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Old 26-06-11, 18:55   #1
 
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Default Sony & Others Hacking Group Calls it Quits -Full Hacking CHARTS History

June 25, 2011 5:44 PM PDT CNET NEWS

Hacking Group LulzSec says it's Calling it Quits









After a whirlwind run of headline-grabbing hacking exploits that involved the likes of Sony, the CIA, the U.S. Senate, and FBI partner Infragard, hacking group LulzSec is apparently--and suddenly--calling it quits.

The group, which cropped up on many people's radar for the first time just last month, sent a tweet late today with a link to a document on Pastebin declaring that the group's run of cybermischief was coming to an end.

"It's time to say bon voyage," the statement reads. "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." (You can read the complete text of the statement below.)

The group also linked to a final cache of stolen information, which, according to a report in the International Business Times, includes data from AT&T and AOL, among others. Twitter user @Complex posted a link to a screenshot purportedly from the data dump, which shows what looks like a defaced U.S. Navy civilian-careers Web page (see below). LulzSec had said Thursday, after leaking what it called sensitive documents from the Arizona Department of Public Safety, that it would be "releasing more goods" on Monday.







A screenshot purportedly from the data dump made today by LulzSec. It shows what appears to be a defaced U.S. Navy civilian-careers Web page. "AntiSec" refers to "Operation Anti-Security," a joint hacking effort announced by LulzSec and Anonymous. Pablo Escobar was, of course, a notorious Colombian drug lord.
(Credit: Twitter user @Complex)

LulzSec's apparent disbanding comes just days after a 19-year-old identified as Ryan Cleary was arrested in the U.K. in connection with a series of distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks said to have been the handiwork of the group. LulzSec has denied that Cleary is one of its key associates, though it has acknowledged that he hosts "one of our many legitimate chat rooms on his IRC server."

The news also follows a public spat between LulzSec and another hacking group, TeaMp0isoN. The two groups claimed to have attacked each other's servers and threatened to expose rival members. On Wednesday, someone released information purportedly exposing the identity of a key member of LulzSec who goes by the nickname "Sabu."

And on Friday, British newspaper the Guardian published Internet Relay Chat logs it said were leaked from a private LulzSec chat room. In the logs, Sabu warns others to be careful who they talk to about the group's activities. "You realize we smacked the FBI today," Sabu says in the logs. "This means everyone in here must remain extremely secure."


TeaMp0isoN apparently took a swipe at LulzSec today, after the news of the latter's demise, tweeting, "see unlike @lulzsec, our movement dosent have an expiry date....we wont ever backdown, this means a lot to us, time for a manifesto."

In it for the 'lulz'?
LulzSec first came to notice in May, when it touted its hacking of the Web site for a Fox TV show called "X Factor" and published personal information on the contestants, along with internal Fox data.

The group initially said it was more or less just having a laugh. (Its name conflates the word security with the expression "lol"--which some pronounce as "lull" and which, of course, is the abbreviation for "laugh out loud" that countless Net users and texters have appended to messages to express their appreciation of an especially funny remark.)

And indeed, in the current hacking environment--alongside the exploits of hacktivist groups like Anonymous, which some have seen as absurdly self-important, and the sorts of unknown, and seemingly quite serious, hackers that have breached the networks of U.S. military contractors--LulzSec's brand of anarchic bravado and brashness may well have inspired a grin or two, or at least a shake of the head. The group hacked a PBS Web site and posted a bogus news story about Tupac Shakur being alive and well and living in New Zealand. And at one point LulzSec even went so far as to set up a request-a-hack hotline.

More recently, however, the group took on a more hacktivist bent and may have turned up the rhetoric a few too many notches. It formed an alliance with Anonymous in which, it said, the main goal was "to steal and leak any classified government information...Prime targets are banks and other high-ranking establishments. If they try to censor our progress, we will obliterate the censor with cannonfire anointed with lizard blood." The first target of this "Operation Anti-Security"--or "AntiSec"--was a U.K. law-enforcement agency dedicated to fighting organized crime. The resulting DDoS attack against the agency is one of the crimes with which Cleary is being charged.

Critics point out that the data LulzSec has released has exposed many to identity theft. And one individual has claimed that the group tried to extort him, though LulzSec claims that the exchanges it had with this person simply led to a misunderstanding. Most recently, and perhaps most seriously, the Arizona Department of Public Safety expressed concern over the safety of its officers following a LulzSec leak of departmental data.

In any case, if today's statement is to be believed, LulzSec's hacking days have come to an end. And it's not entirely clear why. Perhaps, as the purported chat-room remark from Sabu suggests, the group, despite its brashness, was not immune to a case of the nerves.

Last week, the group sent out its 1,000th tweet, which included a link to a manifesto of sorts. In it, LulzSec made it clear that it was aware of the dangers it faced. "We've been entertaining you 1000 times with 140 characters or less," the document reads, "and we'll continue creating things that are exciting and new until we're brought to justice, which we might well be."

It seems, having not yet been nailed (with the exception, perhaps, of Cleary), the group has called things off a bit prematurely--though it remains to be seen if they've gotten out of the game soon enough.

The full text of the LulzSec statement follows:

Quote:
Friends around the globe,

We are Lulz Security, and this is our final release, as today marks something meaningful to us. 50 days ago, we set sail with our humble ship on an uneasy and brutal ocean: the Internet. The hate machine, the love machine, the machine powered by many machines. We are all part of it, helping it grow, and helping it grow on us.

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.

While we are responsible for everything that The Lulz Boat is, we are not tied to this identity permanently. Behind this jolly visage of rainbows and top hats, we are people. People with a preference for music, a preference for food; we have varying taste in clothes and television, we are just like you. Even Hitler and Osama Bin Laden had these unique variations and style, and isn't that interesting to know? The mediocre painter turned supervillain liked cats more than we did.

Again, behind the mask, behind the insanity and mayhem, we truly believe in the AntiSec movement. We believe in it so strongly that we brought it back, much to the dismay of those looking for more anarchic lulz. We hope, wish, even beg, that the movement manifests itself into a revolution that can continue on without us. The support we've gathered for it in such a short space of time is truly overwhelming, and not to mention humbling. Please don't stop. Together, united, we can stomp down our common oppressors and imbue ourselves with the power and freedom we deserve.

So with those last thoughts, it's time to say bon voyage. 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.

Let it flow...

Lulz Security - our crew of six wishes you a happy 2011, and a shout-out to all of our battlefleet members and supporters across the globe
CNET's Elinor Mills and Jon Skillings contributed to this report.
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Old 26-06-11, 19:00   #2
 
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Default re: Hacking Group Calls it Quits -Full Info, & CHARTS History

Related;

With Anonymous and LulzSec, is anyone believable?

Elinor Mills, CNET




In a tweet, LulzSec denies that the arrested U.K. man was part of the hacker group.





For several months, hackers have been having a heyday taking down Web sites and leaking data from compromised servers with victims ranging from the CIA and U.S. Senate to Sony, Citigroup and the Turkish government. (A growing list of attacks is here).

A 19-year-old identified as Ryan Cleary was arrested Tuesday in the U.K. on hacking charges, but it's unclear whether he was involved with either of the two main hacker groups that have been taking responsibility for and organizing some of the attacks--Anonymous and LulzSec.

In the game of disinformation and occasional real information surrounding the recent flurry of hacks, this sort of confusion is par for the course. With the odd jousting between hackers and feds, you can't trust anything until you see the proof, and even then how do you know it's legitimate? Hacker groups are hotbeds of egos seeking bragging rights, in-fighting, revenge attacks, mischief, and outright lies.

"Ryan Cleary is not part of LulzSec; we house one of our many legitimate chatrooms on his IRC server, but that's it," LulzSec tweeted. "Clearly the UK police are so desperate to catch us that they've gone and arrested someone who is, at best, mildly associated with us. Lame."

Meanwhile, the group outed two hackers whom it claims provided information to authorities that led to Cleary's arrest. LulzSec published contact information for two hackers identified as "m_nerva" and "hann" in a public message to the FBI. They also accused "m_nerva" of hacking the game Deus Ex and said he was trying to flee the U.S. "These goons begged us for mercy after they apologized to us all night for leaking some of our affiliates' logs," the statement says. "There is no mercy on The Lulz Boat." Later, a Twitter account associated with LulzSec and Anonymous posted a message that said: "RIP Ryan. Narced by m_nerva aka cimx aka rq42 and hann. Ryan hosted IRC for ED and other chans. Had nothing to do with lulzsec."

"If he was involved with these groups, the question is who does he know? What does he know? And what does he have on his computer?" said Jennifer Granick, an attorney with the law firm of Zwillinger Genetski who specializes in hacking cases. "They've got his computers. That investigation is going to take some time."

The first big arrest in a case can be crucial. Law enforcement usually will try to nab a key operative or someone who can name others and provide evidence. "If [Cleary] is involved, that is a crack in the door and [investigators] may or may not be able to ferret out other people," Granick said.

The attacks have not only exposed consumer data but have been designed to embarrass big companies and government agencies. No doubt, officials are anxious to put a stop to the headlines.

LulzSec has been particularly adept at public relations with its audacious targets and humorous messages on Twitter and other antics. For instance, their latest campaign has been promoted in graffiti at San Diego's Mission Beach. They also managed to get hundreds of people to automatically join one of their operations servers Tuesday on Internet Relay Chat by tweeting a shortened URL.


They have their detractors too. A blog called LulzSec Exposed says it is providing information to authorities. And members of an organization called Backtrace Security claim to be researching the hacking groups too.

"I believe that with all the media attention surrounding (the attacks) that law enforcement will make a concerted effort to saturate the media with the message of 'yes, we're doing our jobs. We're on top of this,' to try to take away some of the impact of the LulzSec press," said Jericho, a security professional who asked to be identified by his hacker name. He founded the Attrition.org site more than a decade ago to catalog and share information on hacking activities.

The hackers are a slippery lot, making it difficult to really pin them down. Both Anonymous and LulzSec are de-centralized groups, without formal structures and relying on low-level participants and sympathizers to carry out some of the larger campaigns. LulzSec is believed to be a spin-off of Anonymous, and there is certainly some overlap. The groups joined forces in an "Anti-Sec" (anti-security) campaign earlier this week aimed at government, financial, and other high-profile targets.

The attacks may seem innocent enough, aiming to send a message or prove that a particular site is insecure. So far, they have been mostly distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks designed to temporarily shut down a site, some Web site defacements, and quite a few compromises of servers that exposed data that was then leaked to the Web. The exposed data was primarily customers e-mail addresses and passwords.

These attacks are not financially motivated, but that doesn't mean victims and prosecutors won't come up with large monetary amounts to justify damage claims. For consumers, there is the fear that others could use their leaked data to target them with phishing attacks and other methods of stealing from their bank and credit card accounts. "If someone posts my e-mail address and someone else uses it, are [the original posters] responsible for a subsequent hack," Granick wondered.

"Even though the group isn't financially motivated they're leaking data that has financial value to it," Jericho said.

Under U.S. federal law, first time offenders face up to five years in prison, but sentences depend on damages, and damages can be aggregated over the course of conduct, according to Granick. Cases are based on technical evidence and testimony from accomplices and others.

"Prosecutors don't have to prove you caused the damage beyond a reasonable doubt," she said. "A defendant can be sentenced on related conduct too."

The more data and people affected, the more opportunity for prosecutors to inflate the damages. With the Sony breaches alone, data from more than 100 million accounts were exposed. "They only need to find a few people who suffered harm and they can aggregate that," Granick said.

And who exactly is at risk in hacking campaigns that have few organizers but thousands of sympathizers who allow their computers to be used in DDoS attacks?

Prosecutors would have to show that a defendant was actively involved in an incident and this would include downloading a tool that lets your computer take part in a DDoS attack, according to Granick.

"If you downloaded the tool and made yourself part of the network that DDoSed a site you are going to be held responsible even though you weren't the organizer," she said. "The question will be, to what degree?"
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Old 26-06-11, 19:05   #3
 
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Default re: Hacking Group Calls it Quits -Full Info, & CHARTS History

Related;

Who is behind the hacks? (FAQ)

Elinor Mills, CNET

Every day there's another report of a computer hack. Yesterday it was a video game company and a U.S. Senate database. And today it could be the Federal Reserve. There's no doubt that there's a wave of attacks going on right now, against different targets and with seemingly different motives.








The questions on everyone's mind are who is behind these computer attacks and why are they doing it. This FAQ will help answer those questions in at least some of the cases.

Update: A 19-year-old man was arrested June 21 in the U.K. and is believed to be formerly associated with the Anonymous hacker group and part of the LulzSec hacker group, although LulzSec denies that.

Who is Anonymous?

Anonymous is the best known of the groups that are currently active and publicly taking credit for, even publicizing in advance, attacks on Web sites. It's a decentralized group that specializes in organizing distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks designed to shut down sites, particularly in support of freedom of speech. Past targets have included the Church of Scientology, BMI, the governments of Egypt and Iran, and companies owned by conservative activist billionaires Charles and David Koch. They also conducted a massive compromise of the security firm HBGary Federal, which had reportedly been working with the FBI to identify the leaders of Anonymous.

They launched a series of effective DDoS attacks against PayPal, Visa, and MasterCard late last year after the companies stopped enabling WikiLeaks to receive contributions through those means. Sources told CNET that the group has undergone a loss of membership and radical shift in direction and organizational participation since the arrest of a 16-year-old alleged member in the Netherlands late last year, the arrest of five people (ages 15-26) in the U.K. in January, and the issuing of more than 40 arrest warrants in the U.S. Member identities were reportedly leaked on the Internet as well. The group's strong anti-establishment and political messages have led some to call them hacktivists, which refers to activists who hack. It's unclear how many people participated in their campaigns, which they call "operations," because their system is designed to allow for confidential participation.

Who have they targeted recently and why?

Anonymous pretty much started the recent spate of hackings against Sony, hitting several Sony sites with a DDoS in early April in retaliation for Sony taking several PlayStation 3 hackers to court. PS3 "modder" George Hotz and Sony eventually settled out of court. But attacks on Sony continued, with a major breach at the PlayStation Network that exposed 77 million customer records and at Sony Online Entertainment where more than 24 million records were exposed. Sony has suggested connections between Anonymous and the breaches. While Anonymous was admittedly behind the initial DDoS, it says it wasn't behind the PSN and Sony Online Entertainment breaches, and hasn't claimed credit for any other Sony attacks. Last week, Spanish police arrested three people accused of taking part in Anonymous activities and Anonymous members retaliated by hitting the Spanish National Police Web site. This week, Turkish police arrested 32 people, including eight who were teens, within days of the group launching a campaign to shut down a Turkish government site in response to new Internet filtering laws. Yesterday, Anonymous was planning an attack on the site of the Federal Reserve for today.

Who is LulzSec?

LulzSec first popped up in early May seemingly out of nowhere. But sources told CNET that the group is a spinoff from Anonymous ranks, but with no pretense of having a political message or moral principle. Indeed, the group's name, LulzSec--a derivative of LOL (laugh out loud) combined with security--is a strong indication that the group's motivation is to just hack for kicks and entertainment. The group makes a lot of jokes and taunts on Twitter and today said it would take hacking target requests. "Pick a target and we'll obliterate it. Nobody wants to mess with The Lulz Cannon - take aim for us, twitter."

Who have they targeted?

LulzSec began publicizing its hacking in May with the compromise of the Web site of the Fox TV show "X Factor" and exposed personal information of contestants, followed by release of internal Fox data. The group also has taken credit for hacks of Sony Music Japan, Sony Pictures, Sony BMG Belgium and Netherlands, Sony Computer Entertainment Developer Network (allegedly stealing source code) and Sony BMG, according to this timeline.

LulzSec hacked the site of PBS.org late last month, leaked passwords, and pasted a spoof news article on the site claiming that deceased rappers Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls were alive and residing in New Zealand. The group claimed they were punishing PBS for a Frontline program on WikiLeaks that they claimed was biased against the whistleblower site. LulzSec also has targeted Nintendo and the Web site of FBI partner Infragard in an attempt to embarrass the agency. LulzSec said it took the action against Infragard because of a plan by the Obama administration to classify cyberattacks as acts of war. Among the passwords on the Infragard site was one used by the CEO of botnet tracking firm Unveillance. The CEO told CNET that the hackers used the password to read his e-mails and listen in on conference calls and that they threatened to extort money and botnet data from him. Botnets composed of compromised computers are typically used to send spam and to launch DDoS attacks.

LulzSec recently went public with data stolen from a U.S. Senate Web site and released data stolen from the site of Bethesda Softworks, a subsidiary of gaming company ZeniMax Media. The group also recently compromised a site at the U.K. National Health Services. LulzSec did not release the information publicly, but sent an e-mail to the agency warning them about the problem and then released a redacted version of the e-mail to the public.

Who is Idahc?

Another hacker who has taken credit for attacking Sony is known as Idahc. He has identified himself as a 18-year-old Lebanese computer science student. In an interview this week with Andy Greenberg at Forbes, Idahc said he began hacking for "justice," then it became a game and now he's trying to prompt organizations to improve the security of their Web sites. "I don't hack for 'lulz' but for moral reasons," he said in the interview, adding that he considers groups like LulzSec to be "black hat," or criminal, hackers, and that he is a "gray hat" hacker.

Who has Idahc targeted?

Idahc claims to have stolen 2,000 records from Sony Ericcson's e-commerce site in Canada, leaked a database from Sony Europe, and compromised a Sony Portugal site. Meanwhile, there have been other copycat-type attacks on Sony, specifically a hacker with the alias "k4L0ng666" took credit for hacking Sony Music Indonesia and has reported a long list of other Web site defacements to cybercrime archive Zone-H. And someone with the handle "b4d_vipera" claimed responsibility for hacking Sony BMG Greece.

What about other big recent attacks? Are these all related?

In the past few months there have been a string of other computer hacking incidents, but they are not all linked. Unlike the Sony and other attacks conducted by Anonymous and LulzSec which were done to expose security weaknesses and embarrass a target and get publicity, other types of attacks are more malicious.

For instance, the networks of Citigroup and the International Monetary Fund were compromised recently. Reports have speculated that the IMF was targeted by a foreign government possibly wanting access to insider information that could affect financial markets. It's also unknown who is behind the Citigroup incident, although The New York Times reported that whoever did it managed to get in through the main customer Web site and then leapfrogged between different customers by inserting various account numbers into the browser address bar repeatedly. The data from accounts could be used for financial fraud, although the thieves apparently did not get card expiration dates or security codes, which will make the data more difficult to use.

Then RSA warned customers in March that its system had been compromised and data was stolen related to its SecurID two-factor authentication devices, which are widely used by U.S. government agencies, contractors, and banks to secure remote access to sensitive networks. Within a few months, reports trickled out about breaches at three defense contractors: Lockheed Martin, L-3 Communications, and Northrop Grumman, the first two of which confirmed that the attacks were related to SecurIDs. It's unclear who is behind the attacks, but when it comes to military espionage foreign governments or nation states are often suspected. In this case several experts speculated it could be China.

Google announced earlier this month that it had thwarted an attack aimed at snooping on hundreds of Gmail accounts owned by U.S. and other government officials, journalists, and political activists that appeared to originate in China. Chinese representatives have denied any involvement.

There was also a breach at e-mail marketing service provider Epsilon in April that prompted big companies like Citibank, Chase, Capital One, Walgreens, Target, Best Buy, TiVo, TD Ameritrade, and Verizon to warn customers that their e-mail addresses had been exposed.

And in March someone stole digital certificates from registration authorities associated with Comodo and could have used them to spoof sites like Google, Yahoo, Live.com, and Skype. A 21-year-old Iranian patriot claimed responsibility for the attacks, saying he was protesting U.S. policy and was taking revenge for last year's Stuxnet malware that experts believe was created to shut down Iran's nuclear program.
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Old 26-06-11, 19:13   #4
 
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Default re: Hacking Group Calls it Quits -Full Info, & CHARTS History

Related;


Keeping up with the hackers (chart)

Elinor Mills, CNET


The number of hacking events of late is making our heads spin at CNET. By our count, there have been more than 40 computer attacks, network intrusions, or data breaches in the last few months. And they seem to be a daily occurrence.

In previous coverage we've noted that it seems to be open hacking season, written about some of the hackers and groups who are behind the attacks and speculated on their motives, so we thought we'd provide a chronological chart listing the attacks so we could all keep up on them. We plan to update the chart as time goes on. So please let us know if there are any additions or changes that should be made.

To see the complete Hacker Charts, info and History/Actions, please click here;

HACKER CHARTS


.
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Old 26-06-11, 19:20   #5
 
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Default re: Hacking Group Calls it Quits -Full Info, & CHARTS History

Related;

Elinor Mills, CNET

LulzSec hackers--just having a laugh?





LulzSec defaced the Web site of a consulting firm that offers a reward for hacking the site and posted this image.
(Credit: LulzSec)



At first glance it appeared that the Web site of the LulzSec hacker group had been seized by the feds. But it turned out to be just another prank, the latest in a series of "lulz" that hackers do when they are not taunting Sony, FBI partners, and others.

Despite the official looking Justice and Homeland Security department symbols and notice saying "this domain name has been seized by ICE (Immigrations and Customs Enforcement) - Homeland Security Investigations," the page was a hoax. A search of Whois showed that the domain "www.lulzsecurity.org" was registered early today. In addition, the site the hacking group has been using to promote its activities--www.lulzsecurity.com--remained up.

"ICE has not taken any enforcement action against this site," a Department of Homeland Security spokesman said in an e-mail to CNET. "The site owner/administration redirected
www.lulzsecurity.org
to our name server, where the seizure banner is hosted."

It's unclear who was behind the hoax--LulzSec members themselves or supporters trying to fool people, or others wanting to make the group look bad. Either way, the prank represents the spirit of lulz, which is a derivation of the acronym for Laugh Out Loud (LOL). The group's actions are seen by some security experts as a revival of old-school hacking that was motivated out of a sense of fun rather than profit.

LulzSec's mascot is a cartoon of a monacled man in top hat and tie with a handlebar mustache holding a glass of wine, evoking a character of leisure and decadence. The group has an ASCII cartoon graphic on its site of a boat and the site plays an audio clip of the theme from "The Love Boat" TV show from the 1970s and 1980s. A link to "mute" the song actually turns the volume up instead.

"We're LulzSec, a small team of lulzy individuals who feel the drabness of the cybercommunity is a burden on what matters: fun," the introduction on their site says. "Considering fun is now restricted to Friday, where we look forward to the weekend, weekend, we have now taken it upon ourselves to spread fun, fun, fun, throughout the entire calendar year."

LulzSec gets a kick out of posting fake "news." Last week, LulzSec hacked PBS.org, leaked passwords, and pasted a spoof news article on the site claiming that deceased rappers Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls were alive and residing in New Zealand. LulzSec said they were punishing PBS for a Frontline program on WikiLeaks that the group claimed was biased against the whistleblower site. (They also were initially reported to have hacked the Web site of the Conservative Party of Canada and posted a fake news story on the site, but it turned out another group was responsible.)

And earlier today, LulzSec released an e-mail it said it had sent to the National Health Services in the UK warning them about a security hole in their network, but did not post the information publicly.

"We're a somewhat known band of pirate-ninjas," the e-mail said. "Some time ago, we were traversing the Internets for signs of enemy fleets. While you aren't considered an enemy--your work is of course brilliant--we did stumble upon several of your admin passwords, which are as follows:..." The data that followed was blacked out and the e-mail said: "We mean you no harm and only want to help you fix your tech issues."

A Department of Health spokesperson told the BBC that no patient data was compromised and the issue affected only a "small number" of Web site administrators.

Heroes to some

The NHS action elicited praise from many LulzSec followers on Twitter, who already admire the group for its attacks that highlight poor security on sites of big companies, like Sony, Nintendo, and FBI affiliate Infragard Atlanta. "I'm officially in love with @LulzSec," wrote one person. Others are calling them heroes.

The group has 120,000 followers on Twitter, more than double the amount of Sony Music Global. And it claims to have received more than $7,000 in donations, most of it from one generous supporter, via the BitCoins virtual currency that is designed to be untraceable (and has attracted the attention of Congress.)

LulzSec first cropped up in early May, with a hack on Fox's X Factor site that exposed contestants' personal information and other internal Fox data. Then, LulzSec joined other hackers in targeting Sony with a vengeance. The group says it was responsible for attacks on Sony Music Japan, Sony Pictures, Sony BMG Belgium and Netherlands, Sony Computer Entertainment Developer Network (allegedly stole source code) and Sony BMG, according to a timeline on Attrition.org.

The current attacks on Sony started after the company took a PlayStation 3 hacker to court and was punished with a denial-of-service attack by the Anonymous group. Shortly thereafter there was a breach on Sony's PlayStation Network and Sony Online Entertainment sites that exposed millions of records containing e-mail addresses and other information of customers. No one has claimed credit for those breaches. So far, there have been about 20 attacks on Sony sites in recent months.

LulzSec claims to be motivated by the sheer fun of causing trouble. But the data it exposes could be used to target the people whose information has been revealed with phishing, identity fraud, and other types of attacks.

The group also seems to delight in embarrassing security firms. The group defaced the home page of Black & Berg Cybersecurity Consulting, which offers $10,000 to whoever can modify the site's home page. (LulzSec obviously declined the reward.) Another hacking victim from the attack on FBI partner Infragard, the CEO of Unveillance, claims the hackers tried to extort money and data from him in exchange for not going public with his personal information. LulzSec has denied that claim, despite the evidence of it in chat logs.

"They are causing some harm, of course, but they probably have the ability to create more harm," said Kevin Mitnick, who spent time in jail for hacking and now runs his own security consulting business.

"They're a bit out of control because they're hitting FBI partners," he said. "That takes a lot of balls. The group must feel pretty invincible."


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Default re: Sony & Others Hacking Group Calls it Quits -Full Hacking CHARTS History

Related;

Elinor Mills CNET

June 8, 2011 6:04 AM PDT


Attacks on Sony, others show it's open hacking season


There seems to be a groundswell of hacking activity recently. From the Epsilon breach that touched dozens of major U.S. companies and their millions of customers, and RSA replacing its customers' SecurID tokens after attacks on several defense contractors to Sony sites getting pummeled by hackers on a regular basis--all within the last few months.










What's going on?


"I truly don't think there's a higher instance of hacking right now. I think there's been a wave of media coverage," said Bruce Schneier, chief security technology officer of BT and one of the most respected security experts around. "We saw the same thing with shark attacks. It's not that there are more shark attacks. It's that they made the news when people started looking for them."

No one can really say if there are more attacks happening. Reports indicate that the number of breaches is rising every year, as can be expected. But those statistics are based only on incidents that are reported; there are untold numbers that happen all the time that no one knows about except the attacker and, eventually, the victim.

But it's clear that more attacks are bubbling to the surface lately. And they are various types of attacks, not just the data breaches that expose sensitive consumer personal data and thus trigger state disclosure laws.

RSA

Take, for example, RSA. The company sells SecurID tokens that are used by corporations, government agencies, and any other organization that needs to provide a way for workers to remotely access a sensitive network securely. SecurIDs are the industry standard for two-factor authentication, requiring users to supply a one-time numerical code from the device along with a password to log in.

RSA shocked the security world when it announced in March that it was victimized by an "extremely sophisticated cyberattack" in which sensitive data related to the SecurID technology had been pilfered and could be used by attackers to get access to networks of RSA customers who rely on the technology.

RSA has been mum on the details of what was stolen, but it did hold private briefings with its most important customers, ostensibly to help them shore up their defenses in light of the breach. Despite that, two defense contractors--Lockheed Martin and L-3 Communications--reported attacks on their systems that exploited data stolen from RSA. Another, Northrop Grumman, unexpectedly shut down remote access to its network last month, which led to speculation that it had had a SecurID-related incident. Following news stories about the incidents, which experts speculate may have a tie to China, RSA said this week it would replace SecurIDs for customers concerned about the risks.

Those types of industrial cyber-espionage incidents aren't new, but the successful attack on the security pioneer and technology provider RSA is significant and has broad impact. Companies can move to other solutions, but replacing big security deployments within an organization is not cheap or easy.

Meanwhile, Google said last week it had thwarted an attack aimed at snooping on hundreds of Gmail accounts owned by U.S. and other government officials, journalists, and political activists that appeared to originate in China. (Hotmail and Yahoo accounts also have been targeted in similar attacks, according to Trend Micro.) Google has been more candid and forthcoming than other companies in going public with attacks aimed at it or its customers. The company set a precedent in announcing an espionage-related attack on its network in early 2010 that also targeted what turned out to be about 30 other companies.

Cyber-espionage is sexy, but attacks on databases containing customer information are more common for the financially motivated cybercriminals who litter the Internet. We've had a fair share of those recently too, notably Epsilon, an e-mail marketing service provider. In April, a breach at Epsilon turned the formerly obscure company into a household name practically overnight. All of a sudden customers of big companies like Citibank, Chase, Capital One, Walgreens, Target, Best Buy, TiVo, TD Ameritrade, and Verizon got e-mails warning them that their e-mail addresses were exposed in the one data breach.

In a different type of attack in March, hackers targeted companies that provide digital certificates that are used by Web sites to prove they are legitimate. A number of the certificates were fraudulently obtained, which could have allowed attackers to spoof major sites, including Google, Yahoo, Microsoft's Live.com, and Skype. The certificates were stolen from Registration Authority resellers for Comodo. A 21-year-old Iranian patriot took credit for the attacks, saying he did it to protest U.S. policy and as revenge for last year's Stuxnet malware that experts believe was created to shut down Iran's nuclear program.

Public whipping boy

But the headlines of late have the word "Sony" in them. The company has been victimized so frequently and publicly that one of the hacker groups targeting it came up with a new word--"Sownage"--a play on the company's name and "pwnage," which stands for "pure ownage" and refers to taking control of a Web site, or "owning" it.

"Sony has become, for some reason, the public whipping boy" for hackers, Schneier said.

Sony's recent troubles started with a spat over customers hacking its PlayStation 3 device. After the company took some PS3 "modders"--hackers who modify the device for different users--to court, a loose-knit group of hackers known as Anonymous launched a digital protest and shut down several Sony sites with a distributed denial-of-service (DoS) attack in early April.

Anonymous has a history of online activism, having targeted the sites of the Church of Scientology, the governments of Egypt and Iran, and the controversial Westboro Baptist Church. But the group really made its mark when it championed the cause of whistleblower site WikiLeaks last year. Anonymous organized a series of attacks against PayPal, Visa, MasterCard, and other companies that had stopped enabling contributions to WikiLeaks.

Weeks after the DoS attack, an attacker got into Sony's network and compromised personal data of 77 million PlayStation Network customers, including possibly credit card information, prompting Sony to shut down the network. Less than a week later, Sony announced that data of more than 24 million Sony Online Entertainment customers had also been exposed. Combined, the PSN and SOE breaches are the second-largest in U.S. history, according to the DataLossDB site.

Since then there's been a veritable avalanche of reported attacks on Sony's sites, with Sony Music Indonesia defaced; a phishing site found on a Sony server in Thailand; and records breached on sites in Japan, Greece, Canada, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Russia. About 37,500 customer records from a Sony Pictures site was exposed last week, Sony said today, and there were reports of data leaks related to the Sony Computer Entertainment Developer Network (proprietary code) and Sony BMG. The Attrition.org site has a comprehensive timeline of the attacks on Sony here, which lists the total number of attacks since the Anonymous attack at 17, not including the DoS attack. Meanwhile, the site lists more than 40 older attacks on Sony sites, so clearly attacking Sony is not a new pastime.

"The Sony hacks are nothing but pile-on," said Schneier. "'Let's have more fun at Sony's expense. Ha ha.'"

The Sony attacks have spawned attacks on other targets and copycats, including Acer Europe, Sony Europe, Nintendo, and FBI partner Infragard. In a particularly audacious move, members of the LulzSec hacker group harassed one Infragard victim who made the big mistake of using the same password on multiple e-mail accounts and sites. In e-mails and chat messages, LulzSec members bullied the chief executive of a security-related start-up, trying to get money and data out of him. The hacker group, however, claims it was just trying to set up the victim to prove that whitehat hackers who work on the good side of the law aren't any less corruptible than blackhat hackers. When the CEO refused to cooperate, the group went public with his information.

LulzSec and other hackers are no doubt taking their cue from the success of Anonymous in its online protests and its new-found high profile. They realize that it's fairly easy to make a splash, particularly with an anti-establishment message. LulzSec has even taken action to show solidarity with WikiLeaks, hacking PBS.org, leaking passwords, and posting a fake news article on the site as punishment for what it said was a biased Frontline program about WikiLeaks.

Hacking revival

While the RSA, Epsilon, and espionage attacks are truly threatening, some people seem to be enjoying the playfulness of the less destructive, more pranksterish attacks against Sony. These hacks of protest harken back to the days of DoS attacks on Yahoo and eBay and numerous Web site defacements in the 1990s, before e-commerce was so prevalent and organized criminals moved online.

"We are seeing a revival of the sort of hacking we have not seen in many years," said Marc Maiffret, chief technology officer at eEye Digital Security. "The hacking that has been taking place recently against Sony and others is a reminder that the hacker culture prior to our fixation on cybercrime and 'China is scary' is still alive and well."

"Although large sections of the security community will deny it if you ask them, they're secretly enjoying watching LulzSec's campaign of mayhem unfold," Patrick Gray wrote on the Risky.Biz blog. "It might be surprising to external observers, but security professionals are also secretly getting a kick out of watching these guys go nuts."

The Web of 2011 offers a more fulfilling playground for hackers than it did in past decades, not just because the number of targets is so much greater, but the tools of self-expression are more varied and effective. For instance, Twitter offers a perfect platform for publicity, and LulzSec makes use of it, frequently posting information about new hacks, boasts, and threats, as well as solicitations for donations.

"It hasn't been this bad since 2003 when all the worms were hitting, and even then we only had three worms" that targeted Microsoft customers by exploiting holes in Windows, said security researcher Dan Kaminsky. "Now governments are involved, defense contractors are involved, kids with Twitter accounts are involved."

Does this mean the rules of engagement have changed for companies going forward and that they will have to be careful not to anger hackers with a cause?

"I don't think it's necessarily going to change companies' behavior that much," said Chris Wysopal, chief technology officer at Veracode. "But I hope it will serve as a lesson to companies that if you have Sony vulnerabilities you're at a huge risk if someone decides to try to publicly flog you."


Updated; with Sony Pictures saying 37,500 customer records were exposed.




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Old 26-06-11, 19:40   #7
 
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Default Re: Hacking Group Calls it Quits

Related;

Elinor Mills CNET News

LulzSec, Anonymous announce hacking campaign










Hacker groups Anonymous and LulzSec said today they are uniting in a campaign aimed at banks, government agencies, and other high-profile targets, and they are encouraging others to steal and leak classified information.

The "AntiSec" campaign appeared to have its first target earlier today--the Web site of Serious Organized Crime Agency in the United Kingdom was down. "Tango down - http://t.co/JhcjgO9 - in the name of #AntiSec," the group tweeted after releasing a statement announcing the campaign. The site was down this morning but back up at midday.

"Top priority is to steal and leak any classified government information, including email spools and documentation," Lulzsec said in a statement. Prime targets are banks and other high-ranking establishments. If they try to censor our progress, we will obliterate the censor with cannonfire anointed with lizard blood."

"Oldschool Internet is back. Anarchy is now - spread "AntiSec" whenever and wherever you can. Is saying 'hackers unite' too cheesy? " LulzSec tweeted, adding in a follow-up tweet that "DDoS is of course our least powerful and most abundant ammunition. Government hacking is taking place right now behind the scenes."



LulzSec recently targeted the CIA, the U.S. Senate, FBI partner Infragard, and Sony sites. The group, which aims to embarrass victims for kicks, is believed to be an offshoot of Anonymous but sometimes pretends to be at odds with Anonymous as a prank.

Anonymous is a "hacktivist" group that tends to target organizations for political reasons and in support of freedom of speech. For instance, it has targeted the governments of Iran, Egypt, and Turkey. It has also targeted Sony in retaliation for the firm's legal action against PlayStation 3 hackers, and PayPal, Visa and MasterCard after those sites dropped services that enabled whistleblower WikiLeaks to receive online contributions.
END


Excellent Reporting, History and info. from Elinor Mills!


Elinor Mills



Elinor Mills covers Internet security and privacy. She joined CNET News in 2005 after working as a foreign correspondent for Reuters in Portugal and writing for The Industry Standard, the IDG News Service, and the Associated Press.




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