The Jester

th3j35t3r

The Jester (th3j35t3r) is a computer vigilante who describes himself as a grey hat ‘hacktivist.’ He claimed responsibility for attacks on WikiLeaks, 4chan, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and Islamist websites. He claims to be acting out of American patriotism. The Jester uses a denial-of-service (DoS) tool known as ‘XerXeS,’ that he claims to have developed.

One of The Jester’s habits is to tweet ‘TANGO DOWN’ on Twitter whenever he successfully takes down a website. The Jester had stated that he was a former soldier and had served in Afghanistan and elsewhere.The Jester claims to have originally developed his DoS script as a means to test and harden servers. After learning from an article that Jihadists were using the Internet to recruit and coordinate terror cells, The Jester resolved to disrupting online communications between Jihadists. He weaponized his script and created a front-end known as ‘XerXeS’ in order to solve the script’s usability problems.

In 2011, The Jester employed a different style of attack by injecting fabricated articles into online Libyan newspapers. He tweeted links to the articles without any further comment. These tweets drew the attention of Anthony M. Freed, who examined the articles and discovered they were anomalies not contained in the newspapers’ respective archives. Further inspection by Freed revealed The Jester left a watermark of his signature Harlequin avatar on the articles he created, which can only be seen by tilting the computer monitor back at an angle. The fabricated articles reported degradation in troop morale among fighters loyal to Muammar Gaddafi and incidents of his soldiers abandoning their posts. Freed concluded The Jester’s objective was a ‘psyops campaign aimed at breaking the spirit of the troops loyal to Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi.’

Also in 2011, The Jester vowed to find and expose members of the hacker splinter group LulzSec. He attempted to obtain and publish the real world personally identifiable information of key members, falsely accusing several people.

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