Profound Tradecraft Failure: Wohl v. Mueller

Manchild scammer extraordinaire @JacobAWohl has been the center of a vortex of public attention for the last day or so, but it isn’t working out quite as he had envisioned. The scheme as revealed thus far has involved:

  • A front agency, Surefire Intelligence, with a claimed global footprint, based entirely on virtual office spaces.
  • A staff, several of whom had stock photos from A list celebrities, but only two of which had any contacts.
  • A second front agency, Atrium Private Intelligence, with a domain registered after Surefire’s, apparently existing to provide depth to the legend for the first agency.
  • Domains registered by proxy, but configured with a web site construction kit that included Wohl’s personal email in the SOA (Start Of Authority) for the domain.
  • Google Voice phone numbers, one of which Wohl validated with a real number belonging to his mother.

We are obviously publishing Analytical Tradecraft here, but Field Operations Tradecraft is another story entirely. One can not learn to tease things apart without gaining some sense of what not to do, but providing the affirmative defenses is a step we are not willing to take, at least not in the open. When we address Adversary Resistant Computing and Adversary Resistant Networking, the aim is to keep you safe in your pursuits. You will notice there is no Adversary Resistant Hosting category.

That being said, the failures can be summarized as “youthful enthusiasm”. Hertz will not rent to anyone under twenty five, our society’s firmest recognition that the neurological stuff that starts with the teen years doesn’t at high school graduation. Whatever role Jack Burkman and Jim Hoft played in this scheme, the execution was left in the hands of a lad that won’t be able to drink legally for another six weeks.

The primary reason you are reading this site (we think) is not for our slick production quality or our mastery of algorithms. You are here because we have been there. We try to keep what we do simple, rugged, and recoverable, because we are used to having too few resources, too many tasks, and not nearly enough time.