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Why is it difficult to catch “Anonymous” or “Lulzsec” (groups)?

I really want to know why the attackers behind the major attacks like Diginotar hack (http://www.itsecurity.be/hacking-of-certificate-authority-diginotar-led-to-fraudulent-google-certificate-being-issued) , Stuxnet etc, are not catched.

Many people say they are state sponsored, but still why some "facts" are not released and the attackers are caught ?

Are there some "hidden" pits in internet where anyone can just really fake things and that is why the state sponsored attacks are not given 100% transparency ?

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How do you suggest tracing them? You only have their IP, and there are plenty of ways to make tracing IPs hard, for example TOR or open wireless networks. –  CodesInChaos Jan 5 '13 at 10:05
    
@CodesInChaos : you mean even the govt. dont have access to TOR .. as far as i know govt. even have powers to have certs, so even if its encrypted, then can break in it ... correct me if i am wrong ... why cant you catch someone with just IP ? Thats the identity on internet we have. –  Novice User Jan 5 '13 at 10:19
    
While state sponsored groups may be a bit different from Anon/Lulzsec, this is the same question. –  Rory Alsop Jan 5 '13 at 12:48
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marked as duplicate by Rory Alsop Jan 5 '13 at 12:48

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1 Answer

Example

Hmmm, you've got a big van, with a big antenna sitting in the middle of the city. Inside this van is some of the best computer science graduates, hackers and security professionals the country has to offer. The antenna they have is used to pick up hundreds of WiFi networks throughout the city, these WiFi networks are used to hack into servers, servers which are not affiliated with there home country, a virus is installed on this server. The victims are then directed to this website/server via Spam, Spearphising, Trojans and various other attack vectors.

This is just a small scenario that could happen or that already has happened, now even if they victim manages to find out that they were compromised then it would be very difficult to find out who the perpetrators where. Multiple websites hosting the virus, websites based in multiple countries, constantly changing WiFi networks, multiple attack vectors not to mention that the state will most probably deny all responsibility.

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You can't connect to a wifi network that can't talk back to you. Also, I would imagine NSA / GCHQ would have RF receivers sat around major cities logging signals, so it'd be reasonably easy for a state actor to identify (triangulate) the location of the WiFi traffic and track the vehicle in and out of the city via traffic cameras. –  Polynomial Jan 5 '13 at 18:56
    
'You can't connect to a wifi network that can't talk back to you.' Your in a city, there will be hundreds of Netgear routers using WEP that can be cracked, I fail to see what you are trying to say. –  Greg Valantine Jan 6 '13 at 22:28
    
"The antenna they have is used to pick up hundreds of WiFi networks throughout the city" - this implies a relatively static location and a powerful antenna, which isn't a particularly reliable method of communication with low-power APs. Even if you were to move around, it'd be trivial to identify the IP and physical address of the attacks, then identify vehicles common to the area via CCTV. Your proposed situation is unlikely and flawed, especially when compared to the answers on the Lulzsec/Anon question. –  Polynomial Jan 7 '13 at 8:39
    
There was a very big case where large antennas where used in high story hotels in which the hackers would scan for wifi networks in the city in which they could use. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Max_Butler –  Greg Valantine Jan 11 '13 at 7:03
    
I see no reference to antennas or wifi on that article. –  Polynomial Jan 11 '13 at 8:56
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