A Reddit user posted this Imgur album in a few subreddits purporting to show that FVX Research, a company named in recent news coverage as a possible FBI shell company, had denied being linked to the government, but had a clearly fake website… Is that the case?
The content in the images is real. But it seems like there might be more to the story…
FVXResearch.com, the website in the story, was registered at about 15:00UTC on June 2, 2015 and the Twitter account about an hour later. The Imgur album and Reddit posts were made at about 09:30UTC on June 3, 2015 – which would suggest that the author discovered the website and Twitter account within about 6 hours of it’s creation.
The website itself is a wimple WordPress template hosted with GoDaddy – the template comes with the same images that were found by the author.
The other domain name mentioned, nsa.gen.in, does exist and appears to have been registered to a Utah address in February 2015 – it’s hosted on the same GoDaddy webserver.
So there are two possible conclusions…
The FBI, suddenly concerned about the attention being paid to what appear to be their shell companies, decided to setup a fake website and Twitter account to deny it, but put virtually no effort into doing so.
Or… Someone decided it would be fun to earn some imaginary internet points and troll various websites with a fake story of cyber intrigue.
I suspect it’s the latter.
As for the fake companies flying planes over US cities? That seems pretty plausible – although what it’s in aid of remains a mystery.
UPDATE: It turns out that my hunch here was correct – yes it was all fake. A Vice Motherboard story has the details.