The notorious troll and hacker wants to “punish” prosecutors for wrongfully going after hackers.
Image: Wikimedia Commons
A day after the former Reuters journalist Matthew Keys was convicted for hacking crimes, Auernheimer detailed his plot to punish the US government for "wrongfully" prosecuting hackers, including him, in an email he sent to the two prosecutors who worked on his case, which he forwarded to reporters and the leaking site Cryptome on Thursday.
"We know for a fact that they accessed [Ashley Madison] using state property," Auernheimer told Motherboard in an online chat. "We have the [IP addresses] they accessed from."
"I'm basically going to be spending 9-5 contacting their families and churches."
Auernheimer said he will publish identifying information of all the prosecutors he found in the Ashley Madison database. He also said he will launch a campaign to "broadcast" their "indiscretions" by calling their spouses, family, friends and associates, as well as with robocalls and paid Twitter and Facebook campaigns.
"I'm basically going to be spending 9-5 contacting their families and churches etc," he told me.
The hacker, who was convicted in 2013 for accessing an AT&T server containing 114,000 email addresses of iPad owners, said he would publish the information on GotNews.com, the website of Chuck Johnson, the controversial independent reporter who has been widely criticized for his erroneous reporting and zest for publishing the names of alleged rape victims.
Auernheimer declined to say exactly how many prosecutors he's found in the database, saying only that he identified "enough to cover every US attorney's office in the country." He also said he didn't just identify them by looking for .gov emails, but he has their IP addresses and "information scraped from network devices," which means he knows "whose IP belongs to whom."
It's worth noting that Ashley Madison did not verify users' email addresses at registration, so anyone could have registered using someone else's email address. But, the dumped data also contained logs of IP addresses, something that allowed the Associated Press to trace some users data directly to US government workers.
When asked to elaborate on how he identified all the prosecutors, Auernheimer declined, saying that "such a statement could be legally incriminating."
"These people are evil. They serve no purpose in society. They are criminals."
The hacker, who was released from prison after a federal court vacated his conviction last year, said he's launching this doxing campaign "because these people are evil. They serve no purpose in society. They are criminals. Criminals deserve to be punished, to deter others from engaging in criminal activity."
In the email, Auernheimer mentioned Key, and singled out his own case, as well as the prosecution of late hacker and activist Aaron Swartz, and the recent US government's attempt to extradite the British hacker Lauri Love, as examples of wrongful prosecution of hackers, and another reason behind this campaign.
Auernheimer said him and Johnson will publish the name and other personal information of the first target on Thursday. While he declined to name him, he said he works in the same office as the New Jersey prosecutors who worked on his case.
The two plan to release a new name every week, according to Auernheimer, who added that the US government can't do anything to stop this. (The Department of Justice did not answer to Motherboard's request for comment.)
"There is nothing they can do to stop this," he said "This will happen."