The Jester (or th3j35t3rby the individuals Twitter handle), the widely acclaimed, immensely feared and in some cases despised hacker and computer expert takes interest in the recent cybersecurity issues, their consequence on US counterterrorism efforts, and on the former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, now forced to stay in Russia as Washington charged him for espionage and issued also an extradition order.
Although his online nickname is The Jester, the true identity of the hacker remains unknown. He is said to be a former US soldier who served in Afghanistan, while others claim he worked with US Special Operations Command as a defense contractor.
The Jester became known by his online exploits, taking down frequently Jihadist websites to control the spread of the anti-American plots and to disrupt the planning of terrorist activities.
Probably his most famous work is related to WikiLeaks, an online community that makes classified and secret information available to the public, including years of security related documents about the U.S. war in Iraq. In 2010, the Jester took down the website accusing them of “attempting to endanger the lives of our [US] troops.”.
The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at that time, Admiral Mike Mullen, also criticizedthe online organization, saying that WikiLeaks “might already have on their hands the blood of some young soldier.”
The Jester told his opinion about Edward Snowden and founder of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange in an interview by Homeland Security Today:
“Essentially, the puppet masters [behind Snowden and Bradley Manning] are Julian Assange [WikiLeaks co-founder] and his ‘organization’. To my mind, they represent the single biggest threat to our national security right now.”
The main problem that the hacker sees is the driving force behind Snowden’s and Assange’s actions.
“They are clearly and actively seeking to ‘recruit’ US personnel for the purpose of revealing US secrets. At the very least, this is designed to undermine the US around the world,” explains The Jester.
“At worst, it’s a direct attempt to obtain and exchange with enemy nations our sensitive information — information that could feasibly put US assets downrange at risk, or give other nations a tactical advantage or insight into our operations.”
The Jester says that he is “hacktivist for the good,”but, although the impact is clear, his tactics remain debatable.
Anthony Kimery, the executive editor of Homeland Security Today, explains that “Whether you agree or disagree with The Jester’s actions, there’s no questioning the impact he’s had on terrorist organizations’ activities online.”
“But more than that, in this lengthy interview, The Jester offers pointed and profound observations regarding the cyber-capabilities of terrorist groups and cybersecurity and offensive cyber-warfare in general.”
After each successful hack the Jester tweets to his 56.000 followers – “TANGO DOWN”. The real interesting thing to follow is if these comments will get a response from Snowden, Assange or their handlers. Only time will tell if they will fear in silence for a “TANGO DOWN” announcement on Twitter or they will come out and confront the famous hacker about their own creation.