The Lulz Goodbye

Hacking is hard, but do you know how tough it is to draw with letters and hash marks?

After 50 days of digital anarchy, the mysterious internet hacker group, LulzSec, announced that their days of Anti-Security are done. The group called it quits in a letter accompanying their one last data dump of information stolen from AOL and AT&T.

You might recall that LulzSec is the hack-tivist group that embarrassed the crap out of companies like Fox and SONY, then hacked the websites for the Navy, CIA and the FBI, among others. It’s been hard to tell the motivation behind these ballsy maneuvers. Sometimes LulzSec claims fun, other times (like the CIA hack) were the results of inter-hacker Twitter flirting dares.

Is there some big anarchistic motivation behind these cyber-attacks or is it just for entertainment?

The group’s very name is a play on LoL’s (laugh out louds), and they’ve been flipping the digital finger to the world with their tagline “Laughing at your security since 2011.” They amassed more than 277,000 followers on Twitter, so it seems that many love being in on the joke. And while the world scrambled to prove how secure their sites and information really were, LulzSec continued bragging and boasting of future, more dangerous cyber-attacks and information heists.

Yet now, they’ve abruptly called an end to the hijinx:

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.

Again, 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.

This comes as a big surprise, because just last week LulzSec announced some kind of partnership with the thousands-strong Anonymous. We were promised more anarchy, so why quit now?

Many assume its because the group’s recent boasting finally brought the sleeping governmental giants to their doorstep. A 19 year old in Essex, England was arrested after the UK Police determined he was a LulzSec mastermind. Though LulzSec claims otherwise, it appears the arrest and the FBI’s seizure of database servers in Virginia said to be associated with the group, have caused some serious damage.

A recent posting on Pastebin outed the identities for the remaining LulzSec members:

The core members of LulzSec are Sweden-based Daniel Ackerman Sandberg (aka Topiary), Iowa-based Wesley Bailey (aka Laurelai), New York-based EE or Eekdacat (no name, but an IP address provided), Britain-based Richard Fontaine (aka Uncommon), Hector Xavier Monsegur (Sabu), and Netherlands-based Sven Slootweg (aka Joepie91), amongst others.

Now it seems that these kids saw this shit get real, quick…and are trying to bail.

"Wanna play Global Thermonuclear Wars With Friends?"

My assumption is that these kids were just pawns accomplishing a mission, but not the one stated on the LulzSec‘s cute sites. Things of this magnitude don’t happen just for fun, and they usually don’t come from the minds of babes.

Someone financed this fun, or at the very least put the pieces in motion. They dressed it up in cute-hacker kid clothing, but there has to be a sinister motivation behind this. The big question is Why?

A) Someone is selling something, like better internet security. What better way for a developer to sell your super-duper security software than by showing how badly compromised the world’s net security is? Plus with corporate America (like Facebook) hiring hackers to consult on security, the last 50 days might have been one big audition.

B) If one looks to the bigger picture, its easy to see how destroying our internet security could cripple our economy and our national defense. Economic Depression, lack of confidence in banking systems, lack of confidence in security provided by government…these are all recipes for revolution. Its just sowing the seeds of national discontent, and there are certainly countries/entities out there that would benefit soundly from this.

China already came out and publicly denied any involvement in the hacks, which is of course leads me to believe they are suspect #1.

C) Could the US government somehow be behind the havoc with hopes of pushing through stricter anti-hacking/terrorism laws? There is too much freedom on the internet, and tougher laws would help the government push legislation to legally invade internet privacy. We all know that the only way to push through freedom limiting measures is post-crisis (Patriot Act, anyone?), so this could have been just what the Surgeon General ordered for government digital supremacy.

"L if for the lulz you gave me, O is for the online gaming, V is for vendetta..."

In any case, even without the Lulz, internet hacking is now cause celebre. In the age of championing Wikileaks, these hackers have turned into minor celebrities and champions of those digitally wronged. Apparently most people forget they’re stealing and harming our security.

So expect to see further attacks to harm the blanket of security we all have pulled over our eyes. Whatever the endgame, Hack-tivism is in full effect.

Always remember Horn-balls, if its online, it aint private; a lesson Lulz taught us well, and have now learned themselves.

 

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