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Hacking Group Retires: Were They Helping or Hurting?

Christine Lusey 2011/06/27 19:00:00
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It's over! The group of hackers calling themselves Lulzsec has disbanded after 50 days of defeating the security of some of the world's most high-profile companies and government agencies.

The group, whose members remain anonymous, released scores of files obtained from infiltrating Sony, Nintendo, the CIA and the FBI, among others.

In a press release, Lulzsec said 50 days was all they'd ever planned, and encouraged others to carry on the work of Operation Anti-Security, their campaign, along with another prolific hacker group, Anonymous, to attack banks, governments and law enforcement agencies, like the Arizona Department of Public Safety.

We'll probably never know if they're telling the truth, and they'd only planned a 50-day spree all along, or if they were worried about mounting scrutiny from the authorities and other hackers.

Was Lulzsec just a bunch of cyber-terrorists, or did they do some good by exposing security flaws and promoting the freedom of information?

Excerpts from the Lulzsec press release are below:

"We are Lulz Security, and this is our final release, as today marks something meaningful to us. 50 days ago, we set sail with our humble ship on an uneasy and brutal ocean: the Internet. The hate machine, the love machine, the machine powered by many machines. We are all part of it, helping it grow, and helping it grow on us.

"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... "

Read More: http://gawker.com/5815589/lulzsecs-brief-reign-of-...

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Top Opinion

  • Moonage 2011/06/27 23:03:20
    What they did was illegal
    Moonage
    +5
    Data is stuff. Stealing data is stealing stuff. It's a lot of fun to break security, I've done it a few times. But, it's not something I'd run around bragging about. People who don't like having their stuff stolen just don't laugh about it that much.

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Opinions

  • SmithBandit 2011/08/11 20:10:00
    They helped expose security flaws
    SmithBandit
    but it was still illegal
  • El Prez 2011/06/28 20:07:47
    What they did was illegal
    El Prez
    Hackers are thieves and,on a technical level, terrorists, as well as trasspassers. Too bad they use their talents forsuch stipid crap.
  • Chris 2011/06/28 19:59:01
    They helped expose security flaws
    Chris
    It's both illegal but they did expose serious security flaws.
  • Stan Kapusta 2011/06/28 19:06:54
    Undecided
    Stan Kapusta
    Instead of hurting these organizations they should reband and show those flaws to the people involved.
    Help instead of hurt. Both benefit.
  • Xed0 2011/06/28 18:43:27
    They helped expose security flaws
    Xed0
    However there is a right and a wrong way to do this, But I'm one to talk, i used to be a little hellion on the computer myself.But i myself am what you would call a grey hat, i never damage, only explore, test my abilities, and see just how smart my rival is. Granted i usually anonymously report my findings to whomever became my victim.....Actually had a job offer for it once.

    I also think it's funny how these people, who are pretty much "weekend warriors" with other jobs, pursue hacking/cracking as a pastime rather than a full time job.Yet they can run CIRCLES around the guys with a degree.

    Fact of the matter is most of them probably tried to get into the tech field but were shooed away because they don't "look" professional or have a 90K dollar piece of paper that says "LOL I can has pc jerb naow?", I myself fell victim to the same BS.....but my degree was 20K dollars.

    In all honesty, I would rather have hired the guy in bdu's and a kmfdm shirt than the tight laced prim and proper "chic-nerd" with glasses any day.

    I dunno though, imo sony's biggest mistake was declaring they were now hack proof.....That....is a very....very....BAD THING.....to tell a hacker. Kinda like calling a boat unsinkable you know?
  • Teenage x Crisis 2011/06/28 17:59:45
    They helped expose security flaws
    Teenage x Crisis
    I think it's stupid to have either the choice of them "helping" or it being illegal. Of course it was illegal, how can you doubt that? But all revolutions are illegal until they succeed.
  • h.jane.mccann 2011/06/28 17:33:38
    What they did was illegal
    h.jane.mccann
    +1
    I think that hacker are bull Shyt.... hacker bull shyt FAIL
  • Xed0 h.jane.... 2011/06/28 18:32:03
    Xed0
    +1
    did NOT mean to uprate that comment....

    That aside, the guy in the picture you just posted?
    I know him....he is every bit as creepy as he seems here.
  • h.jane.... Xed0 2011/06/28 18:52:16
  • Chris h.jane.... 2011/06/28 20:02:11
  • h.jane.... Chris 2011/06/29 02:15:38
    h.jane.mccann
    Dam he got bigger boobies then me lol.. dam bigger boobies lol OMG
  • HearnoEvil 2011/06/28 17:17:54
    Undecided
    HearnoEvil
    I think they should know their security flaws. But, the intent (stealing) of the hacking makes them a dumb-arse in the first degree!
  • Sheled Umlal 2011/06/28 17:09:15
    They helped expose security flaws
    Sheled Umlal
    And yet again the citizens of SodaHead are the gallant force that love protecting people (whilst leaving GAPING holes) rather than the humble force that builds boards over the holes that gallantry has made.
  • Mikey Pooh 2011/06/28 17:08:57
    What they did was illegal
    Mikey Pooh
    And they should spend their life in jail.
  • Philanthropic Misanthrope 2011/06/28 16:55:12
    Undecided
    Philanthropic Misanthrope
    +1
    I rooted for them while they were running amok - but they never hacked anything interesting... just passwords and account info and addresses... YAWN. What about Area 51? Who shot Kennedy? What's going on with the Bermuda Triangle and the Taos Hum? Is the Ark still in a crate somewhere?

    Yay they exposed security flaws. I exposed my friend's security flaw when I kicked him in the nuts by surprise the other day. I'm not one photon closer to seeing the pics of his wife naked tho. Or Mariah Carey, now that Lulz is retired.

    Legality aside, do something neat. Change the world. Launch a nuke from Iran. Let's see some real anarchy.
  • HearnoEvil Philant... 2011/06/28 17:19:11
    HearnoEvil
    +1
    LOL!! Good point.
  • John 2011/06/28 16:40:54
    They helped expose security flaws
    John
    +1
    They proved their point. Some of their experts should be hired by our intelligence agencies, the Pentagon and others. China and Russia have been hacking in and steeling intellectual properties, military secrets, and they can disrupt our entire grid system. In the end, we will not be defeated by nuclear weapons, but by cyber warfare, unless we wake the **** up. I notice the the banks still have the 128 bit encryption system. That's like 20 years old. Where have we been all these years. Bin Laden didn't destroy us in conventional warfare, he's managed to bring us to the cliff fiscally since 2001. In his videos, he sounded more like an accountant than a typical terrorist.
  • Cimoc Feiler Naitsabes 2011/06/28 16:36:09
    Undecided
    Cimoc Feiler Naitsabes
    +2
    they did good and bad
  • ☠Marz555☠ 2011/06/28 16:15:06
    They helped expose security flaws
    ☠Marz555☠
    +3
    Give security guys some more work.
  • dhellew2 2011/06/28 16:00:08
    What they did was illegal
    dhellew2
    It's one thing to help, another to release sensitive data at which point they became true criminals.
  • I'm A TeenageDirtbag 2011/06/28 15:38:50
    Undecided
    I'm A TeenageDirtbag
  • Cimoc F... I'm A T... 2011/06/28 16:37:02
    Cimoc Feiler Naitsabes
    DRAGONS FTW!!^^
  • I'm A T... Cimoc F... 2011/06/28 17:31:01
    I'm A TeenageDirtbag
    0.o
  • Cimoc F... I'm A T... 2011/07/04 01:55:46 (edited)
    Cimoc Feiler Naitsabes
    D: O.o i <3 dragons
    :)
    btw, awesome dp, Asking Alexandria is awesome!!^^
  • I'm A T... Cimoc F... 2011/07/04 02:00:19
  • Cimoc F... I'm A T... 2011/07/10 20:27:19
    Cimoc Feiler Naitsabes
    +1
    yeaaaaa!! np!!^^ XD
  • jimrthy BN-0 2011/06/28 15:11:44
    Undecided
    jimrthy BN-0
    +1
    Like everything else in life, there was some good and some bad.

    Overall, I think the project was more positive than negative.
  • Assault 2011/06/28 14:19:48
    They helped expose security flaws
    Assault
    +1
    They were a great asset for the people.
  • Sinful Minded 2011/06/28 14:10:00
    They helped expose security flaws
    Sinful Minded
    +2
    Did they buy anything with the Vast amounts of "Stolen credit card numbers"? the most they did was interrupt services, and in the sony case - Don't people need to get off the couch more? who was harmed besides the companies? And the companies were only harmed because people no longer trust their info in the hands of those companies "SECURITY DEPT".... I say they are raising awareness...
  • PeeDonkeyPit 2011/06/28 14:07:44
    They helped expose security flaws
    PeeDonkeyPit
    +1
    Even a black-hat helps show security flaws. It astounds me how rapidly they are able to discover them as things are patched. Unfortunately, there will always be the element that will exploit such things to others' detriment... and you PC will ever be slower than its capability due to all the infrastructure required to keep 'em out...
  • Alice 2011/06/28 13:55:33
    They helped expose security flaws
    Alice
    +1
    Thanks Lulzsec! I'm sure we'll see you again in the future.
  • Daniel S 2011/06/28 13:53:41
  • the fuze 2011/06/28 12:11:33
    What they did was illegal
    the fuze
    +1
    They broke the law, what else do you need to say?
  • jimrthy... the fuze 2011/06/28 15:29:19
    jimrthy BN-0
    Relying on the law for protection here is stupid.
  • the fuze jimrthy... 2011/06/28 16:51:57
    the fuze
    Oh I agree, but I feel like some people on here are trying to let them off the hook, since they exposed security flaws. It's the whole "they broke the law... BUT" thing that irritates the crap out of me.
  • jimrthy... the fuze 2011/06/29 17:37:13
    jimrthy BN-0
    If the law's wrong or immoral, it's part of our civic duty to disobey (c.f. Rosa Parks).

    That isn't the case here, of course. The law's foolish and misguided, but at least it means well.
  • the fuze jimrthy... 2011/06/29 17:55:48
    the fuze
    +1
    I get what you are saying, but discrimination is a different case and laws promoting it SHOULD be disobeyed, Rosa Parks had every right to fight that one, as does everybody else.

    But you can't go around causing general mischief. It can cause people to panic, and then who knows what happens?

    For example:
    What if they had caused some sort of glitch in the banking industry, showing record losses and people took their lives over it? I realize this is an extreme example but sometimes it doesn't take much to push people over the edge.

    How much information was stolen from Sony accounts? What could be done with that info?
  • jimrthy... the fuze 2011/06/30 18:50:50
    jimrthy BN-0
    I think this is a prime example of one of the major flaws of "our" legal system.

    Lobbyists write laws and hand them to lawmakers, who don't have a clue about technology. Something like this happens, and there's a lot of panic and hand-wringing about might-have-beens and how we have to make examples.

    Meanwhile, real traders really did crash the stock market not too long ago. Well, the computers that make the high speed trades did. They stopped it before it could become a complete death spiral, but it was still one of the biggest crashes in history. *Much* bigger than crackers would bother to pretend, even if they could get total control of "The System."

    No one panicked. No one committed suicide. The market was back to normal within a week, although it took months to figure out what went wrong. AFAIK, no one's suggested any extra regulations or rules to keep it from happening again.

    So we have these minor nuisance criminals who everybody seems to want to see get hammered. Or people who are serving hard time for putting the wrong kind of seed in the ground.

    Meanwhile, who ever made the decisions that led to the Deep Water disaster has gotten away with multiple murders.

    The Rule of Law is supposed to be extremely important to America. Everyone has to obey the same laws and face the same...





    I think this is a prime example of one of the major flaws of "our" legal system.

    Lobbyists write laws and hand them to lawmakers, who don't have a clue about technology. Something like this happens, and there's a lot of panic and hand-wringing about might-have-beens and how we have to make examples.

    Meanwhile, real traders really did crash the stock market not too long ago. Well, the computers that make the high speed trades did. They stopped it before it could become a complete death spiral, but it was still one of the biggest crashes in history. *Much* bigger than crackers would bother to pretend, even if they could get total control of "The System."

    No one panicked. No one committed suicide. The market was back to normal within a week, although it took months to figure out what went wrong. AFAIK, no one's suggested any extra regulations or rules to keep it from happening again.

    So we have these minor nuisance criminals who everybody seems to want to see get hammered. Or people who are serving hard time for putting the wrong kind of seed in the ground.

    Meanwhile, who ever made the decisions that led to the Deep Water disaster has gotten away with multiple murders.

    The Rule of Law is supposed to be extremely important to America. Everyone has to obey the same laws and face the same consequences. Except pretty much everyone realizes it's a lie.

    The rich almost never get more than a slap on the wrist for their crimes. Mainly because white collar crimes seem so much less...violent and personal. Embezzling $20 million from your company just doesn't seem as bad as mugging another person for $20. But, also, how good a lawyer can you afford? Can you afford a Senator to add loopholes to laws you want to break?

    I know this wandered pretty much totally off-track. But my point is that there are many bigger problems than stolen account details from a gaming network.

    e.g. When the Obamacare rules are in place, it's going to be dead simple to steal medical records. Do you honestly believe insurance companies won't be doing that? Assuming they aren't already?
    (more)
  • Edible_toad 2011/06/28 11:29:52
    Undecided
    Edible_toad
    What they did was illegal and it exposed security flaws.

    Hacking is something that has become quite advanced and technical (more so recently). People are doing it easier, and hiding themselves better, and they'll only get better in the future.
    Security systems need to account for it now rather than later. If these kinds of things don't happen now, then why would companies pay/develop better security in five, ten, twenty years time when technology advances further?

    (Yes, I do realize that was a terribly explained and written example)
  • jimrthy... Edible_... 2011/06/28 15:30:32
    jimrthy BN-0
    Security systems need to account for crackers' sophistication now, true. They'll also be accounting for it in the future. It's a never-ending battle, and the bad guys have the upper hand.

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