After years on Windows Server 2003 and Microsoft IIS, KOBEHQ recently switched to Linux and Apache - see Netcraft site report. It is running WordPress but although it looks like someone might have spent a bit of time developing the template there is no content apart from the standard hello world post which was made only eleven days ago. There is a link to the forums but they don't seem to contain any posts older than a couple of weeks. What about all the previous posts on the KOBEHQ forums?
Meanwhile, I notice that Stephen Devoy has a new theory as to the true identity of his nemesis - a woman by the name of Bridget who he met in 1990 whilst he was a member of CISPES. He believes that she was a government informant at the time, and that she has posted on the KOBEHQ forums as both KOBE Bunny and KOBE HQ. He presents these claims on a web page titled The Story of Bridget.
Someone in Scotland just contacted to ask if I knew why the KOBEHQ site has been inaccessible for the last couple of weeks. I didn't know that it was down but I have just confirmed it for myself. I may have something to report within the next few months.
Here are three websites apparently run by Stephen DeVoy:
I was just playing around with the Yahoo! Site Explorer and I decided to ask for a list of pages that link to the KOBEHQ site. Yahoo! knows of 2,149 pages and I clicked on a couple of interesting looking ones. One of them was a critique of a Washington Post article about the activities of Aaron Weisburd and his Internet Haganah website. The Washington Post article does not mention KOBE but the critique (posted by someone using the name "Anti-Fascist") claims Aaron has a "long history under the project KOBE". I seriously doubt whether this is true. Googling for "Aaron Weisburd" and KOBE only comes up with a few pages, most of which just refer to a single unsubstantiated allegation. Internet Haganah seems much more professional and less kooky than KOBEHQ. The domain is registered to Andrew Weisburd and it all looks to be reasonably above board. On the other hand, going after "Jihad sites" should be a low priority while the really dangerous international criminals keep their whitehouse.gov website online with impunity.
Someone I shall refer to as Mr Blue used my contact form recently to get in touch with me about the contents of this page. He offered to answer questions about KOBE and I took him up on the offer. I learned a few interesting things but I will be keeping them to myself for now. One thing I will mention though is that Stephen DeVoy is apparently running a Stop Fascism! Online Store at cafepress.
Been a bit quiet on the KOBE front lately. Back in July, while perusing my Apache logs, I noticed that I was briefly discussed on the KOBE Headquarters Forums. "KOBE Bunny" asked who I am and why I am spying on the KOBEs, helpfully linking to this page. Ms. Bunny could of course have found out much about me simply by browsing the rest of my site but others quickly popped up to stick their oar in. "Wurm" gets a point for the most accurate answer. "KOBE Maggot" was way off base in thinking I am one of "DeVoy's goons". "KOBE HQ" thinks I post on IMC pages quite frequently. Well I do occasionally post a comment on an article, but even "quite" frequently is a gross exaggeration. He also claimed that I have "a forum call American Women Suck", thereby earning a special bonus point for most implausible allegation.
By the way, kobehq has (unsurprisingly) changed IP address a couple more times since my last entry. For a while it was at 188.8.131.52 on an XO Communications netblock but now it is back on a Verizon netblock with IP address 184.108.40.206 (which it again shares with its old friends pyramideon and esplanadeventures). Meanwhile, the domain registration for beachcitiesimc.org expired on 2006-08-25 and is pending renewal or deletion - I guess it outlived its usefulness.
I see www.kobehq.com has changed IP address yet again. It is now on 220.127.116.11, an address it shares with other sites such as:
www.pyramideon.com www.esplanadeventures.com www.beachcitiesimc.org
I was just checking some links on this page and found something very odd. I clicked on the link to Beach Cities IMC and got "The page cannot be displayed" which is not strange in itself:
$ host www.beachcitiesimc.org www.beachcitiesimc.org is an alias for beachcitiesimc.org. beachcitiesimc.org has address 18.104.22.168 $ curl -I www.beachcitiesimc.org HTTP/1.1 403 Forbidden Content-Length: 1529 Content-Type: text/html Server: Microsoft-IIS/6.0 Date: Tue, 16 Aug 2005 01:27:55 GMT
I thought I would just look at a cached copy so I did a Google search for "www.beachcitiesimc.org" and then clicked where it said "Show Google's cache of www.beachcitiesimc.org". To my great surprise it took me to a page which said "This is Google's cache of http://www.ercnet.com/ as retrieved on 10 Aug 2005 03:30:01 GMT."
On 2005-03-23 I read Source of bandwidth attacks on various IMCs which had just been posted to the Boston IMC by someone using the pseudonym Fake_Feeb. This article speculates about the identity of KOBE SBM, and includes a fair amount of supporting information gleaned from the Internet. I took this as a jumping off point and started reporting the results of my own continuing investigation. Before long my hosting provider received a complaint from someone claiming to be the person identified by Fake_Feeb, and rather than create a potential problem I decided to play safe and remove certain information from this page.
While all this was going on KOBEHQ temporarily moved to different a netblock, as can be seen by this Netcraft Site report. Basically it moved from 22.214.171.124 to 126.96.36.199 to 188.8.131.52 where it currently resides. But one thing I know for sure is that I have got the attention of KOBEHQ - checking the whois record for kobehq.com today I found that they had faked it in my honour:-)
Registrant: Gregory, Ian ATTN: KOBEHQ.COM c/o Network Solutions P.O. Box 447 Herndon, VA. 20172-0447
Much as this case interests me I have better things to do with my life. That's all Folks!
For some reason the thread I mentioned in my last entry has apparently been deleted from the greenspun bulletin board and, as if by magic, the cached copy of www.stephen-devoy.com has now vanished from Google - spooky!
Yesterday I noticed that www.stephen-devoy.com was inaccessible. In a posting dated 2005-02-24 on this thread, someone claiming to be "KOBE SBM" claimed that the site had been "taken offline by the FBI at the ISP level" on 2005-02-22. He also claimed that search engines had "flushed cached copies of the site" but that is clearly untrue, since Google still had it in its cache today.
Check out my Who is Matt Parker? page for an account of a couple of minor coincidences which seem to link it to this one. In fact I even mentioned this page (before I noticed the connections) to Matt Parker when he contacted me, just as an example of another similarly confusing case. He never commented on it.
Last night I set some bait for "KOBE SBM" and didn't have to wait long for a response - details.
KOBE Headquarters (KOBEHQ) is a U.S. based website specialising in an amalgam of pornography and reactionary "news", whose target audience one might imagine to be uniformly red of neck and brown of shirt:-) I only came across KOBEHQ recently while reading about attacks on Independent Media Centers. It seems that the free flow of information is anathema to KOBEHQ and that they are claiming to have been behind some of these attacks. I decided to do a little bit of research.
I will start with a key piece of the puzzle, the so called Beach Cities IMC. By using the familiar IMC logo this purports to be an official IMC, whereas it is in fact nothing of the sort. One article on the site titled Stephen DeVoy Breaks with Reality claims that "KOBE Headquarters is a website dedicated to defending American ideas, democracy, and patriotism." Are we to conclude that deception is one of these precious American ideas?
I was looking forward to doing a bit of detective work to find a link between the KOBEHQ and Beach Cities IMC websites but it proved to be disappointingly trivial - they are both running on the same IP address! The address in question is in the IALG-ALGX-10 netblock, belonging to Internet Allegiance of Dallas TX. At this point I can't be bothered to dig any further.
So who is Stephen Devoy, and what has he done to incur the wrath of KOBEHQ? It was easy to find Stephen's own website where he claims that he is the victim of an online harassment campaign which began when he was employed at Cycorp. As an interesting aside, the "official" unit of bogosity, the microLenat, is named after the CEO of Cycorp!
"KOBE SBM" has been bragging online that KOBEHQ were instrumental in the arrest of Sherman Austin. Sherman ran an Anarchist website called Raise The Fist and was sentenced to a year in federal prison after being fitted up by the FBI. The case was covered in great detail by Merlin Chowkwanyun for CounterPunch, without any mention of KOBEHQ. I wouldn't rule out some sort of working relationship between the FBI and KOBEHQ, but if any such relationship exists it is probably similar to that between a police officer and his attack dog.
I have now spent about ten hours researching KOBEHQ and have covered most of the more interesting stuff I found. I hope this page provides a useful jumping off point for anyone wanting to take things further.
www.zenatode.org.uk Ian Gregory 2010