Investigation efforts by the FBI, Scotland Yard and some other European cops were undermined as the infamous 'hacktivist' group - Anonymous - pulled a fast one on them by listening in on conference call conversations between the law enforcement organisations. The 16-minute call was recorded, and is now doing the rounds on the Internet. The cops are mere mortals like us afterall - they can be heard cracking jokes and discussing McDonalds' fast foods. Infact one of the British folks even mistook Sheffield for Birmingham. Names of criminals being investigated were mentioned, but the hackers rightly or wrongly - depending on whose side you are - bleeped out some parts of the recordings in an effort to protect the identities of the individuals being discussed as much as possible.
Details of the conference call was acquired when the bad guys hacked into the e-mail of one of the FBI agents. They then dialled in, didn't announce their name(s) on 'arrival' and managed to remain passive throughout the duration of the conference call. This was basic 'school boy' error but at least we can learn a thing or two from this incident. Getting every attendee to say their name and 'stock taking' by the person chairing the conference shouldn't be optional.
Apparently, the purpose of the call was to strategise on how to uncover the identities of the key members of Lulzsec and Anonymous. It so turned out that the intended prey became the hunter! Leonardo Dicaprio's 'Catch me if you can' movie comes to mind.
As we've learned some lessons from this, it is hoped that the almighty FBI and other security agencies have learned a thing or two from this embarrassing episode themselves.
If you're interested in listening in on the recorded session, I suggest you 'google' it now before it's pulled from the nooks and crannies of the Interweb. Oh actually, I'll make that easier. Try here;-)