Things I Like That You Might Like Too: LulzSec
Jul 2011 08

Things I Like That You Might Like Too: LulzSec

Posted In Blog,Entertainment,Geek,Internuts,TV

by Aaron Colter

If you weren’t aware, a group called LulzSec has been causing mischief around the web for the past month or so, most notably unveiling the insanely lax security policies of Sony’s user accounts and dumping the email logs of the Arizona Police Department, which, like the diplomatic cables uncovered by Wikileaks, weren’t shocking so much as they confirmed negative assumptions – that the American government does, in fact, work with countries around the world for the benefit of multination corporations, and that too many police officers are egomaniacs with a hatred of anyone other than clean-cut white men.

LulzSec hit the websites of governments around the world, including Italy, Spain, and England, dumped the names of right-wing secret police in Columbia, accessed parts of the FBI, the CIA, AOL, and AT&T, and posted the image below on the PBS website for airing a biased documentary about Wikileaks and accused soldier Bradley Manning.

Before disbanding last weekend, LulzSec partnered with the Anonymous campaign to target institutions that restrict freedom of speech on the Internet, like the U.S. Senate, which caused them to become a target for others in the hacker community, as well as the topic of debate in the news. The group, reportedly made up of only six core members, recently called it quits on their 50 day sail of laughs, some say due to increased scrutiny from law enforcement agencies around the world, and the revealed identities of some members, potentially stemming from IRC chat-room leaks.

In the UK, following claims that the nation’s census database had been hacked, a19 year old named Ryan Cleary was arrested and is facing a host of charges for allegedly participating in LulzSec’s anti-security movement that exposed the fragility of online data. Despite what ignorant media reports have claimed, Cleary is not the mastermind behind LulzSec. Cleary’s inability to cover his tracks after engaging in DDOS attacks should be enough to prove his novice talents.

In my first post for SuicideGirls, I praised the dumping of HBGary Federal information by Anonymous, as it uncovered that the United States government was directly helping Bank of America to discredit journalists like Glenn Greewald, and disrupt the activist group Wikileaks from releasing potentially damning information about the corporation’s financial records. HBGary, it turns out, was going to give law agencies the names and information of everyday men and women who were merely vocal supporters of Anonymous’ goals. And, only weeks ago, the NY Times ran a story about a non-violent environmentalist who was targeted by the F.B.I. for three years just for supporting certain causes.

Governments, it seems, are either very bad, or very lazy, at catching the people they consider to be the bad guys, and instead, often settle for a scapegoat. For example, treating Food Not Bombs like a terrorist organization.

LulzSec’s tools are not all that difficult to understand, provided you have the time and determination. Research coding for cross-site scripting, RFI, and SQL injections, hook up to an older computer (preferably a used model from another owner, making sure you’re connected at a remote location and able to hide behind some screens), and you too can become a hacker with the right knowledge of routers and IP addresses.

While LuzSec’s actions may be questionable to some, their ultimate goal wasn’t to harm ordinary citizens. Even though the credit card information of Sony’s users was put at risk, LuzSec didn’t appear to have any intention of using the information maliciously, they merely wanted the public at large to be aware of the possible consequences of entrusting corporations who have poor online security with such information. Hackers who want to steal from you don’t tell you about your security holes, they keep quiet hoping to acquire more data which can be sold or manipulated over time.

Unfortunately, those who are caught under the assumption of committing a crime out of political motivation are sometimes punished harshly over those who act out of emotion or economic gain. I once detailed the reactionary actions of the Toronto police department during the G20 protests, yet more damage is usually done when fans of sports teams decide to riot.

LulzSec was more of a group than idea, unlike Anonymous, which is worldwide phenomenon that has a different direction depending on location and plan. So, although the merry band of pranksters is gone for now, their spirit of laughing at those in power lives on, like when the Fox News Twitter account sent tweets claiming President Obama had been shot on July 4th.

Anonymous isn’t done either, claiming to have a huge stock-pile of information from another raid that same weekend (bank holidays are apparently good times for hacksters), which some believe may be iTunes data, or government records. Whatever members of the loose collective are planning, it’s doubtful their actions will be worse than English police officers working with a conservative newspaper to infiltrate the mobile phones of celebrities in a plot uncovered by Hugh Grant or the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives allowing illegal weapons to flow to Mexican drug lords under an operation named after a fucking Vin Diesel movie franchise.

Welcome to the future. It’s a weird place. Hope you like to laugh.

5 comments
tes
tes

good work. Death to the government

another_anonymous
another_anonymous

we are anonymous, we are aware of the corruption in the world's governments and their apathy for the human lives because of money. we are aware of the governments' attempt to cover on the news of the rebellions to keep us as slaves for the current system. we are anonymous, we declare war on the corrupted system, join the plan to get your freedom and rights back. you are a human being, your life has value. we are anonymous, we are legion, expect us! whatis-theplan(dot)org

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