. Klez's only known activity is to email itself, in the form of code, with a randomly chosen other file, to anyone located on the user's system, though worm viruses may carry other hazards, and in this case may have affected IE's display (thus 'blind').
- No trace of spyware was ever found. The term Trojan Horse of course pertains merely to delivery method whereby malware is activated after masquerading as some other benign piece of software. The nature of rootkits, a term specifically referring to hidden and often deeply ensconced exploits, often leaves them untraceable, particularly following the reformatting of the affected partition. Given this, any such rootkit implementation would have proven unlikely to be found following system rebuild and reformatting of the affected drive, leaving the Klez virus to be identified among a few files among backed up data on a companion partition.
- Zone Alarm Pro, a third-party firewall, was installed in late-2002 as PC operation became increasingly affected and I became increasingly suspicious. Upon activation a single file, wink.exe, was seen repeatedly attempting to access the net; incoming connections were seen and blocked from IP addresses traced as far afield as the far east and the Carribean without any apparent relationship with website activity, though these began to vanish after a few days. Despite attempts to identify the file, the origin and purpose of wink.exe remains unclear.
- Although my own access to the internet in Bristol ceased in 2003, computers continued to play a part after that date, and in events in Italy, apart from online stalking, also seen again in 2010.
- When I attempted to use her computer in 2006 before I had access of my own, it was instantly obvious that malware was present on my grandmother's system, apparent in personal sex contact pop ups for a girl called "Libera" (a variation on her ISP at the time), despite viewing only innocuous websites. A Microsoft website check failed and informed me the installation was not genuine when I connected to the site for routine maintenance. The system was subsequently rebuilt and reinstalled by the trader she employed, who, according to my grandmother, admitted to routine installation of illegitimate copies of Windows when asked, and despite which she continued to employ him.
- My own connection to the internet via my grandmother's Libero dialup connection using my own laptop was hampered by constant disconnections until a Tiscali broadband wi-fi service was established at the apartment in 2009 or 10.
- A nearby telephone junction box was in a vandalized and exposed state, a sight I have since seen again in London.
- A security program designed to monitor and block selected connections during torrent downloads and utilised in 2010 registered extreme levels of activity through the torrent network at a rate too fast to keep clear track of, and occurring every time I used a torrent application.
- One or two Trojan exploits were identified by anti-virus software, hidden on a secondary partition, in 2009-10.
- IP Addresses and Proxies
- IP addresses were visibly logged by the Inertia website in its original form, a visible logging removed in its revamped incarnation. I had taken to tracerouting as a matter of curiosity, and without traceroutes users of forums can be often be identified by their consistent IPs. This consistency indicates a limitation of the method, which depends on repeat correlation if it is assumed that IPs are not being obsfucated or obscured, which they likely were.
- Initial exchanges on the Inertia message board were identifiable by their consistent and shared IPs, and 'Sarah', the unlikely name behind my exchange on the site in early 2002, traced to an ISP in Shoreditch. Later attempts to traceroute emails prove less informative by far than the informatic linking of data, locations, events and users. Given this, IP addresses associated with later stalking are considered to have been faked using online proxies or illigitimate proxies formed by malware hosts. Luciano, the 'blind blackjack dealer' who followed Luciano Pavarotti on The Guardian website, Luciano on the Laing forum, and Lucky, the other of two identifiable personalities resolved from the noise, touted and attempted to defend his or herself with an IP address associated with a Canadian ISP, but this was likely faked.
- The Venue website, hosted on servers associated with The Bristol Evening Post at its Temple Meads HQ, likely logged IPs. Server-side administrative access can allow for the logging of considerable site user data, even as the result of mere page views, including IP, location, browser, operating system, display resolution, and referral URL, the last allowing for a website activity map to be associated with a specific IP and making users trackable. Despite this, the nature of online activity continues to highlight the overriding role of actual spyware, and the supplementary methods associated with stalking, house watching, burglary, fraud and collaboration.
- More informative than IP addresses would have been the information hidden behind the hundreds of messages hosted by the magazine and monopolising its message system. At an original cost of around £3 per box number the messages seen would have cost hundreds of pounds per year, while they are shown linked to online stalking, credit card and child sex crime and investigations, burglary, stalking of years in Bristol and the associated social networks, and to the media upon which the scam depended and which in turn participated in and exploited it. Nigel Locker, when challenged in 2004, cited the responsibility of the magazine to protect its users, grossly antithetical to its actual activities, and whatever secrets the messages and box numbers hid, they remain hidden. Close examination of the patterns of online stalking and related messages in the magazine and much of what was seen on the Venue website suggest them the work of very few hands, and their project was openly joined by the staff of the magazine.
- The Role of Stalking, Spying and Burglary
- Upon examination, no spyware could account for the data seen at the disposal of the scam and magazine. My diaries, personal documents and dream diaries contained little or no related information in many cases, lacked surnames and therefore traceable leads, and in most cases no related searches were ever undertaken at this time.
- Stalking ultimately to concentration after 2002 brought to light the presence of concerted targeting of us in society before 2002, including stalking in this sense, and surveillance to some degree implicit in any such attention and required in various cases. This activity is obvious during the early 1990s, and was clearly related to what occurred during 2002 and has followed, and to the operation of the media in tandem. It also thereby constitutes a source of information about its subjects. Any concerted and targeted stalking of targets in society will divulge their contacts, social networks and provide additional targets and sources of information, collaboration notwithstanding. Venue also linked themselves to this activity, both at the time and before, starkly in the case of Eugene Byrne, who was able to allude to childhood locales, encounters, etc.
- Burglary - meaning illegal intrusion by any means for the purpose of gaining access to information or physical access to computer systems - was suspected during 2003-4 and later confirmed, though no obvious traces of break-in were ever detected. The disappearance of a letter from Peter Linebaugh, forwarded to me by my father's widow, from my bedroom desk in 1999, never to be found, was the first indicator of any such intrusion; the later damage to or disappearance of items from the flat, and the depositing of a greetings card in a W. H. Smith's bag bearing a quote from Alice in Wonderland appropriately referring to "six impossible things before breakfast" on the fridge in my kitchen, confirmed any such suspicion. One message on the Venue website, tactically utilising race ideology, alludes to such intrusion at the time. The theft of goods from storage in 2010, and its indication on the Venue website, is further proof. Burglary would have provided access to personal affects beyond the limited possibilities of computer systems or the net, though no signs of searches were ever seen, and physical access to computer systems far exceeding the possibilities of online attack, and is one of the most disturbing and illegal aspects of stalking.
- Burglary was seen again while in Italy after 2005. In 2006 a return to the Milan apartment with my grandmother found cupboards and drawers pulled open and sheets pulled out, something my grandmother impossibly attributed to her cat, incapable of opening the drawers. In 2009 I awoke to find an intruder in my bedroom, who made off with my wallet, having climbed in from the balcony outside. My grandmother had already reported a burglary in 2002 or 2003 while she visited England, returning to find the building porter recounting finding the cat outside having apparently jumped from the balcony and the shelves overturned and books and other items scattered, and registering the theft of jewellery and a watch.
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