Posted on | June 19, 2012 | 46 Comments and 58 Reactions
FROM AN UNDISCLOSED LOCATION
What service is Neal Rauhauser providing to his clients, including Brett Kimberlin’s tax-exempt 501(c) Velvet Revolution? Is Rauhauser paid to sit around all day playing with his Twitter sockpuppets, plotting revenge against Greg Howard, obsessing over Patterico and ranting about how a “Christian Infowar Militia cell” took down Anthony Weiner?
Rauhauser’s profile for the 2010 Netroots Nation conference described his work: “He applies his background in software development and telecom network engineering to solving problems in the social media work space for political campaigns and causes.”
What does that mean? Sunday, I published a sample of writings by Rauhauser that he had “scrubbed” from the Web, demonstrating his obsessions with his various enemies, as well as his penchant for online secrecy and deception. But there was much more in that vast 179-page cache, including a January 2012 post entitled “Maltego, FOCA and Shodan,” referencing three computer programs Rauhauser uses. His description of Maltego is particularly interesting:
I’ve been fooling around with open source intelligence and forensics application Maltego for some time now. I read an article about it in 2010, got an eval, and the very first search I ran led to a phone call with the FBI that actually got some people interviewed over their behavior. I was a bit freaked out at the time, worried that my world was going to burst into flame every time I clicked the little black icon, but instead it’s turned out to be a tool that comes out about once a week and does in minutes what would take me days to do by hand.
Hmmm. What does this software program do?
Maltego is an intelligence and forensics application. It allows for the mining and gathering of information as well as the representation of this information in a meaningful way.
Coupled with its graphing libraries Maltego allows us to identify previously unknown relationships between information, persons and information about persons. As such, it is a useful tool in the IT security field to map an organization’s people and relationships. A valuable aid in exploring the social-engineering attack vector in pen-testing investigations.
Exactly how did Rauhauser’s use of Maltego lead to “a phone call with the FBI that actually got some people interviewed over their behavior”? Which of his chosen enemies did this creepy paranoid freak identify using Maltego? We don’t know. What we do know is that Rauhauser also referenced Maltego in a March 2012 post entitled, “Regarding Andrew Breitbart,” excerpts of which I share here, urging readers to examine carefully:
I am not making any statement to the press for fear of screwing up existing investigations, but as a courtesy I will collate and describe a few things that are already available onthe net for the bewildered journalist trying to understand that last exchange between us.
The True History Of Andrew Breitbart’s Hatred For Neal Rauhauser is a fourteen page PDF of screen shots collected right around the time of the 2010 midterm election. … [T]he timeline is jumbled and you’d need to see inside sauce-jar.aes256 to understand exactly what transpired.
sauce-jar.aes256 is a 563 meg encrypted archive that was included in the Kookpocalypse torrent. This was released 2/6/2012, the anniversary of the HBGary break in, and it contains screen captures, PDFs, Maltego graphs, timeline files, and other data that support my conclusion –portions of the Team Themis project may be at work among the people who contribute to Breitbart’s BigGovernment site. There are some sample files in the torrent that are interesting. State and federal authorities have already seen the unencrypted version of this.
I have been pursued since the 2010 midterm by a woman who used the now defunct Twitter screen name @ZAPEM. The ZAPEM Libel SuitScribd collection is an as yet unfiled civil action against this person. She seems to have persecution delusions and this led to the massive non-scandal of Twittergate during the 2010 election. …
I have written about Persona Management Methods. I am deeply weary of crazy people following me around injecting their mental illness into my life, so I do really mean things to them –see Geolocation Lulz-a variety of network oriented pranks intended to keep them hopeful of locating me, yet thoroughly frustrated. If you read the nealrTumblr you will see a lot of fact, some ARG-ish posts, and a few that are obviously meant to convey one message to the overactive pattern matching of paranoid, delusional stalkers, and quite another to coherent readers.
There has been quite a bit of ephemera in and around Twittergate, Weinergate, and the Kookpocalypse.
What you see here is, among other things, a repetition of the claims asserted in a bizarre eight-page document (“Andrew Breitbart’s ISR Cell?”) that Rauhauser published in February 2012: TwitterGate was a hoax, Anthony Weiner was framed, HBGary was working for Breitbart, and all of these things were somehow part of a vast interconnected conspiracy. (I analyzed that document June 2, “When Neal Rauhauser Complained About ‘Menacing’ and ‘Cyberstalking’.”)
Rauhauser has apparently succeeded in getting that document taken down from its server, but the 575-megabyte torrent download is still available online, if you’d care to wade through a gigantic steaming pile of paranoid crazytalk. Of course, Rauhauser scrubbed all the other stuff — including his “as yet unfiled civil action” against @Zapem — which is one of his remarkably consistent habits: Every time people start taking an interest in whatever madness Neal has been doing lately, he begins deleting files, closing accounts, etc.
The guy’s deleted more Web content than most people have ever created, and why? Consciousness of guilt. Rauhauser’s obsession with secrecy is consistent with his habit of deleting anything that anyone might employ as evidence that he’s up to no good.
When his “beandogs” scam blew up into the 2010 TwitterGate scandal, Neal immediately shut down his operation and started deleting stuff, which has enabled him to tell people — at least those unfamiliar with the now-deleted evidence — that it was a “non-scandal” caused by “the persecution delusions” of one woman, @Zapem. She’s crazy, Rauhauser says, while insisting that he is both innocent and sane.
Only fools are deceived by this, especially when Rauhauser talks about his obsessive quest to find @ZapEm:
First, for background, we’re talking about An Inconvenient Kook, a woman I’ve tentatively identified as Michelle Lessick aka ZAPEM. All I had to start was:
- The Twitter username @ZAPEM (now @Repository1) and a now defunct WordPress blog
- Records of various streams of tweets and writings, which are a fairly distinct personality showing delusions of persecution
- An email from Patrick Read aka @SwiftRead naming her as Michelle
- A tip that her last name was Reilly, perhaps Nagy-Riley, which I believe to be incorrect
- A tip that her name might be Lessick
- Assertions that she was a police dispatcher and her husband a police officer
- Many indications she lived in northern New Jersey
I did quite a lot of digging with Google and finally did locate the connection to the name Lessick, which can be seen in the link containing her name. I chased various permutations of this name and the Jascawow alias using a variety of search tools and came up empty.
Not since Humbert chased his doppelgänger Quilty cross-country has anyone so persistently stalked an enemy, real or imagined. And while there is a real person behind @Zapem, the vast conspiracy in Rauhauser’s demented mind is wholly imaginary. But as he sits down with his Maltego software and maps online connections, Neal’s paranoia tells him that this data-mining holds some hidden clue to how all these evil people — from Greg Howard to HB Gary to Patrick Frey to the ghost of Andrew Breitbart — are plotting against him.
And who are we to say that they’re not, huh?
– Robert Stacy McCain, Whereabouts Unknown