LULZSEC: What Actually Transpired

Posted on July 20, 2011

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LulzSec


Put your hand up if you have heard of them.
(Did you put your hand up?)

Most people know of them but most news agencies provide disjointed, apathetic reports.

Lulz Security is an association of six (or so) hackers, all with unique skills who expose flaws in internet security for laughs.

Thier motto is:
“Laughing at your security since 2011!”.

The inclusion of 2011 in the motto shows these guys seek attention, they want to be remembered, they seek longevity and quite rightly so. What they have achieved is no small feat.

Whilst they are technically breaking the law they seek only to humiliate the corporations the common man assumes is untouchable (and to become famous, being heralded for years to come…). Most hackers prosper in anonymity, not these guys.

In this era of Arab uprisings and phone-hacking scandals, the autonomy of mankind is sparked by the free transfer of information. Be it for good or bad, everyone has a digital footprint from which an accurate profile of them can be compiled.

LulzSec see themselves as international guerrillas.

“We here at Lulz Security don’t approve of criminals. Every single one of them, except us, should be imprisoned forever”

Naturally the group used it’s expertise to make political statements. LulzSec attacked Fox News in May after hiphop artist Common was described as “vile”. They claimed responsibility for leaking information, including passwords, altering several employees’ LinkedIn profiles, and leaking a database of X Factor contestants containing contact information of 73,000 contestants.

But this was only the start of several high-profile attacks which led to the humiliation of some of the world’s biggest companys.

On May 15th the transactions logs of 3,100 ATMs or “cash machines” in the UK were leaked. This highlighted a major flaw in the security of the system that distributes our money. Many were shaken that their details were so easily accessed, many more were grateful that LulzSec exposed the flaw. Hopefully this problem has been fixed but many other companies were blissfully unaware of their vulnerability to hackers.

Naturally this ignorance was rapidly corrected. PBS, the American news corporation was hacked. Quite hilariously, a fake story claiming that both Tupac and Biggie Smalls were not only still alive but living in harmony in a small New Zealand was posted.

Personal data was also stolen from PBS. Another massive flaw was exposed, this time though, the hack was much more humiliating. LulzSec claimed these attacks were in order to defend Bradley Manning, a soldier who passed sensitive information to Wikileaks, who was “unfairly described” by both news networks.

Sony was also attacked although the number of compromised accounts varies from 37, 500 to 1,000,ooo depending on who you ask.

Many more groups were attacked, the most prominent included Nintendo and Bethesda and the FBI database. LulzSec have also been accredited with other high-profile hacks such as the fabricated theft of the 2011 UK census and the original PSN hack which seen the network down for over a month as well as the theft of unencrypted customer data. Attacks which they have had to deny. It seems LulzSec have become the face of hacking and many other faceless hacking groups have capitalized upon the media smokescreen this has caused.

No matter what, LulzSec gets blamed.

The members of LulzSec opened a can of worms. Perhaps said can contained a raging Hydra that couldn’t be controlled. either way, the group disbanded after 50 days.

On Twitter, as a farewell and thank you tweet, the group said:

I know people won’t believe this, but we genuinely ended it because it was classy … The leaks we promised happened . . . 50 days were reached, we just about hit 275,000 Twitter followers, things were on a high, so we redirected our fans to Anonymous and  AntiSec and wrapped it up neatly . . . A high note, a classy ending, a big bang, then a sail into the distance“.

There are several known members of the group who operated under pseudonyms:

Sabu, the apparent leader of the group. People have claimed that he is an information technology consultant and the strongest hacker of the group.

Topiary, ran the LulzSec Twitter account on a daily basis.

Kayla, owns a botnet used by the group in their distributed denial-of-service attacks. The botnet is reported to consist of about 8,000 infected computer servers.

T-flow, has been labelled as a PHP coder, web developer, and performer of scams on PayPal. The group placed him in charge of maintenance and security of the group’s website lulzsecurity.com. London Metropolitan Police arrested a 16 year-old hacker who may be T-flow on 19 July 2011.

Avunit, one of the core six members of the group, but not a founding member. He left the group after the group attacked the FBI databases.

Pwnsauce, is yet another core member.

They sound like a new-age boy band… Well that wraps it up, or does it?

After disbanding both Rupert’s Murdoch Sun and the Times were hacked by LulzSec, with articles proclaiming his death planted. The increasingly frail-looking Murdoch has been under immense pressure lately with the closing-down of the News of the World and the seemingly endless inquiries into News Corp corruption.

 

The faked death came to few as a surprise. Perhaps it was insensitive to proclaim the death of a man who looks like he convincingly pass as a corpse in a morgue but it was amusing and the political point was forever enduring…

After the assault the group said:

“With the importance of the web in this day and age, we believe that all news reporters need to be on the cutting edge of Internet culture”.

This sentiment is crammed full of steamy, pungent sarcasm, perhaps these guys mess with the “big boys” for fun, nonetheless:

Sabu, Topiary, Kayla, T-flow, Avunit and Pwnsauce, here’s to you and your childish games, you made me laugh.

I salute you ! ! ! ! ! ! !

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