LulzSec spokesman arrest could incite more cyber attacks

LulzSec spokesman arrest could incite more cyber attacks

Summary: Another leader at LulzSec has just been arrested, but will it help bring down the organization or just incite more cyber attacks?

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TOPICS: Security
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Another leader at LulzSec has just been arrested, but will it help bring down the organization or just incite more cyber attacks?

Scotland Yard just arrested the LulzSec spokesperson in the Shetland Islands in the north of Scotland on Wednesday. His real name wasn't released, and the only details that were given was that this individual is 19 years old (which fits in with the average age of some of the LulzSec and Anonymous hackers arrested so far) and he goes by the pseudonym "Topiary."

Another 17-year-old male has been interrogated as well, but not arrested at this time.

LulzSec and Anonymous have both been on a rampage this year, with most of the security infiltrations scaling upward at global businesses and federal governments worldwide in the last few months. Most of the attacks were stringed together as part of the "AntiSec" hacktivist campaign. Although the pair of hacker groups announced their retirement of sorts a few weeks ago, they came back with a vengeance with an attack on Rupert Murdoch's The Sun following the News of the World scandal.

Most recently (today, in fact), Anonymous and LulzSec revealed their next target publicly: eBay's PayPal.

The reason? It's twisted. It came down to a retaliation as PayPal is withholding funds from WikiLeaks while the FBI rounds up members of Anonymous. Thus, not only are big businesses going to pay, but so are the little people who have nothing to do with this as these hackers start draining accounts to teach the FBI a lesson.

More arrests of top leaders in these groups could easily follow Topiary's own arrest today. However, the pattern of hack attacks is a rather downward spiral. Sometimes the attacks are motivated by more plausible activist reasons (such as the response to the News of the World incidents), but then others are just to strike back after one of their own gets apprehended.

For example, after three alleged members of Anonymous were arrested in Spain over the infamous and detrimental attack on Sony's PlayStation Network, the group retaliated with a hack job on the website of the Spanish national police force.

Thus, it is debatable as to what could happen next. The hacker groups themselves are rather volatile, as even LulzSec and Anonymous are more like frenemies than partners-in-crime. The former was a spin-off of the latter group. (Although they're definitely and literally partners-in-crime too, it wouldn't be surprising if their current alliance just collapsed one day.)

There is the possibility that if enough of the leaders are taken out, there won't be any direction about what to attack next and maybe they'll go back into a self-imposed retirement again. Or, even more likely, we'll see another attack in revenge of today's arrest.

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Topic: Security

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10 comments
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  • Most people talk brave, but when push comes to shove

    they'll knuckle under. Once a few of these guys get thrown in jail and the others realize that can't hide behind their ski masks any longer, they'll go away.
    fr_gough
    • Depends on how motivated they are

      @fr_gough
      If they're only in it for the "Lulz", then you're right. But if they're truly dedicated, then it will take a lot more work to bring the organization down.
      John L. Ries
      • Yes, they do not do it for money, they do it for the 'good', besides 'lulz'

        @John L. Ries
        DDERSSS
      • RE: LulzSec spokesman arrest could incite more cyber attacks

        @John L. Ries
        how many dedicated 17 and 19 yr olds do you really know?
        tiderulz
    • RE: LulzSec spokesman arrest could incite more cyber attacks

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      mrswilliamson
  • Most hackers are loners

    What makes you think Lulzsec is an organized group? It could be a handful of hackers from around the globe that have little or no interaction beyond an IRC channel.

    In other words they don't *have* a leader.

    In which case things will get much worse and probably won't get better until net security becomes a real thing and not the illusion it is now.
    wolf_z
  • LulzSec or no LulzSec, Paypal has skeletons in its closets

    You're forgetting some other things that Paypal has to answer for. Although its own terms of service say it does not allow funding of terror groups, racist hate groups etc, it actually DOES. You can use Paypal to donate to the Ku-Klux-Klan; a group of people dedicated to racial hate and violence. You can donate to the EDL (the English Defence League), a group of racists very closely connected to Oslo terrorist Breivik. And no, Breivik was not a lunatic: he is a nationalist, racist terrorist, with views close to the neo-fascist strand known as "Third Position". As for his anti-muslim rants, they may be considered "mainstream" in the media (due to the heavy promotion of racial and religious hate by corporate media), but they are, indeed, racist.

    Most disturbingly of all, you can use your Paypal account to donate to Greek neonazi forum webwar3.gr, which, along with violating personal data of anti-racist & pro-human rights people (and encouraging violence, threats and blackmail against them), also promotes pedophilia and animal abuse.

    Pedophilia, racial crimes, murder, blackmail, animal abuse, terrorism - these are all highly illegal actions. They are promoted and propagandized by these three parties for which Paypal facilitates donations.

    Wikileaks has never been sued or brought up on charges. But Paypal blocked it, because it was instructed by Joe Lieberman, the designer of the "Internet Kill Switch" law - a highly anti-democratic, totalitarian measure, designed by a truly anti-democratic mockery of a man.
    LibreLina
    • RE: LulzSec spokesman arrest could incite more cyber attacks

      @LibreLina
      a company is free to choose who they do business with. They have released all current funds that were donated to Wiki, they just closed the mechanism for Wiki to get more funds thru them. Just like a restaurant saying they wont serve someone if they dont have shirts/shoes, a company does get to choose who they want to associate with.
      tiderulz
  • RE: LulzSec spokesman arrest could incite more cyber attacks

    Rachel,

    You have made a slight error. What are you talking about? Draining accounts... Maybe you are refering to the original operation where they were DDoSing them? No DDoS didn't drain any accounts. They aren't draining any accounts unless you are referring to the fact that people are boycotting paypal by closing their accounts... They feel ebay/paypal is wrongfully withholding money to Wikileaks. As a technology news website I find this article poorly researched... I don't support the hacking that they do, but nothing is wrong about some good old activism! If you do a Google search you would have found this out... You do know what a Google is right?!?!

    I spent more time to create an account just to post this then to find a better article.

    http://www.zdnet.com/blog/btl/anonymous-lulzsec-vs-paypal-ebays-cash-cow-in-the-crosshairs/53288?tag=content;feature-roto
    wrangler88
    • RE: LulzSec spokesman arrest could incite more cyber attacks

      @wrangler88
      i cant see Ebay losing sleep over the amount of people that Lulz can convince to leave Paypal. I can see them worry more about the ways Lulz might try and hack their sites, but not about how many people will leave because of them.
      tiderulz