LulzSec: Doing it more for the money than the lulz?

LulzSec: Doing it more for the money than the lulz?

Summary: It's clear that Lulzsec is far beyond doing it for the "lulz." At this point, money seems to be a primary focal point as their goals become more ambitious.

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TOPICS: Security
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Update: After receiving some emails and comments, I'm compelled to mention the claim that LulzSec was intentionally baiting the individual mentioned in this post, Karim, to see if he would "sell out." So take that into consideration when reading the article below for balanced perspective. Last of note is that my post is not in support of "th3 j35t3r;" he's merely one of the few having a go at LulzSec in the fashion he is. One of the more notable individuals interested in the demise of LulzSec is known as "th3 j35t3r." His Twitter stream is rife with taunts and information he feels will all ultimately lead up to the capture of those operating the lulz boat. Up to this point, LulzSec has claimed they do what they do simply for the lulz, but the following tweet by "th3 j35t3r" points to a different motive: money.

 

Following the link provided, we are taken to the Web site of one Karim Hijazi, CEO of Unveillance. Karim's company is a private botnet monitoring service whose primary function is to identify and confirm botnet infections in computer networks. (A botnet is essentially a network of computers that have all been compromised to serve a common malicious purpose.) On June 3, 2011, Karim posted a press release on his site which contained a conversation he had with members of LulzSec after they targeted him. Part of the discussion reads as follows:
(KARIM) So did we wrong you in some way, let’s get to the point? (LULZ) <@Ninetales> If you wronged us, all of your affiliates would be crushed. Don’t worry, you’re in the good books. The point is a very crude word: extortion. (LULZ) <@Ninetales> And what we’re both willing to agree upon that you sacrifice in return for our silence. (LULZ) <@Ninetales> While I do get great enjoyment from obliterating whitehats from cyberspace, I can save this pleasure for other targets. Let’s just simplify: you have lots of money, we want more money. (LULZ) <@Ninetales> Prepaid Visas, MoneyPaks, BitCoins, Liberty Reserve, WebMoney, the flavor of your choice. Naturally we’ll avoid PayPal.
In other words, "pay up or we leak personal information of yours onto the Internet." Karim concludes his press release with the following details which shed more light on his involvement with the situation:
1. I have been able to protect the sensitive data which LulzSec was ultimately after. All they have stolen and publicly dumped are my personal and work emails. 2. I am now, and have been, in full cooperation with the FBI. In fact, I contacted the FBI and US-CERT immediately after I began receiving threats from LulzSec to request their assistance – and to explain the nature of the threat. I offered my full cooperation to the FBI in an effort to rectify the situation. 3. Unveillance is not a security company. We are a private botnet monitoring service – and a good one, which is why we were targeted. I do not provide security services to other companies. What I do provide clients with is the first zero false-positive analysis tool for identifying confirmed botnet infections in their computer networks. 4. I am not surprised by this attack; or the information dump on me; or their slanderous statements against me and my company. This is precisely what they threatened me with – in addition to other things, including allusions to physical harm to me and my family – if I did not cooperate with their demands. 5. I do not regret refusing to cooperate with LulzSec. My data is of national security importance. I could not and cannot, in good conscience, agree to release my botnet intelligence to an organization of hackers.
That's quite a bit to digest for someone who is but one more victim of a rogue hacker group supposedly doing it for the lulz. But recent activities of LulzSec's serve to show that they now have a purpose beyond lulz or money: disrupting governments and high-end establishments. It's obvious they want to build up as much computing power as they can with which to attack servers, as well as build up funds with which to use for either personal or organizational gain. Whatever the case may be, suffice it to say that LulzSec becomes a decreasingly appropriate moniker for the rogue hacker group as they steadily move away from "lulz" and more towards causes that require funding (even if the cause itself is simply to make money) -- such as toppling government rule or exposing top-secret/classified documentation/information. On a personal note, I'm very surprised it has taken this long for movements like LulzSec and Anonymous to form and go about the actions they have thus far -- especially given the level of success these people have enjoyed with their exploits. Make no mistake, this stuff is easy for these people, and it will only get easier as terrorist organizations, hacktivists, and anti-U.S. governments figure out that they can use Anonymous as a safe house to hide their digital attacks behind. So while nothing severe has happened in the way of affecting the U.S. Government yet, these movements seem to have a resolve sincere enough to do so at some point. And with LulzSec now branching out into various region-specific sects, governments are being attacked at an alarmingly frequent rate. The race is on: governments vs. LulzSec and Anonymous. -Stephen Chapman SEO Whistleblower

Topic: Security

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  • RE: LulzSec: Doing it more for the money than the lulz?

    It's a shame they're so criminal - I respect hacktivism when it's appropriate, and perhaps even a few lulz, but threats and money-grubbing is just uncool. These guys are taking things too far. Now, any lulz to be had will be from the efforts of whitehats in taking these guys down. Not an easy task against people who fight this dirty.
    Imrhien
    • RE: LulzSec: Doing it more for the money than the lulz?

      @Imrhien

      Yes and no. What if they are wanting to build up computer power so they can topple the US government (which is corrupt) and/or expose it's fetid secrets (like Wikileaks has been able to do)? Is it going to far then? I don't think so. If they're doing it out of personal greed then yes, they are corrupt and should be brought down, but if they are doing it to bring about the destruction of the corruption in corporations and/or govenrments, then no, I don't want them brought down, in fact, I relish the thought of them flourishing and bringing chaos in the name of the people to the corrupt self serving US government.
      josh92
    • RE: LulzSec: Doing it more for the money than the lulz?

      @Imrhien

      The US government is widely corrupt (as proven by Wikileaks' releases). If LulzSec is on a mission to expose corruption in the US government and such then I welcome their continued growth of influence and power.
      josh92
      • Let me see if I understand you

        The Government is corrupt, so you're backing a group whose motivations can be summed up as either A) They find it hilarious or B) They want money. Could be both, really.

        Lulzsec isn't doing anything for the good of anyone. They just aren't. Stop idolizing criminals.
        Michael Alan Goff
      • RE: LulzSec: Doing it more for the money than the lulz?

        @josh92 Hacktivism is a sad and misguided effort on the part of blackhats to legitimize their actions via some grand ideal. In reality it is the same as trying to bring about social change by flicking the breakers at the UN. The only thing you accomplish is the interruption of a vital service and you annoy those who were affected. Annoyances get squashed not catered to.

        You talk about corruption in the US government but, the geopolitical reality of today relies on the US and the maintenance of the status quo. Like it or hate it your life style is contingent upon the US doing whatever needs to be done to maintain the status quo. Even if Lulzsec were a group of brave cyber crusaders, which they aren't, then their entire platform is incredibly short sighted. Then again such is the way with children. A child cries and complains about the bitter medicine without giving thought to the more horrible disease it prevents. The same can be said of groups decrying the corruption of the Us government and flailing about in their childish tantrums of "social justice" without giving thought to the larger ramifications of their ideals actually coming to fruition. The bottom line for me is I do not want these people taking up any campaign on my behalf. Even if I were inclined to agree with their "ideals" their methods are more damaging to themselves and their platform than they ever could be to their targets.
        Str0b0
      • RE: LulzSec: Doing it more for the money than the lulz?

        @Str0b0
        I think you are the one being short sighted. All of the talk about maintaining the status quo to maintain our lifestyles does not take into account the sheer insustainability of them. For example, we can thank the status quo for our the delocalization of our food supply. Funny how you go into a supermarket and you see produce from all over the world and at the same time nearby farms are exporting that very same produce (there is an average 10 calories of fuel spent in every calorie of food). Our entire system is broken. Over the years, efficiency has reached an all time high yet wages have stagnated and unemployment is on the rise. And they tell American's to keep on spending as if increased consumption will save us. What a joke. Maybe these institutions deserve to fail. For example, if workers weren't being robbed so blatantly by the Wall Street parasites, so many people wouldn't have to work two + jobs to support their families and as each person enjoys less working hours, the unemployment problem is solved. Now I apologize being incredibly specific and all over the place. I've had the fortune of being exposed to a lot of great minds on a day to day basis because I work as a video editor on a documentary on the American government, Wall Street, poverty, etc and I thought I'd share some information and ideas that you may not have heard. This perspective definitely won't be televised, it would piss off too many advertisers. Lol.
        mysteryshadesman
    • RE: LulzSec: Doing it more for the money than the lulz?

      @Imrhien "Now, any lulz to be had will be from the efforts of whitehats in taking these guys down"<br><br>Nicely said! I second that.<br><br>I'm all for exposing secret government misdeeds (I support Wikileaks, even though some of its actions have been questionable), but extortion and blackmail of third parties is unacceptable.
      LeonBA
  • RE: LulzSec: Doing it more for the money than the lulz?

    Catch them shoot them.
    They will either stop or die.
    simple.
    MoeFugger
  • RE: LulzSec: Doing it more for the money than the lulz?

    I know I'm repeating myself but IMHO Governments of the West have taken cybersecurity too lightly. Being connected 24/7 is the reality of US business nowadays. How close to war is it when political movement, criminal gang, or nation state(s) probes our IT infrastructure through hacking, zombie networks and malware attacks, to find exploitable weaknesses that stop this country carrying out its legitimate businesses?
    This IS the new cold war and governments must be prepared. A NATO-like organization for cyberspace?
    Agnostic_OS
    • RE: LulzSec: Doing it more for the money than the lulz?

      @Agnostic_OS

      God I hope not. NATO is impotent and pathetic. Best to leave cyber security to each individual country.
      josh92
  • RE: LulzSec: Doing it more for the money than the lulz?

    Ummm this article is either completely one sided or sloppily reported. First of all the incident at Unveilance and the alleged extortion happened weeks ago and anyone who has been following the incident would know that while Karim makes one claim, lulzsec claims that they were baiting him into bribery to expose even more corruption. And if one were to look at all of the information released surrounding the incident, the more credible story seems to be coming from lulzsec and Karim appears to be trying to save face after his embarrassing exposure. If lulzsec was truly after the money, they would have made a fortune off of the personal data that they obtained and not made it public. While I disagree with some of lulzsec's tactics in some of their past hackings, I think that they are doing the public a service and fully support their anti-sec campaign. I can't wait to see what skeletons this will pull out of the closet of these federal institutions.
    mysteryshadesman
    • RE: LulzSec: Doing it more for the money than the lulz?

      @mysteryshadesman

      *claps* yes. Down with corruption!
      josh92
    • RE: LulzSec: Doing it more for the money than the lulz?

      We should totally support hacking.

      Next act should be taking a bat out on people to prove that people don't know how to defend themselves.

      Because neither of those things would completely ruin the supposed ideas behind them.
      Michael Alan Goff
      • RE: LulzSec: Doing it more for the money than the lulz?

        @goff256
        Except their targets aren't the average person. I didn't say I support the sheer act of hacking. Hacking is only a tool. It can be used for good and for bad. But in these days, when money is also a tool that buys legislation and the power has shifted away from the average person, I welcome people that get creative and use these other tools to expose them for who they are.
        mysteryshadesman
      • RE: LulzSec: Doing it more for the money than the lulz?

        Their targets don't seem to be anybody other than who they find funniest at that point.
        Michael Alan Goff
      • RE: LulzSec: Doing it more for the money than the lulz?

        @goff256
        Sure there were some things they did that didn't sit well with me in the past and could have handled much better (at the same time, they could have been handled worse as well). I think it's because they are probably kids. They seem to have a little bit of an immaturity to some of their actions. But at the same time, often their resistance is aimed in the right direction and I feel that the sum of their influence is in the positive, especially if their anti-sec campaign results in bringing down some people who abuse their power. Only time will tell really, and at the moment I support them and it that won't change as long as their actions are made with the public interest in mind.
        mysteryshadesman
      • So what do you think

        about their efforts to undermine counter-terrorism and the fight against the drug cartels in Mexico (among other things)?

        How is that public interest?
        Michael Alan Goff
  • RE: LulzSec: Doing it more for the money than the lulz?

    I think LulzSec has the moral high ground here and Karim seems to be implicated in some questionable stuff.

    Woudl someone like to explain what a

    zero false-positive analysis tool

    actually is? The Unveilance website is essentially puffery and newspeak.
    tonymcs@...
    • RE: LulzSec: Doing it more for the money than the lulz?

      The hackers, the ones who have so far done these things for their own personal amusement, have any moral ground period? I think they screwed that pooch a long time ago.
      Michael Alan Goff
  • Shiver me timbers with your sheep-like arguments

    One thing we need to get straight right of the bat is the following: LulzSec is the chosen one, they are our messiah and savior. All bow before the almighty justice bringers.

    They do it for the money? Money you speak of is stupid and has no value, to either LulzSec or anyone in the world (excluding BitCoins from the argument of course.) Money is always only but means to POWER. They might be after power, and choose to gather it in form of shiny booty. Nothing wrong with that and I fully support it (so should all of you.) How do you expect someone to change the world if they have no power? Donate your hard earned hyper-inflated lollars now!


    You all jelly!
    Sssssss
    The Grand Lizard