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The scams of Arturas Rosenbacher

25 Sep 2013

Just when you think he vanished off the stage...

So, as most of you will most likely be aware, TouchID was broken. Very quickly. And there was a reward for it. For those not familiar with the reward thing, quite a few people had pledged a reward for the first person to successfully break TouchID. And one of those people was Arturas Rosenbacher, now apparently owning a company named I/O Capital Partners.

And he has refused to pay up.

Now, let's get a bit of context here. To some within Anonymous and the Occupy movement, Arturas Rosenbacher is a familiar name. He has pulled off multiple deceptions and scams under many names, one of the most notable ones of which was probably the RefRef scam back in 2011. RefRef was supposedly a DDoS tool that was under development by a few Anons, and that would be massively more powerful than LOIC, HOIC, and other tools that had been used until then. The technical claims made were dubious from the start, and there were several indications that the supposed RefRef testing attack on Pastebin wasn't actually RefRef.

Donations for RefRef were collected, but it never materialized.

What did materialize was a lot of media coverage and a Perl script named - however, this was just a basic DoS script pulled off a random script kiddie forum, with the name changed. The real RefRef never appeared, and most likely never existed in the first place. The end result was that the supposed 'creator' of RefRef ran off with the donations, effectively turning this into a giant scam.

And guess who perpetrated it? Arturas Rosenbacher.

Aside from RefRef, there was, around roughly the same time, a spree of Twitter accounts - impersonating people and groups within Anon, and frequently claiming to be a "member of LulzSec". Of course, all of these claims were false. One of the tactics used was registering lookalike usernames that were only slightly different from the real username of a particular individual or group, and gaining a significant follower base that way.

And again, it was Arturas Rosenbacher.

He has also been repeatedly accused of stealing donations for Occupy Chicago, has claimed to many people that he works for Wikileaks in order to gain trust, and has quite a bunch of other very questionable behaviour on his name, which is mostly described in the article that I've linked twice before.

It therefore comes as no surprise that once again, he has made promises - gaining some significant attention and media exposure for his "company" in the process, of course - and backs out at the last moment. And, of course, per his usual modus operandi... the Tweet with his pledge has been removed.

Update: Looks like ZDNet also wrote about this.

Another update: It also seems like Arturas tried to weasel his way out of it by defining his own ridiculous terms and conditions for pay-out.