The Twitter hacking group known as Lulzsec has had their escapades play on more screens than any major movie release ever has. Since covering the event at Sony Pictures, they have gone on to hack Writerspace, DistributeIT webservices, and most concerning of all, the public website of the CIA–more on that later. For those who have been living under a rock, each hack entails either downing the website, altering its content, releasing private user login information, or all of the above. Do their limits know no end?
Apparently not, thanks to their latest initiative to open up a “Lulzsec hotline” in which anyone can call and request a target. The number they provide is Ohio based, but the devious minds behind the group probably registered it there, rather than their actual home states. Many have taken up Lulzsec’s offer and the telephone number has been ringing nonstop with disgruntled cyber citizens with an axe to grind. According to a June 14, 2011 tweet from their Twitter stream their hotline accumulated: “5000 missed calls and 2500 voicemails from [Tuesday]. “
Not all of Lulzsec’s publicized stunts are necessarily their own doing though. Recently the former CEO of the security consulting firm HBGary, Aaron Barr, posted a tweet which accused Lulzsec of thieving nearly half a million dollars in bitcoins. The tweet came after recent news of the group taking on the firm on their path of hacking havoc. However, when looking over Barr’s evidence scrutinizers spotted several fallacies and accusations of doctoring were made. Barr has had an interest in the group lately, and nearly every tweet on his account since then has taken swings at Lulzsec. Much of his motivation not only stems from loyalty to his past employer, but rather his kerfuffle with a similar group of hackers known as Anonymous, who managed to walk away with thousands of messages from the HBGary company email server.
However, all of these hacking claims pale in comparison to Lulzsec’s latest effort which resulted in the CIA’s public website being DDoS’d (Denial-of-service attack) after being challenged by another Twitter user to do so. While DDoSing is not technically hacking, it can have a stinging effect and cause a website’s servers to be down for hours. If a government agency like the CIA does not have the means to prevent an attack of such nature, then obviously something has gone quite awry. Web administrators of the site did work quite quickly and as of this moment it seems the site is loading just fine despite harsh impact of the attack. The CIA have been entirely mum regarding the incident.
Lulzsec’s path of destruction will not slow down and more targets will soon follow. Does that mean there should be utter pandemonium? Of course not! Lulzsec is a branch of hacker hooligans with the modus operandi of “for the lulz,” doing something to get a humorous reaction out of it. The more red faced security firm CEOs they see on the TV angrily venting about the group, the more joy they will receive. Can we completely ignore the group and hope they go away? Once again…no, just no. Lulzsec does indeed exist, but its targets or potential targets are better off focusing on improving the integrity of their website’s security rather than going after a group of young adults looking for some virtual kicks.