The Lulz Security group of rogue hackers announced it was disbanding on Saturday with one last data dump, which included internal AOL Inc and AT&T documents.
LulzSec, which gained wide recognition for breaching the websites of Sony Corp, the CIA and a British police unit among other targets, said in a statement that it had accomplished its mission to disrupt corporate and government bodies for entertainment.
Our planned 50 day cruise has expired, and we must now sail into the distance, leaving behind -- we hope -- inspiration, fear, denial, happiness, approval, disapproval, mockery, embarrassment, thoughtfulness, jealousy, hate, even love, the group said.
Known for irreverence and a fondness for naval metaphors, the hacker group took to Twitter -- the microblogging site where it had more than 277,000 followers -- to release its statement.
A link to the release also was posted on http://www.lulzsecurity.com but there was no way to independently contact the group to confirm the release.
The abrupt dissolution came a few days after LulzSec threatened to escalate its cyberattacks and steal classified information from governments, banks and other major establishments.
LulzSec also had said it was teaming up with the Anonymous hacker activist group to cause more serious trouble.
... Our planned 50-day cruise has expired, the hackers said in their statement, and we must now sail into the distance, leaving behind -- we hope -- inspiration, fear, denial, happiness, approval, disapproval, mockery, embarrassment, thoughtfulness, jealousy, hate, even love. If anything, we hope we had a microscopic impact on someone, somewhere. Anywhere.
In what could be a sign that cyber police were making progress toward shutting down LulzSec, British police said on Tuesday they had arrested a 19-year-old man on suspicion that he was connected to the attacks on Sony, the CIA and a British police unit that fights organized crime.
London police declined to say if the teenager was a member of LulzSec but the hacking group said on Twitter that he had hosted one of its chatrooms on his computer server.
The arrest came after Spanish police earlier this month apprehended three men on suspicion they helped Anonymous.
So far LulzSec's publicized assaults have mostly resulted in temporary disruptions of some websites and the release of user credentials.
The data the group released Saturday was a mixed bag.
Reuters was not able to access all of the files but those that were available included a list of routers -- devices that handle Internet traffic -- and their passwords, as well as account information for an Irish private investigation service. The AOL documents appeared to be elements of an internal technical manual.
A file list on a download site indicated there also was some AT&T internal data in the dump, although the nature of that data was not immediately clear.
AOL was not immediately available for comment, while an AT&T spokesman did not have immediate comment.
(Reporting by Ben Berkowitz and Paritosh Bansal; Editing by Tiffany Wu and Bill Trott)