Tuesday, July 19, 2011

For the lulz

LulzSec (short for Lulz Security) is a hacker group that first appeared in May 2011. It gained prominence because of high profile hacking, with victims like Fox, news station PBS, gaming websites, the CIA, the US Senate, the UK’s Serious Organized Crime Agency, Nintendo and Sony. LulzSec released personal information, emails and passwords, caused disruption of services and defaced websites. In June, it announced its disbandment after 50 days of a successful hacking spree. However, the group has re-emerged with the recent hacking of the Sun Newspaper website, posting the fake story of Rupert Murdoch’s death (whose company, ironically, is involved in the hacking of a voicemail of a murder victim).

LulzSec broke down the traditional conception of hackers by its extensive use of social media to publicize their hacks. The group post their latest exploits on twitter and their own website, usually coupled with taunting and witty remarks. Unlike other hackers, the group did not financially benefit from hacking.

While others have considered Lulzsec as an internet prank group, others consider its activities as some form of cyber terrorism. Unlike Anonymous, another hacker group which is more politically motivated (their message: do not lie to the people if you do not want your lies exposed; prime example would be attacking companies who withdrew support from wikileaks ), LulzSec initially did not have a clear goal, sometimes hacking into sites at the suggestion/prompting of followers. The group is unique because it claimed to hack out of boredom and for sheer entertainment value. They did it because they could. They did it, well, for the lulz. But was it really for the lulz?

Beneath the anarchic image that the group has created for itself, it has oddly enough become some sort of watchdog for better internet security. LulzSec has exposed how poorly some companies (i.e. Sony) handle their customer’s personal data. LulzSec’s method of making attacks well known has encouraged people to secure themselves better.
More than wreaking havoc in cyberspace, the group has brought attention to the security flaws and holes that corporations and governments have. The group has exposed how vulnerable even most trusted organizations and companies are. This band of six treated their escapades as one big joke- but their message (if they truly did have one) rang loud and clear: in a place like the internet, you can never be too secure.


pcmag, techland
, pastebin

Krystel Jehan M. Bautista, entry no. 5

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