- Obama not worried about Ebola at upcoming African summit in D.C.
- Obama: ‘We tortured some folks’ after 9/11
- Obama administration asked whole D.C. Circuit to take on major Obamacare case
- Mark Levin: Topple GOP leadership or country will ‘unravel’
- Massachusetts to let police chief deny gun buys to those deemed unfit
- John Kerry condemns attack on Israeli soldiers, kidnapping
- U.S. starts to evacuate American Ebola patients from West Africa: Report
- Geraldo slammed as ‘dummy’ for backing Clinton’s bin Laden claim
- Israeli spokesman: No need to debate who broke the cease-fire
- 35 Palestinians killed; Israeli officer missing
Brazen, publicity-seeking hackers on attack spree
Question of the Day
LONDON (AP) - Can you be famous if no one knows your name? A new band of hackers is giving it its best shot, trumpeting its cyber-capers in an all-sirens-flashing publicity campaign.
Lulz Security has stolen mountains of personal data in a dozen different hacks, embarrassing law enforcement on both sides of the Atlantic while boasting about the stunts online.
The group, whose name draws on Internetspeak for “laughs,” has about 270,000 followers on the messaging site Twitter. In an online interview via Skype with The Associated Press late Friday, one LulzSec member said the group’s current hacking campaign was about attacking “the common oppressors” _ which he identified as “banks, governments (and) law enforcement.”
“Not all of them of course, but they know who they are,” he said.
The hacker refused to reveal any personal details beyond identifying himself as male, but he proved membership in LulzSec by posting a prearranged message to the group’s popular Twitter account following the interview. The hacker agreed to the online interview in response to an email request sent by the AP to the group’s website registrant.
The group may cause serious damage, but its online persona often veers into wackiness. LulzSec’s Twitter mascot is a black-and-white cartoon dandy that looks like a cross between Mr. Peanut and The New Yorker magazine’s monocle man. Its rambling messages are peppered with references to YouTube sensation Rebecca Black, the Dungeons and Dragons role playing game and tongue-in-cheek conspiracy theories.
“Most of the hacker groups that are pretty well known out there … don’t really like to flaunt their findings. They’ll do it among their peers, but not typically the public,” said Karim Hijazi, a security expert whose emails were ransacked by the hacking group last month.
LulzSec made its name by defacing the site of the U.S. Public Broadcasting Service, or PBS, with an article claiming that rapper Tupac Shakur was still alive. It has since claimed hacks on major entertainment companies, FBI partner organizations, a pornography website and the Arizona Department of Public Safety, whose documents were leaked to the Web late Thursday.
In the interview, the hacker promised more embarrassing leaks, saying LulzSec was already sitting on at least 5 gigabytes of government and law enforcement data from across the world, which it planned to release in the next three weeks. The claim couldn’t be independently verified. In the past, the group has targeted U.S. and British government sites.
Many past attacks have yielded sensitive information including usernames and passwords _ nearly 38,000 of them, in the case of Sony Pictures. Others appear to have been just for kicks. In a stunt last week, LulzSec directed hundreds of telephone calls to the customer service line of Magnets.com, a New Jersey-based manufacturer of custom refrigerator magnets.
LulzSec uses a similar technique to temporarily bring down websites, flooding them with bogus Internet traffic. This is an old hacker standby that doesn’t require much sophistication. Members also break in to sites to steal data. That requires more skill and often involves duping employees into revealing passwords.
LulzSec’s actions against government and corporate websites are reminiscent of those taken by the much larger, more amorphous group known as Anonymous. That group has launched Internet campaigns against the music industry, the Church of Scientology, and Middle Eastern dictatorships, among others.
An Anonymous member told the AP that he believed LulzSec was formed by people from the group who got tired of the time it took to reach consensus and launch hacking projects.
“They wanted to go on more adventurous, brazen hacking adventures and really get their names out there,” he said. He spoke on condition that his name is withheld given the pressure being put on Anonymous members by law enforcement.
TWT Video Picks
By Orrin G. Hatch
Procedural changes impede the chamber's traditional deliberative function
- Border agents cleared of civil rights complaints from illegal immigrant children
- Ben Carson takes major step toward presidential campaign
- U.N. condemns Israel, U.S. for not sharing Iron Dome with Hamas
- Obama military strategy too weak for future security, panel reports
- Porn-surfing feds blame boredom, lack of work for misbehavior
- House GOP resurrects border bill, predicts successful Friday vote
- Feds raid S.C. home to seize Land Rover in EPA emission-control crackdown
- Ted Nugent slams 'lying freaks' at liberal media: I'm 'doing God's work'
- CRUZ: A tale of two hospitals: One in Israel, one in Gaza
- Pentagon wants extra $19M to equip, train Ukrainian troops
Top 10 U.S. military helicopters
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors