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Hacking not always so funnyPosted Monday, June 13, 2011, at 2:52 PM
The Internet's abuzz about a group of cheeky hackers, known as LulzSec.
They describe themselves as a "small team of lulzy individuals who feel the drabness of the cyber community is a burden on what matters: fun" and pride themselves as being the "world's leaders of high-quality entertainment at your expense."
LulzSec also has an insolent ditty about their piracy, which can be found on their home page, lulzsecurity.com. "Lulz won't hurt anyone," the song reads. "It's an open smile on a friendly shore."
Companies who have been hacked have differing opinions.
LulzSec went after entertainment giant Sony, hacking their network six times in the past few weeks. They claimed they had access to more than 4.5 million user records, network maps and source code.
"Why do you put such faith in a company that allows itself to become open to these simple attacks?" LulzSec asked.
They also pointed out that Sony stored over 1 million passwords in plain text. "This is disgraceful and insecure. They were asking for it," the group said.
Sony meekly apologized to its users at the E3 Expo in L.A. earlier this week.
Goodies are available for download on the group's web site, and includes plunder from Nintendo, Fox News, PBS and a FBI-affiliated sites InfraGard and Unveillance. Embarrassingly enough, the FBI sites specialize in data breaches.
The FBI has recently categorized hacking as an act of war, hence the enticement.
LulzSec reported they stole a mass of personal and work e-mails from Karim Hijazi, CEO of Unveillance. Hijazi said he did not give into threats and was able to protect sensitive data. LulzSec later tweeted they did not want to exhort anything; they merely wanted to see if he would fold.
Although no sensitive data was released, LulzSec claims that they uncovered a supposed plot of the government to attack Libya's cyber infrastructure---all thanks to Hijazi's e-mails, which had the same passwords.
On a lighter note, the PBS hack falls under the category of "lulz," or interesting/funny Internet content, closely related to the word "lol."
A fake article was posted on PBS's website, claiming that rapper Tupac Shakur has resurrected and is living in a New Zealand resort town. He died Sept. 13, 1996, after being shot.
I probably wasn't the only person humored by the article.
While there's not much you can do to protect yourself from major site hacks, a few simple protective measure can be taken. Use complicated passwords, with mixes of capital and lowercase letters and numbers. Be sure that passwords are not used for multiple sites.
Make sure to check out a web site's security prior to registering and be careful when storing credit card information online.
Reach Ashley at firstname.lastname@example.org.