Very cool: The FBI's secret messaging sting

Using tech to catch unwitting international bad guys:

I was just about to post something about this as well. Crazy takedown of a lot of people in a way that will cause a lot of criminals to go into hiding.

So I wonder if the FBI has now chosen make this operation publicly known? Or did it leak. Seems like they’d want to keep low key and quiet about their means, even if the operation is over or paused for now.

I was wondering the same thing.

I would bet the FBI wanted this to get out. Successful operations of this size must have created power vacuums and the publicity will be a good deterrent to somewhat mitigate the impending chaos. If it was a leak it seems like a calculated one.

The FBI is pretty good at controlling information. I’m sure they wanted this out.

On reflection I think you are right. They want the bad guys to be scared and tentative, looking over their shoulders constantly. Right?

Combining this with the partial retrieval of the ransom paid in Colonial Pipeline hacking case - which appears to be a case of marginally competent hackers - the message is being sent: wrongdoing will be punished.

  • Hackers slicing up US organization and the US economy with ransomware attacks
  • Foreign governments interfering with our elections
  • Attacks on the Capitol
  • Vandals from protests last summer (often prosecuted under the same statutes the Jan 6 attackers are being charged)
  • Tax cheat billionaires - ie, IRS enforcement budget going up

There’s a broad theme evolving. I think we need it.