Lulz(Sec), taking down websites by request.
Hacktivist collective LulzSec’s 614 area-code phone line is answered by a recorded message from Pierre Dubois–possibly the name of the seemingly French cartoon character that’s been popping up in LulzSec’s online messages. You leave a message suggesting a target for a distributed denial of service attack, and if the mysterious figures behind LulzSec like your style, then they’ll fire off their Net weapons. It’s unexpected, risky, and seems straight out of the pages of a cyberpunk novel or the Ghost In The Shell sci-fi series (which, if we were to stereotype LulzSec, probably is something that appeals to its membership.)
LulzSec tweeted out its new facility, 614-LULZSEC, with the line “Call into 614-LULZSEC and pick a target and we’ll obliterate it. Nobody wants to mess with the Lulz Cannon–take aim for us, twitter. #FIRE.” This may be a direct reference to the tool that LulzSec uses to carry out its DDoS attacks, and hints again at its association with Anonymous, whose DDoS system is codenamed the “low orbit ion cannon.”
The collective says it’s already targeted at least eight websites suggested by its fans, and also has targeted the massively multiplayer online games EVE Online and League of Legends. The attack on EVE, which was part of a campaign called “Titantic Takeover Tuesday” rather than motivated by a caller request, nevertheless demonstrates the power that LulzSec can wield. It took the site’s game servers and websites down for about five hours, and owner CCP Games kept its systems off as a precaution against any more penetrating hacks. These fears are propelled by LulzSec’s recent successful incursions into the U.S. Senate, Sony, Nintendo, and a number of other official bodies.
The political message here is confusing to say the least. LulzSec previously claimed to have hacked Nintendo and a number of other properties for their own good, to demonstrate weak security that could be badly misused by hackers with more evil intent–a charitable “white hat” hacker role. But its messages today concerning DDoS attacks against game makers and game properties like EVE and Minecraft are confusing and childish: “Gamers only have the mental capacity to remember the last two/three events that ever happened, so they think we can only DDoS. :(“. It’s possible this mixed message reflects different intents among LulzSec’s group.
LulzSec’s phone-line stunt proves that LulzSec has technical prowess and no small degree of disruptive online power. It also sticks out a tongue at international authorities, who’ve been saber-rattling about the antics of hacktivist collectives like Anonymous and LulzSec.
How long the group will be able to maintain itself without slipping up and giving police a clue to its membership is unclear, and this latest stunt is perhaps its riskiest yet.