Sailing into Oblivion

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After 50 days of attacking several ?government and corporate websites, the hacker group ?Lulz Security has finally decided to quit, on Sunday.

It made its announcement in its Twitter account giving no reason for its decision.

Bon Voyage

?(It?s) time to say bon voyage. Our planned 50-day cruise has expired, and we must now sail into the distance, leaving behind ? we hope ? inspiration, fear, denial, happiness, approval, disapproval, mockery, embarrassment, thoughtfulness, jealousy, hate, even love. If anything, we hope we had a microscopic impact on someone, somewhere. Anywhere,”

We are Lulz Security, and this is our final release, as today marks something meaningful to us. 50 days ago, we set sail with our humble ship on an uneasy and brutal ocean: the Internet. The hate machine, the love machine, the machine powered by many machines. We are all part of it, helping it grow, and helping it grow on us.

Also, the group left behind a link where users can download a dump of data it had taken from the sites it attacked.

50 Days of Lulz

Since May, LulzSec has embarked on a stunning spree of hacking attacks against Sony Corp., the U.S. Senate, an FBI affiliate, the Public Broadcasting System, gaming sites, and online porn sites.

The group also claimed responsibility for bringing down the Brazilian government’s website earlier in June.

According to Analysts, the group appears to be spin-off of “Anonymous,” another infamous hacker group known for its attacks against government sites. LulzSec and Anonymous have sailed on what they call “Operation: Anti-Security” earlier this month.

The first casualty was Arizona police website as LulzSec leaked dozens of internal documents over the Internet with the headline”Chinga La Migra,” Spanish for a more profane way of saying “Screw the Immigration Service.” The group said the leak was retaliation for Arizona’s controversial immigration bill that requires Arizona immigrants to carry registration documents at all times.

2 Brazilian government websites – Brasil.gov.br and Presidencia.gov.br – were also hacked.

Meanwhile, Anonymous posted the names of 2800 of the right-wing Columbian Black Eagles Special Police Unit’s members online. The published data has been credited as part of it and LulzSec’s ongoing Operation Anti-Security.

The group has attacked other companies, including Nintendo Co. and broadcaster PBS, as well as government entities such as a Federal Bureau of Investigation affiliate, the Senate and the CIA.

LulzSec did not claim responsibility for the initial Sony attack, but targeted the Japanese technology-and-media giant soon after.

Lulz

Whatever they set out to do, they certainly managed to create ?Lulz? for themselves along the way, tech expert John Walker from Rock Paper Shot Gun says.

?However, what they certainly managed to do was create lulz for themselves along the way. Which is of course the same as saying they succeeded in upsetting and pissing off a huge number of people over the last month and a half.?

?And while it?s tempting to categorise them as either griefer anarchists, or amoral crusaders, they fell neatly into neither camp. Instead their actions were more true to the lulz-seekers than most analysts and victims ever get to grips with”.

?They just entertained themselves, whether that was by upsetting a group of gamers on a forum, or by making political statements. Not a form of entertainment the majority can identify with, or perhaps even understand, but one that meant no fixed ideology was driving them beyond seeing what was next.?

AntiSec Movement

While the group has claimed its attacks are made both to raise awareness of poor security and to have fun, LulzSec took a more overtly political stance when it released documents from the Arizona Department Public Safety as a form of protest against a controversial state immigration law.

Lulz main objective was ?AntiSec? they intended to expose corrupt, abusive governments by protesting and combating any and all institutions’ or governments’ attempts to censor or moderate the Internet.

AntiSec is a movement seeking to ?steal and leak any classified government information, including email spools and documentation,” LulzSec had said in a previous post.

?Behind the mask, behind the insanity and mayhem, we truly believe in the AntiSec movement. We believe in it so strongly that we brought it back, much to the dismay of those looking for more anarchic lulz. We hope, wish, even beg, that the movement manifests itself into a revolution that can continue on without us. The support we?ve gathered for it in such a short space of time is truly overwhelming, and not to mention humbling. Please don?t stop. Together, united, we can stomp down our common oppressors and imbue ourselves with the power and freedom we deserve.?

Well one senses a hint of purpose, which might not have been the end result which they achieved.

John Walker from Rock Paper Shot Guns says that understanding AntiSec can be about as confusing as getting your head around the mindset of the hackers.

?It is, essentially, the campaign to prevent the publication of security vulnerabilities online.

It may seem a strange position, but it is the belief of this movement that such vulnerabilities are made public by those who profit from preventing the attacks.

Anti-virus and internet security firms, they claim, ensure the spread of such internet weaknesses via ?full-disclosure?, which then allows anyone to exploit them, and thus give greater cause for people to pay for the services of those who can stop them.

And their solution? Mayhem.

They believe that by raising hell, and seeking to destroy those who partake, they can force a change in the way the industry works.

Whether conspiracy theory, excuse for pissing people off, or noble cause, it?s this that LulzSec claim to have been raising awareness for.?

Its quite difficult to see how the groups target match those of the AntiSec plan.

They went for anyone who annoyed them rather than going for those who publish exploits.

Anyhow by taking down gaming sites its quite clear how poorly protected the majority of online services are. It certainly has made a huge audience of people aware that their personal information is not secure.

John also says ?Of course, one could equally argue that raising awareness of the vulnerability of online information has quite the opposite effect of the AntiSec agenda, making people more fearful of security, and more likely to go to the firms who claim they can improve it. And when LulzSec?s first famous attack (although their fifth release) was the defacement of the PBS website, after LulzSec suggested they were annoyed by the American publicly funded station?s report on the Wikileaks saga, it?s hard to follow any logical trend regarding these latterly claimed motivations.?

It seems that the group has gone of on a tangent from their original objective.

Threw in the towel

A lot of people are baffled why LulzSec threw in the towel, when only a week ago it vowed to take down the governments of the world.

So if they had such aspirations, then why stop?

Loosing nerve

After the group stepped up its hacking from corporations to the US FBI on June 3, two of its members lost their nerve and quit, fearing reprisals from the US government.

Their fears reached a climax last Monday when UK police arrested 19-year-old Ryan Cleary and later charged him with a cyber attack in connection with a joint Scotland Yard and FBI probe in to a hacking group believed to be LulzSec.

The group downplayed Cleary’s role in the collective, saying, “Ryan Cleary is not part of LulzSec; we house one of our many legitimate chatrooms on his IRC server, but that’s it.”

British police on Wednesday charged Cleary with targeting the website of Britain’s Serious Organized Crime Agency — the British equivalent of the FBI — with a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack.

Hackers civil war

As LulzSec continued its hacking attacks, several hacker groups threatened to expose LulzSec’s identity and eventually to take them down.

On June 21, a website believed to be run by a Dutch member of LulzSec has reportedly been hacked by a group “TeaMp0isoN.”

“Stop telling yourself that u are hackers, putting a ip into a irc is NOT hacking nor is using pre-made tools and scripts to grab databases… you do not represent the anti-sec movement,” TeaMp0isoN said in a statement.

Earlier, Web Ninjas, a supposed hacker vigilantes with possible ties to Th3j35t3r, has published several names and personal information of alleged LulzSec members on its website LulzSec Exposed.

IRC Logs

On June 24, 2011, IRC chat logs were leaked, along with personal information on LulzSec members including Kayla, Topiary, Joepie and many more. LulzSec confirmed that their logs were leaked, but claimed that the log were not from one of their core chatting channels.

According to The Guardian that published the logs, “LulzSec is not, despite its braggadocio, a large – or even coherent – organisation. The logs reveal how one hacker known as “Sabu”, believed to be a 30-year-old security consultant, effectively controls the group of between six and eight people, keeping the others in line and warning them not to discuss what they have done with others; another, “Kayla”, provides a large botnet – networks of infected computers controlled remotely – to bring down targeted websites with distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks; while a third, “Topiary”, manages the public image, including the LulzSec Twitter feed.

On Tuesday, LulzSec threatened m_nerva, who was the alleged source of the leak, “Remember this tweet, m_nerva, for I know you’ll read it: your cold jail cell will be haunted with our endless laughter. Game over, child.”

On June 25, Web Ninjas, on its website, declared their accomplishment in taking down LulzSec.

“A week back, only few of us like Ninjas, Jester, Awinee and few others in close circle knew who were Lulzsec but now whole world knows who are the leaders and members of this group.

“We have provided enough evidence to prove that LulzSec were Anonymous

“We have published the chat logs of LulzSec so that Security Analysts, Investigative reporters and other Enthusiasts can work on the logs and confirm for themselves. We are 99% sure that our dox are correct but still there would be 1% error in anything.

“We made LulzSec accept that the logs are real and not fake or disinformation campaign as many thought earlier.

“Media guys can now reach out to the top members of LulzSec (For e.g Wired)

“We neither wanted fame nor publicity, then why did we publish their dox and chat logs inspite of sending info to security agencies? – We did this to humiliate them in the same way they did with hack victims.

Lulz message to the world

The point that the group wanted to make in their message was ?just because we could.? ?The groups message to world was posted on their website.

?For the past 50 days we?ve been disrupting and exposing corporations, governments, often the general population itself, and quite possibly everything in between, just because we could.

All to selflessly entertain others ? vanity, fame, recognition, all of these things are shadowed by our desire for that which we all love. The raw, uninterrupted, chaotic thrill of entertainment and anarchy.

It?s what we all crave, even the seemingly lifeless politicians and emotionless, middle-aged self-titled failures.

You are not failures. You have not blown away. You can get what you want and you are worth having it, believe in yourself.?

While we are responsible for everything that The Lulz Boat is, we are not tied to this identity permanently.

Behind this jolly visage of rainbows and top hats, we are people. People with a preference for music, a preference for food; we have varying taste in clothes and television, we are just like you.

Even Hitler and Osama Bin Laden had these unique variations and style, and isn?t that interesting to know? The mediocre painter turned supervillain liked cats more than we did.?

Let it flow?

Lulz Security ? our crew of six wishes you a happy 2011, and a shout-out to all of our battlefleet members and supporters across the globe

This message according to many tech experts and security experts is taken as a mixed blessing.

The group is encouraging people to go out and do something, something worthwhile with their time and energy, and it tries to instill in trhem that if you put your mind to it, nothing is impossible.

However on the other hand security experts are saying this is just a ploy from the group, as it maybe planning on hiring more people and re-enter under a different name.

Psychological experts have a different perception . They say that the group presumably youngsters men and women have done this to prove a point to the authorities.

?It seems that these young people have a yearning to be accepted as who they are and what they are. They seem to have been misunderstood by some figure of authority and this is their way of showing their anger, using their intelligence,? a leading Psychiatrist from Abu Dhabi told ArabianGazette.com

In its farewell message, the group also posted a cache of files that included documents it claims it poached from AOL Corp., AT&T Inc. and the FBI.

LulzSec says that it hopes the anti-security movement continues on without it, that the ?movement manifests itself into a revolution.?

Source: BBC World, MSN Arabia, Wall Street Journal, Priyo News, Rock Paper Shot Guns

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