LulzSec, the high-profile hacker group that dominated the attention of media and social media alike, has surprised its fans and enemies by announcing its game over, that they will shut down operations. June 25 would mark an end to 50 days of cyber havoc, but the group called on supporters to continue fighting its anti-government movement via Anonymous.
It's time to say bon voyage, the group stated.
We are Lulz Security, and this is our final release, as today marks something meaningful to us, said LulzSec in a statement released on June 25.
While we are responsible for everything that The Lulz Boat is, we are not tied to this identity permanently, the group said.
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. It's what we all crave, even the seemingly lifeless politicians and emotionless, middle-aged self-titled failures. You are not failures. You have not blown away. You can get what you want and you are worth having it, believe in yourself, the group stated.
50 Days of Lulz
Since May, LulzSec has embarked on a stunning spree of hacking attacks against Sony Corp., the U.S. Senate, an FBI affiliate, the Public Broadcasting System, gaming sites, and online porn sites. The group also claimed responsibility for bringing down the Brazilian government's website earlier in June.
After the group stepped up its hacking from corporations to the US FBI on June 3, two of its members lost their nerve and quit, fearing reprisals from the US government.
Their fears reached a climax last Monday when UK police arrested 19-year-old Ryan Cleary and later charged him with a cyber attack in connection with a joint Scotland Yard and FBI probe into a hacking group believed to be LulzSec.
The group downplayed Cleary's role in the collective, saying, Ryan Cleary is not part of LulzSec; we house one of our many legitimate chatrooms on his IRC server, but that's it.
According to Analysts, the group appears to be spin-off of Anonymous, another infamous hacker group known for its attacks against government sites. LulzSec and Anonymous have sailed on what they call Operation: Anti-Security earlier this month.
Calling it AntiSec, they intended to expose corrupt, abusive governments by protesting and combating any and all institutions' or governments' attempts to censor or moderate the Internet.
The first casualty was an Arizona police website as LulzSec leaked dozens of internal documents over the Internet with the headlineChinga La Migra, Spanish for a more profane way of saying Screw the Immigration Service. The group said the leak was a retaliation to Arizona's controversial immigration bill that requires Arizona immigrants to carry registration documents at all times.
2 Brazilian government websites, Brasil.gov.br and Presidencia.gov.br, were also hacked.
Meanwhile, Anonymous posted the names of 2800 of the right-wing Columbian Black Eagles Special Police Unit's members online. The published data has been credited as part of Anonymous and LulzSec's ongoing Operation Anti-Security.
Civil War of Hackers
As LulzSec continued its hacking attacks, several hacker groups threatened to expose LulzSec's identity and eventually take them down.
On June 21, a website believed to be run by a Dutch member of LulzSec had reportedly been hacked by a group TeaMp0isoN.
Stop telling yourself that u are hackers, putting a ip into a irc is NOT hacking nor is using pre-made tools and scripts to grab databases... you do not represent the anti-sec movement, TeaMp0isoN said in a statement.
Earlier, Web Ninjas, a supposed hacker vigilante with possible ties to Th3j35t3r, had published names and personal information of several alleged LulzSec members on its website, LulzSec Exposed.
On June 24, 2011, IRC chat logs were leaked, along with personal information on LulzSec members including Kayla, Topiary, Joepie and many more. LulzSec confirmed that their logs were leaked, but claimed that the log was not from one of their core chatting channels.
According to The Guardian that published the logs, LulzSec is not, despite its braggadocio, a large - or even coherent - organisation. The logs reveal how one hacker known as 'Sabu', believed to be a 30-year-old security consultant, effectively controls the group of between six and eight people, keeping the others in line and warning them not to discuss what they have done with others; another, 'Kayla', provides a large botnet - networks of infected computers controlled remotely - to bring down targeted websites with distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks; while a third, 'Topiary', manages the public image, including the LulzSec Twitter feed.
On Tuesday, LulzSec threatened m_nerva, who was the alleged source of the leak, Remember this tweet, m_nerva, for I know you'll read it: your cold jail cell will be haunted with our endless laughter. Game over, child.
On June 25, Web Ninjas, on its website, declared their accomplishment in taking down LulzSec.
A week back, only few of us like Ninjas, Jester, Awinee and few others in close circle knew who were Lulzsec but now whole world knows who are the leaders and members of this group. We have provided enough evidence to prove that LulzSec were Anonymous. We have published the chat logs of LulzSec so that Security Analysts, Investigative reporters and other Enthusiasts can work on the logs and confirm for themselves. We are 99% sure that our dox are correct but still there would be 1% error in anything. We made LulzSec accept that the logs are real and not fake or disinformation campaign as many thought earlier. Media guys can now reach out to the top members of LulzSec (For e.g Wired). We neither wanted fame nor publicity, then why did we publish their dox and chat logs inspite of sending info to security agencies? - We did this to humiliate them in the same way they did with hack victims.
However, it may be too early to reminisce the past glory.
In its 50 days of lulz announcement, LulzSec said,
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. If anything, we hope we had a microscopic impact on someone, somewhere. Anywhere. Thank you for sailing with us. The breeze is fresh and the sun is setting, so now we head for the horizon, were LulzSec's last words, reminding us that unless and until they are caught, the group will always have the opportunity to strike again.