In a short but eventful 50-day stint, hacking group Lulzsec took on large-scale corporations, government institutions and many others by exposing private data in a jovial, mocking demeanor.
It has now decided to end its reign of hacking terror and pass the torch to Anonymous, another hacking collective. The allegdly six unnamed hackers behind Lulzsec have already previously announced they joined forces with Anonymous to form AntiSec, another hacking group. Anonymous confirmed they would continue on in this role. In a final hack, the group revealed sensitive data from AOL, AT&T, the U.S. military and many others.
We hope, wish, even beg, that the movement manifests itself into a revolution that can continue on without us, it said.
The group recommended people follow the Twitter account, @AnonymousIRC. Within a matter of hours, the @AnonymousIRC Twitter account picked up 60,000 new followers. The new group seems to be more of an offshoot of Anonymous, which is more serious and cryptic in its messages to the public. @AnonymousIRC has taken the same sardonic demeanor as Lulzsec.
Lulzsec may have been scared off by the arrest of 19-year-old Ryan Cleary. Although the group said there was minimal association with Cleary, British police officers found servers in his home that were related to the group's activity.
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, Lulzsec said.
While the group did have a lot of well publicized hacks, some in the security industry do not think it was a game-changing organization.
You have to decide for yourself whether this outcome is subsumed in the desire to have provoked inspiration, or whether LulzSec's inspiration was merely to persuade others to start stealing data too, Paul Ducklin, head of technology at security company Sophos' said in a blog. So, instead of allowing yourself to be sucked into the raft of speculation about LulzSec, its skills, its motivation and its achievements, why not take interest in some financially punchy evidence of the risk which cybercrime in general poses to our economy?
Instead, Ducklin says people should be interested in a recent takedown by the FBI of a scareware virus that conned nearly a million people out of $75.