Editorial: LulzSec, AntiSec and Why the Internet is a Sadder Place Now

The group came into prominence when they stole extremely sensitive information from Sony’s PlayStation Network that led to the great downtime of PSN. They claimed this was a retaliatory attack for the legal action taken by Sony against George Hotz, who developed the jailbreak for the PlayStation 3 console. Releasing this information to the public alienated the group from many PSN users, including this writer. Having a vulnerability in a corporate network is entirely Sony’s fault, but the correct way to go about it would be to tell Sony confidentially, and in return reap the rewards in green colored paper.

As if that was not enough, the group decided it would be fun to DDoS many multiplayer gaming websites including Minecraft and disrupted the login servers of the massively multiplayer game EVE: Online resulting in problems for gamers who would be enjoying a relaxing game on any other day. By this point, it became apparent that LulzSec were a bunch of attention seekers with no real hacking skills. Except, they ended up striking some easy gold by attacking the FBI affiliate site InfraGuard.

Many releases of LulzSec after this incident harped upon the term antisec, and encouraged fans to disrupt white-hack paradigms of today: Net Security (netsec) companies routinely look for holes in a web server. In the event they find one, the netsec company tells the owner of the server about the exploit and threatens with full disclosure of the exploit to the internet if the company does not hire the netsec to fix the hole. If the company refuses to do so, the netsec releases the exploit to many online repositories such as Bugtraq and SecurityFocus. This was seen as exploitation of companies by greedy individuals, and the antisec movement was formed as a means to censor the publication of these exploits on the public internet by security companies.


However, the question so, why shut shop all of a sudden?begs an answer. For everyone following the twitter feed of LulzSec, the Lulz Boat had been sailing admirably for the past fifty days, right?

Actually, no. The random releases of data and disruption of innocent cyber life caught the attention of gray-hat hacktivist The Jester, commonly known by his l337 handle th3j35t3r’. th3j35t3r was behind the XerXeS Denial of Service tool against Jihadists, and is for all reasons and purposes a cyber vigilante whose superpower is hacking and tweeting TANGO DOWNwhenever he takes down a website. He also claimed responsibility for taking down Wikileaks and the Westboro Baptist Church websites.

Now, th3j35t3r threatened to d0x(release personal identifiable information about) the members of LulzSec, starting with the alleged leader Sabu. However, it was later disproved that th3j35t3r did the d0xing as is evident from this raw data. This was the start of the Lulz Boat’s sinking.

Eventually, The A-Team, another group of hackers managed to get the personal information of the entire group via a network of spies and deception on their Internet Relay Chat (IRC) channels. It is unsure at this point whether the3j35t3r was involved with the A-Team but key pieces of data might have been supplied by him to the A-Team. The release was about a day prior to their announcement that they are calling it quits.

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A mobile technology lover and a Strategy and RPG-game fanatic. I also enjoy astronomy and programming. I am a biotechnology engineer learning through this fascinating subject while poring over computer science. Hit me up on Twitter for more