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Anonymous sends a press release, but the author doesn't clear his metadata... (paulrankin.tumblr.com)
108 points by iuguy on Dec 11, 2010 | hide | past | web | favorite | 55 comments

This should be retitled as "Anon successfully trolls Paul Rankin." Alex Tapanaris assuredly is not the one who wrote that document. http://pastebin.com/5dBdu3qk

If that link no longer works by the time you see this, it's one of hundreds of links where people posting as him describe in detail the degrading sexual acts they would like done to him.

The metadata has almost certainly been Admiral Ackbarred.

I don't believe you're right about that. What you're seeing is Anonymous punishing someone for making a stupid mistake, i.e. "being a newfag". The same kind of schadenfreude that lead Paul to post this to Tumblr tends to inspire a markedly more severe reaction out of Anonymous itself.

You seem to be right; all of the pastebins in the link below are from within the day.

I don't get it. What am I supposed to see there that proves this was trolling?

The name is used by the 4chan folks (many of them are "anonymous") as an internal joke. http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=+site:pastebin.com+...

Those were all created today. It seems more likely that they're mocking him.

The cached contact page for Tapanaris shows he uses a nick "t4pan"


After some googling:

t4paN 01-29-2008 11:33 AM

"4chan will get them, don't worry."


Looking like he is associated with anon to me and that it isn't a false flag

WTF, of course he is associated to anon: he wrote the freaking press release!?!

This discussion is over whether he actually wrote the press release, or whether someone else did and put his name in the metadata to make him take the flak for it.

Sorry but it seems I am talking to a bunch of stupid, here.

Here you bring two evidence that he is in fact a victim of 4chan. 1) a bunch of pastebins, ALL CREATED AFTER THE PRESS RELEASE, mocking the guy 2) a forum post, older than that date, where he mentions 4chan, using his alias t4pan.

The first one only proves 4channers are making fun of him The latter, only shows he knows about 4chan - which he must if he wrote the press release.

Where is the evidence he didn't write. NOWHERE. And now start downvoting, then the next thread go bully this place is better than reddit.

The original comment poster thought the attacks had been taking place for awhile, he thought it look like 4chan previously had a grudge against this man. In the discussion following the comment it was figured out that the attacks started afterward. You're not talking to "a bunch of stupid, here", you could have just asked for someone to explain it to you.

Or he's executing a Joe Job on himself in an effort to bury his mistake in the resulting noise floor...

Wow, I have too much faith in humanity. The follow-up replies to my comment have reversed my position on this. As is typical, I reserve my strongest belief for things I know least about.

What a bunch of leet haxorz.

They can track people down from a still on a youtube video.

They can validate boobs as fake or real based on meta data in jpegs.

They are legion, they do not forgive and they do not forget and they will order pizza to your home until you stop hurting cats.

But they can't clear metadata in a word editor ...

Of course the counter is that the meta data is faked.

Although I think it's not faked and a silly oversight.

If you search google for Alex Tapanaris you quickly see that his name is already being targeted by this so-called anonymous.


They've decided that they want his name to be associated with 'liking cock' in google.

I think this is most likely another attempt to harass and bully him.

Heh, that's a Greek mobile phone number (Cosmote). Maybe I should interview him :p

If it is then props to him but I think the chances of that are slight to non-existent.

One of the very good reasons why you should think twice before 'anonymously' harassing people online is that you are almost never as anonymous as you think you are.

We had a guy harassing a woman on ww.com for months on end, all it took was the one time he forgot to check the headers of the proxy that he used to do it again. Being anonymous is hard work, the more you do it the bigger the chances of slipping up.

Slipping up once is enough, assuming the other side is awake and watching.

Reminds me of that DeNiro movie "Ronin." In it a woman is saying to DeNiro's character, something like: You have to escape him every time, but he just has to catch you once.

Non-existent, indeed, unless he also changed all the advanced metadata inside the pdf, and give them the same fake name: http://img.skitch.com/20101211-rwkgk3i7e5jq477ayyxudff883.jp...

If you fake it in OpenOffice then the meta data is carried through to th PDF. As far as I know, the default meta data in OO is what your operating system username is but is changeable.

It could just be a fake name, I know thats hard to fathom and all.

Possibly as a result of consuming too much conspiracy/crime fiction where both the bad guys and good guys love to put little word puzzles into their work, my first thought as to determining if this is a fake name or not is to run "Alex Tapanaris" through an anagram finder.

Which I ahem leave as an exercise to the reader.

Anal Axe Rapist. Or, Penis à la Ax Art. 

If you found something to do with the letters "Pa Rat I" that fits then I know what the rest of them were for...

I see where you're running with that, and with a slight adjustment we get 'Anal Rape Taxis'.

OMG, someone call Jack Bauer, this goes all the way to the top.

Nasal Pirate Ax

Since Anonymous is both "everyone" and no-one in particular, couldn't anyone issue releases or do things in their name and it'd be as "official" as anything else? This strikes me as a problem and leaves them open to a miscommunication campaign. Even Wikileaks, which used to be quite shadowy, ended up with Assange as an identifiable and consistent spokesman.

A group famous for an ongoing DDOS attack and previous hacking incidents sends me a pdf document.


a) Open it


b) wtf are you crazy?

I'm not saying there was anything in it, but I sure hope people don't open things like that up with reader.

Google Chrome sandboxes PDF.

I use xpdf for all PDF's, anyway. I only ever pull out reader for documents which clearly actually use its javascript features.

Be careful, xpdf has a few known problems: http://freshmeat.net/articles/debian-new-xpdf-packages-fix-s...

Thanks for the pointer.

This "press release" is also quite confused; "Amazon, which was until recently WikiLeaks' DNS provider"

Strip any PDF of it's meta (and digital signature)


Not sure if this is the same guy but here's a website by that name http://www.alextapanaris.com/ and there are few pastebin entries by someone with this name http://pastebin.com/re2DZb6m.

Screenshot of contact info: http://i.imgur.com/khfIH.png

Alex Tapanaris

Tel.: +30 69 72 46 49 07

E-mail: info@alextapanaris.com

MSN: t4pan@hotmail.com

Graduated from Teesside University with a degree in Computer Games Art.

Proficient in:

* Autodesk 3D Studio Max

* Autodesk Maya

* Adobe Photoshop

* Pixologic ZBrush

* Adobe Premiere

hahaha, this is actually remarkable especially given your word choice. take a closer look at http://pastebin.com/re2DZb6m

Wow this may have been a genius move then, when it ends up on BBC and his name is everywhere.

Very truly there should be a reality TV show about this.

Great choice of format too for a press release.

Guess that's what you get when you want to add fancy graphics, instead of just the text.

I hope Paul Rankin is on a flat-rate plan, the last time someone posted a phone number of an anonymous member (even with the last digit removed) that website was down for days.

I can't quite tell, but it looks like anonymous might be working hard to do some coverup.

Witness timestamps: http://pastebin.com/re2DZb6m



Clearly two out of three links are trolling, but I'm not quite sure which ones (or all of them.)

The press release claimed that Anonymous didn't try to DDoS Amazon because it would be "in bad taste." That doesn't sound like the Anonymous that I know.

Anonymous did try to DDoS amazon, it had no effect.

He is a hell of a 3d artist though.


um. why would you even post this to your website?

I don't understand the question. Why not post it?

presumably he meant in fear of retaliation.

i'm not sure that he did now that his name is out

!Anon != Anon.

Anonymous can have non-anonymous members as well. Just a suggestion.

  In Project Mayhem, we have no names.

  Now, you listen to me.

  This is a man and he has a name,
  and it's Robert Paulsen, OK?
  - Robert Paulsen.
  - He's a man

  and he's dead now because of us.
  Do you understand that?

  I understand.

  In death, a member of Project Mayhem
  has a name.

  [all chanting] His name is Robert Paulsen.

  -- Fight Club

It's probably someone the author doesn't like

And remember the internet it's not your personal army

what is this press release is all about?

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