Anonymous is, yes, Anonymous. Legion. An Idea.
Sure, but only until its carbon-based avatars get run to Earth and shown to the world via poorly-lit and unflattering mugshots.
Lets meet one, shall we?
Kylie Ochoa is the proud parent of baby boy Brody, besotted wife of Higinio Ochoa III (aka w0rmer of Cabin Cr4w), efficient manager of two separate, home-based businesses, and possessor of the two most famous breasts in the history of hacktivism.
How did an upwardly-mobile staffer at the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection end up splashed all over police sites, her photo serving as her boyfriend’s mark on hacked sites, as the Z served as Zorro’s?
Well, we asked her. And being Australian, she was not shy to answer.
The Cryptosphere: How did you two meet?
Kylie Ochoa: Hig and I met in AnonPlusIRC. I’d only just very recently stumbled across some Anonymous videos on YouTube and some articles and decided I wanted to find out more. I think the first things I discovered were the #OpUkraine videos and of course, those wackos at the Westboro Baptist Church. Somehow I found AnonPlusIRC [a web based chatroom], the first IRC I’d ever been into. I wasn’t there for operations, it was just more about having fun. My name was OzGirl and Hig was a developer there. He saw OzGirl, realized I was a girl from Australia, and kinda started stalking me (in a good way)!
He asked if I would take a photo of myself in a bikini for a hack that he did. Well um, I didn’t really know what that involved. I knew hacking in a vague sense of the term but I didn’t really know the details of what he was doing or what it involved. I didn’t know who he was at all, so I didn’t know how to be careful about how to protect myself, or to protect him.
I thought, why the hell not take a photo? It sounded like a laugh to be honest.
He was already in Cabin Cr3w by then. What set Cabin Cr3w apart from a lot of other crews in Anonymous was that they had this code that they stuck by: We do not harm the innocents. They were very firm on maintaining their morals, which is why I think that they had so much respect from everyone.
Cabin Cr4w specialized in hacking police sites to expose internal institutional racism and corruption. They would place the above photo on the hacked sites.
All its members Its two most high-profile members, w0rmer/Ochoa and Kahuna/John Borell III are currently serving time.
I sent Hig a lot of pictures of myself in a bikini in various poses. He was flipping them in Photoshop because I’d taken them in a mirror and he told me that the geo-location was actually turned on on my phone[meaning the phone stored the information about where the photos were taken, and encoded it into the picture file], but that’s okay, he was going to remove them. Unfortunately, I sent a lot of pictures and he got rid of most of the geotags except for one picture and it happened to be the one picture that he used for hacks, which of course included my metadata.
The Cryptosphere: Thus putting in motion all the events that lead to today. From that one photograph they found your location, connected you to Hig, and moved in on him.
We were together for ten days and he proposed to me and I said yes. It’s funny that I accepted straight away, but we fell in love with each other within two days. It was really quite a whirlwind romance, and people saw it play out on Twitter.
Six weeks after we started dating, he was arrested.
He just disappeared so I was trying to find out what had happened and contacted his family (who I’d never spoken to before). Once I realized he was arrested, I jumped on a plane and flew over to America. We didn’t even know at that stage whether I was going to be allowed into the country, we didn’t know what the repercussions would be of me even attempting to come in. Well, they let me get in and maybe two days after I arrived we went to get our marriage license. I arrived on the first of April and on the seventh of April we were married in a very small roadside chapel with only seven guests in attendance.
I was here for five weeks and then I had to go back to Australia. I had a house that I’d only just recently purchased and the bank owned most of. So I had to go back and sell that and get everything tidied up over there and I came back two and a half months later, in July 2012. He was sentenced in August. It was really quite a shock that he received the maximum sentence, because he was the only one in court that day that had a criminal history of zero that was given the maximum sentence.
The judge made it clear that he took it personally, what Hig had actually done.
When he first went to prison we dropped him off in Alabama, about eight hours away. He was only in there for a couple of hours before he was put into a truck and taken to a county jail. He wasn’t even told why and then a week later he was told that it was because the prison had refused to accept him because there were computers on the base and they thought he was a risk.
They had him in the county jail for 35 days and when he was in there the call costs to call home were $21.30 for 15 minutes. The food was horrible. Everything about it was horrible.
Then he was transferred to Atlanta, to a holdover prison. He was there for 78 days, I think. They would keep him in lockdown for 23 hours a day Monday to Friday, and Saturday and Sunday were 24 hour lockdown.
Then they sent him to a place in Oklahoma which was like a sort of transfer facility and he was there a few days. Then they sent him to a prison camp in West Virginia. He was there for two days. It was great: really pretty environment. Then they put him in the SHU, which is the Special Housing Unit [solitary], and once again they said there were computers there, you’re too much of a risk, we can’t have you there.
I was very heavily pregnant then. I think I was almost eight months pregnant. Both his mother and I contacted the counsellor of the prison and confirmed that even though he was in the SHU we could go up and visit him in person and have a full Saturday visit and a full Sunday visit and there would be contact.
So went went all the way to West Virginia from Texas, and we turn up at the prison and we’re told no, we can’t have those contact visits. That we are only allowed to see him for one hour Saturday and one hour Sunday, through a tiny television monitor and he would be somewhere else in the prison. Of course we frantically tried to get that overturned because we had been given these false promises. We were told that if there was nobody waiting behind us that we could have more than one hour with him on the tv monitor.
That wasn’t true.
I spent the whole hour Saturday crying, just crying. I could barely put a word together. At least his mother was able to carry the conversation. On the Sunday I was able to talk and spend that hour with my husband through a tiny tv monitor.
I gave birth to Brody at the end of May and then we went up to see Hig in July. By then he’d been transferred up to a prison in Ohio, and everything’s fine there. He’s been there ever since.
So we went to visit in July when Brody was seven weeks old and got to spend all day Saturday and all day Sunday with him. And you can kiss and hug Hello and you can kiss and hug Goodbye and he could hold Brody the whole time but that was it. And then we went up again once more.
So he’s only ever seen Brody twice.
And I’ve had two contact visits with him for his entire prison sentence.
He’s been moved from place to place to place. The whole entire thing is a joke because the judge, when they sentence them, they ask where the family lives and “we’ll put you as close to home as possible.”
Well that’s a load of shit, because we’re in Texas and my husband’s in Ohio. I’m not sure they could have made it any harder for us…well, they probably could have!
He applied to come home on early release, so he’d be home in August, rather than remain in prison for his entire sentence which ends on November 12, this year. We put all the paperwork in, we did everything right. His prospective probation officer from here came to do a house inspection, we met her, everything was fine. She had a lot of questions. Then we were waiting on her response, and we were waiting, waiting, waiting, waiting and it came down to: if she didn’t put her paperwork in by the 14th of June he would either have to apply again or he’d have to go to Austin automatically.
I called her constantly. Friends called her constantly. We left messages. She never responded. I went to her office and tried to see her but she wasn’t there. I left a frantic message with one of her co-workers saying “Look, this is the situation. If she does not give us an answer he starts all over again.”
The next day Hig’s prison counselor gets an email from the probation officer that says that they have refused to let him come home or even to Houston, which is near us. That they are sending him to Austin which is basically four hours away from home.
They didn’t give a reason why.
The only thing we can figure out is that if he goes to Austin he’s able to use a computer because Austin has the facility, the capability, to monitor computer usage. They can put software on there and monitor you. They don’t have that in the Southern District, which is where we are.
Obviously they realize that he needs to use a computer, his only skills are in the computer. It’s not that he wouldn’t do manual labor; he would, but he’s epileptic and some employers would hold that against him and wouldn’t give him a job.
So they’re sending him to Austin, which is four hours away.
Now here’s the kicker: if we don’t have a residence in Austin when they release him, they may refuse his application to go to a halfway house. What’s going to happen is, he’s going to be released and he’s going to go to a halfway house in Austin and we believe this is going to happen at the end of August at the very latest. But the halfway house can refuse him if his family doesn’t have a residence in Austin at that time. So we need to get to Austin and get a residence before he’s released from prison so that he’s actually accepted by the halfway house. They will come and inspect our residence to prove that yes, it’s a safe house, it’s a good environment, blah blah blah, and let him come home to his family.
The restrictions of that will be that he’ll have his computer monitored by software. He will be able to work, we don’t believe there are any restrictions on the kind of work that he does, as long as it’s legal, which makes sense. He will have, we believe, an ankle bracelet which means we’d have to get a home phone so they can monitor him.
Every time something’s supposed to happen the way it’s supposed to, it’s always a big screw up. Nothing’s gone the way it was supposed to.
A friend of ours, Sue Crabtree, wanted to start a fundraiser and help us move to Austin because like I said, they can refuse Hig’s coming home and keep him in there until November. We were really hesitant at first because we’ve been through this before over the last two years & it hasn’t always ended well.
To say the least. It’s not every day thirty police officers point a gun at your baby…but that’s getting ahead of the story…
When Hig was first arrested and for months and right up to when I was pregnant with Brody there was a lot of hate directed at me online. There was a horrendous amount of abuse, of trolling.
Then I became pregnant with Brody and people became very supportive of us. They were brilliant! They did lots of fundraising to put money on Higs’ commissary, they did several of those. They did a donation drive for Brody. People bought stuff from his registry. People were wonderful, supportive, and everything was great.
But then what comes along with that is haters, and we had people last year who were carding our WePay account. What that means is that they were using stolen credit cards to make the donations, ranging from $1 to $1000. I worked with WePay to stop them, and I worked with law enforcement to make sure they knew we knew they were fraudulent, we don’t want this money, blah, blah, blah…
Well, that wasn’t enough for these people. On Friday they released the social security number of a family member of ours. On the Sunday afternoon Higs’ Nana has five police officers outside her house saying there’s a bomb threat. Someone called 911 and said there was a bomb and he wanted one and a half million dollars and a helicopter or they’ll blow up the house. So the cops come in and search Nana’s house and realize that everything’s fine, it was a hoax.
The following day I had somebody tweet at me with my address saying that constant gunfire had been reported at my address. A few minutes later I get a call from Higs’ mother and the house is surrounded by the entire police force of our city and the bomb squad. Someone called it in: they want one and a half million dollars AND a helicopter or the house is going to blow up. I was told to grab Brody & walked outside.
Now at that stage, Brody was a month old. So I took Brody outside and told them, “This is a hoax.”
We believe that the people who did the carding to us, also did the SWATing.
We told the police, you know, “This is who we suspect it is, dah dah dah dah dah, hoax, blah blah blah blah blah,” told the police who Higs and I were, and they kind of looked at me like I was nuts. It’s hard to explain that your husband’s a world famous hacker and this is what’s going on. Then they went out to the car and googled our names and realized we weren’t lying because one of the first pictures they saw was a picture of Higinio and I which is also sitting on our wall.
Come Thursday, I’d just put Brody down for a nap and I was taking one with him when Higs’ mom comes in. “Kylie, we’ve got to go outside. We’ve been surrounded.”
She had been sitting inside and she heard someone calling us out on the bullhorn and she looked outside and our entire street is cordoned off and there are thirty cops pointing rifles at our house. She’s on the phone with 911 saying, “This is a hoax. I have children in this house. This is a hoax.” And the lady was saying, “Ma’am, you have to come out. You have to come out now.”
She took my 10 year old autistic nephew who lives here with us, and I had to carry one month old Brody out to thirty cops pointing rifles at us. There’s nothing that can ever explain how horrendous that was. If it was me on my own I’d be like, yeah, whatever. But we had kids here, and the people who did this SWATing, they knew, they knew that I had a baby. They didn’t know that my nephew was here, but they knew I had a baby. And they thought it was a great idea to send cops with guns pointing at my child.
By that stage the FBI had been contacted, and investigator had been contacted. Another threat was called in that day but they ignored it because they knew it was a hoax. We didn’t receive any more threats after that for awhile until February of this year.
Some people went apeshit at me online last year, and a lot of bullshit was posted and some believed it. I was asked to go on a radio show in February to give an update on how my family was doing, so I went on and gave a positive update. Straight after that radio show was finished, there was another one with a different guy which was a “Hate Radio” show. Every week they get on air and run a different person into the ground. That week the show was about how much he hated me and how I was a scumbag and a user and whatever else. I was told that if he replaced “Kylie” with “Jews”, it would’ve sounded like a Hitler speech. I tried listening to it after it had happened. But I couldn’t stand to hear more than 5 minutes of it. It was full of lies, not one thing said was true, and it was painful.
We were SWAT-ed again the following week.
That’s when I walked away from my @MissAnonFatale account.
These days when we get SWAT-ed they only send three cops out because they know it’s a fake.
That’s a long winded story, but we’ve had so much love and support from so many people online who have rallied around our family and have done so much for us. There’s no way we could have got through without them. All the good stuff comes with the bad stuff.
So we’ve gone through all this bullshit with Higinio being fucked around with his prison sentence, not being able to see his family. We’ve had enormous support. I’m sitting in my son’s room at the moment and everything here has basically been bought by people online. There are some amazing people who have just really helped.
So, we basically had no choice, so we’re going ahead with a fundraiser to try and get to Austin.
To date the fundraiser has raised $2870 of $6000 needed. Last night Don Carpenter of Mobile Broadcast News vowed that anyone donating $200 would receive a free feature article on his choice of topic (“even cocks!”) on Mobile Broadcast News. For anyone in Pittsburgh who donates $1000 he will gift you a wedding photography package, good for any time in the next two years.
I have been attacked by these people who attacked me last year as to why am I scamming money when I should be earning my own money. I want to make it clear that I am working, and I’ve been working for a long time. I do web design and recently started an online store that sells clothing and decals which is going well, and I’ve been earning enough money to support myself and Brody.
The whole plan was that he was going to come home, we were going to continue live with his parents for a bit, work hard, save money, get our own place. There is no way that we could have been able to foresee that the prison system would do this, that they would send us to Austin. We had no way of knowing. If we had known, I would have worked to make sure that I had the money to do this on my own. We weren’t told. We weren’t told until I think it was the 13th or 14th of June that this was going to happen.
We thought about maybe I’ve just got to work harder, save the money on my own to get there. Well, no. That can’t happen because if he doesn’t have a residence by the time he gets out, they can refuse to let him in the halfway house.
Once we get there I’m going to continue working online and there’s my online store and there’s another work from home job that I’m looking into. Ideally I’m going to continue working from home and if that’s not enough then I will go out and continue working in the outside world. I have a lot of skills. I used to work for the Department of Immigration in Australia doing various roles including managing and training staff.
How do you like being told where to raise your family by the prison system?
I’m really looking forward to Austin. I’ve been there a couple of times and I like it. It seems pretty cool. Hig possibly has a job at the moment in IT. He sounds pretty confident about it with his future employer who is just a really, really cool person. We’re feeling confident. It’s looking like he has a job he can go to and that’s really important, it will certainly help.
He’s definitely staying in IT. That’s his skills, that’s his passion, that’s what he’s going to do.
How is life in America compared to back in Australia?
Life in America is definitely harder than it is in Australia. In Australia I had a really good career. I had money. I was actually speaking with my ex-manager who’s a friend of mine the other day and he told me if I was there I’d be earning in the low six figures right now. I’m certainly not earning that here.
I don’t really get out very often.
Life in America definitely is harder and some of the laws here are incredibly tough and bizarre to me. I prefer my own country, I’m not going to lie. Australia’s a better country to live in, but this is where my husband is, and this is where my child is, so America’s going to be my home until such time as we can leave.
What challenges will you be facing in Austin?
The same challenges anyone else faces. We’re a family who’s been apart for 18 months. We’ve only been together in real life for five months. We’ve emailed and called every single chance we possibly can. It’s time to re-connect as a family. We have money stresses, we have responsibilities, so we’ll just face the same challenges everyone else does
Obviously we’ll be sticking to the law. There’s no chance of ever deviating from the law. That’s in the past and now we just want to be together and be a family.
What keeps you going through all of this?
The love of my husband. I was nearly 34 when I met Hig, and I wasn’t some young, silly teenager. I met him and I knew he was the one. We’ve had our challenges, we’ve had our fights, we’ve had rough patches like anyone else, but I don’t doubt for a second that we’re meant to be together. He’s my soulmate, I’m his, we have a beautiful baby together. What keeps me going is our relationship is real, our bond is real. He treats me like a queen. I can’t ask for a better man to love me and care for me.
Brody’s going to have his daddy. Skiddles our bearded dragon, is going to have him back.I’m going to have him back.
What keeps me going is that we’re going to be together.