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LulzSec is dead. Long live LulzSec?

Hackers claiming to belong to LulzSec have hacked into a number of university networks and in gloating terms disparaged the universities’ security. The move is something of a surprise given that LulzSec ‘officially’ disbanded in June 2011. 

Either LulzSec is back in business or it was other hackers using the infamous LulzSec name.  Details of the universities hack was posted on pastebin.com including a large number of internal network addresses connected to the establishments.

Given the target of the hack, that is universities, it’s not beyond the realm of logic to speculate that some hackers are indeed using the LulzSec name. A certain class of hacker are university students, embarking on careers in computer science at university. As such, hacking a university network would be relatively easy for these people and would also suggest the flexing of newly acquired hacking muscle.

The original LulzSec chose far more high profile targets. Its ‘retirement’ in 2011 came as a surprise but that said the move was informed by the revelation that one of its members was an FBI informant.

Who is actually LulzSec?

LulzSec gained notoriety as an infamous hacking group that ran riot across the web during what it dubbed ’50 days of Lulz’ between May and June 2011. Its victims included Fox, Sony and FBI-affiliated organisations such as HB Gary Federal and Infragard.  It also successfully breached the US Senate, the CIA and the UK’s Serious Organised Crime Agency.

Most of its targets were entertainment firms that opposed file-sharing and information security firms and law enforcement agencies it wanted to embarrass.  Attacking universities wouldn’t have met with its ethos which was to target those who it believed wanted to limit and constrain the use of Internet technologies.

In fact, attacking universities would also been in diametric opposition to its aims given that the roots of the Internet are found in universities use of the technology and new technologies often first gain a toehold in academic institutions before becoming mainstream.

The alleged LulzSec post didn’t stay on pastebin.com for long before it was removed. Pastebin.com is a web application where people can store text for a certain period of time. It’s ostensibly aimed at programmers permitting them to store source code or configuration information. However, that said, it can be used by anyone to share any type of text.

However, the site/application has attracted controversy given that among other things hackers have regularly posted account passwords, credit card numbers, and other personal information to Pastebin.com on a daily basis.

Filed under: Internet Security

Written by Steve Bell

Steve has a background in IT and business journalism and has written extensively for both the UK national and trade press including The Guardian, Independent-on-Sunday, The Times, The Register, MicroScope and Computer Weekly. He's also worked for most of the world's largest IT companies producing content producing. He has a particular focus on IT security and has produced several magazines in this area.

More articles by Steve Bell

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