The world’s hacker drama continues apace with Lulz Security calling upon a multitude of disenfranchised hackers and scriptkiddies to strike out at badly secured government websites across the world. This call has generated something of a smokescreen for the hacker group who are no doubt being sought by numerous policing organizations for arrest.
Then came the unexpected, New Scotland Yard and Essex Police apprehended a hacker, according to CNET,
Last night’s arrest was part of “a pre-planned intelligence-led operation” that also involved cooperation with the FBI, according to the Metropolitan Police. Following the arrest, the man was brought to a London police station where he is currently in custody for questioning.
Sky News reported early on that the teenager is the mastermind behind LulzSec, a prominent hacking group that has wreaked havoc on several companies and government organizations of late. However, the Metropolitan Police’s e-Crime Unit stopped short of saying whether the man in custody might be connected to LulzSec.
“The arrest follows an investigation into network intrusions and Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks against a number of international business and intelligence agencies by what is believed to be the same hacking group,” the Metropolitan Police said. “The teenager was arrested on suspicion of Computer Misuse Act, and Fraud Act offences.”
When it was revealed that a hacker was arrested in the UK in connection to breaking into the UK census data, many media outlets speculated that LulzSec might finally have gone down; but shortly thereafter their Twitter popped to life.
“Seems the glorious leader of LulzSec got arrested, it’s all over now… wait… we’re all still here! Which poor bastard did they take down?” They posted with their usual cheerful jocularity. Then they followed up their denial that any member of LulzSec had been taken by the authorities with a warning. “Just saw the pastebin of the UK census hack. That wasn’t us – don’t believe fake LulzSec releases unless we put out a tweet first. Anyone in the world can copy and paste The Lulz Boat ASCII art and general lighthearted theme. Smarten up, check the feed first.
“People should keep releasing fake LulzSec stuff. It helps filter out the peon masses from the respectable, fact-checking media outlets.”
The prankster hacker team, LulzSec, has made a celebrity name for themselves by penetrating game websites (e.g. Sony) and PR websites related to government entities like Senate.gov and Infragard. In doing so, they’ve pointed out the demonstrably lax security protecting most of these sites by using primitive intrusion techniques and stealing information from their connected databases. Through their antics, they’ve managed to snowball a Twitter following exceeding 235k members and growing.
As a result of their call to “hack the world” they’ve generated themselves a sort of smoke screen in the wake of civil governments seeking its members for numerous crimes and felonies (aside from becoming criminal celebrities.) As Internet highwaymen, LulzSec has become a modern day Robin Hood of cyberspace, attaining a media folk hero status as cyber-vigilantes who prove that many users have always been unsafe in their login credentials by showing how easy it is to compromise and steal them.
The stir has generated quite a bit of controversy about the nature of security online and the dysfunctional method that Lulz Security and others are revealing the totality of that poor security. Even the IT Security sector thinks that LulzSec have been utilizing juvenile hacking techniques—which exemplifies their apparent manifesto: it’s so easy to break your stuff! Lulz!
[Image credit: M!NiCR!T – The Lulz Boat – A webcomic; we’re going to be seeing a lot more of this as LulzSec continues to be a folk Internet phenomenon.]