Notes from DefCon 18, part 2 — “I know what happened with the Wikileaks from Brad Manning because I was there, I’m the one who called the U.S. government.”
A press briefing at DefCon 18 in Las Vegas, called to announce a non-governmental effort to fight cybercrime and terrorism, took a surprising turn when the group’s director revealed that he was the person who arranged for former hacker Adrian Lamo to turn over leaked classified military documents to the U.S. government.
Chet Uber, director of Project Vigilant, traveled to DefCon to recruit volunteers for the project from the ranks of DefCon attendees, a rich source of talent for his technically intricate mission — the attribution of crimes to their perpetrators and funding sources, by monitoring internet traffic for “footprints in the digital sand.”
In the course of answering questions from reporters about Vigilant, Uber stopped talking, and then began to discuss his personal involvement with Lamo, whom he described as a personal friend, and who works for Uber as a Viglant volunteer. Uber said he wanted to “right a wrong,” referring to criticism of Lamo in the hacker community since his meeting with federal authorities.
“I know what happened with the Wikileaks from Brad Manning because I was there, I’m the one who called the U.S. government.”
In the file below, you can hear Uber’s description of how he persuaded Lamo to meet with the feds, turn over the documents, and reveal everything he knows. The audio file is six minutes long, and includes Uber’s account of his interactions with Lamo by phone during the meeting, when Lamo called him for encouragement. You can hear it by clicking on the flash player below, or you can download it from a separate source below.
For more about Chet Uber and the hacker recruitment effort for Project Vigilant, see DefCon conference coverage at The CyberJungle.
You may download the interview here, or stream it here: