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Anonymous, Lulzsec et al

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June 14, 2011 1:23:53 PM

I'm seeing some pretty heated posts on any news articles that involves Anonymous or Lulzsec recently but as far as I can see there is no thread discussing it in a coherent manner.

There seems to be a collection of people who are fundamentally against these groups on the basis that they think that they are motivated by money and or reputation. The word hacking seems to conjure negativity, often being linked to criminal activity rather than gaining access to a system you are not authorized to access. There is a massive difference between the traditional idea of hacking, ethical hacking and the more curious "hacktivism".

Lulzsec informing the NHS of a security risk is ethical hacking. Anonymous launching a DDOS against Visa is hackivism. Someone stealing PSN data is traditional hacking.

To say all three of these incidents are the same is just ignorant. Ethical hacking is beneficial to everyone, hackivism is subject to people's beliefs so is debatable depending on your stance. However no one should be saying that an incident like PSN is a good thing.

I've seen people backing Anonymous purely because they believe their constitutional rights are being violated. This is all good and well but remember the internet is agnostic to location and so are these groups.

I've also seen someone make an incredibly valid point regarding these groups attracting younger members. It seems to me that all of this seems tempting to any young person wishing to be part of something. There is a pretty high price on being caught for being part of a DDOS so it's not a decision that is to be taken lightly.

Ironically, people often accuse Anonymous of being a collection of script kiddies, state that launching a DDOS is easy or that it's all a bit childish. My retort would be: "And?", "What does difficulty have to do with this?", "And any other form of protest isn't? Chaining yourself to a tree is more mature than a DDOS?". Regardless of whether you agree with what Anonymous may target you must agree that it is a new form of protest. The curious bit about that is that it currently not controlled well by authorities. In stark contrast, if you want to hold a protest in the UK, you must inform the police about the time and location so it can be managed. You may as well be organising a party.

I believe in freedom of speech. I believe there is no security in secrecy. So I applaud Anonymous and Lulzsec's efforts.

Questions, opinions and rants all welcome!

More about : anonymous lulzsec

June 14, 2011 3:27:32 PM

Seriously ... while I like the logic behind your tripartite model of differential hackethics I think the legal system's interpretation is quite different ... and that is our primary frame of reference.

Moral arguements are about what is "right".

"Right" and "Lawful" are often two different things ...

June 14, 2011 3:48:27 PM

You say "our"? Can you clarify who you mean?

I'd expect the majority of people forming opinions on the matter consider the ethics more than the legality of it all. But perhaps this expectation is a bit misguided.

Purely considering the legality of DDOS is somewhat moot as hacking, ethically, as a form or protest or in any other manner, is illegal.

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June 14, 2011 3:57:40 PM

ddos is illegal ... so in engaging in it your breaking the law.

Simple ... "our" means the law.

If you want to work outside of the law then one day or night (usually early in the morning ... round 0400hrs) your going to get noisy visitors in uniforms ... lots of yelling ... and do enjoy the ride in the van to the station.

That prospect isn't one i really want to enjoy ...

I'd rather work inside of the law to try to accomplish change.

Plus if you ping the hell out of one particular server your log files on your ISP look as easy to read as a Sesame Street.

ISP's will likely end up being held accountable for not actioning their customer's behaviour ... precedents will end up being set that holds them accountable ... for their failure to respond appropriately.
June 14, 2011 4:35:36 PM

I'm not really talking about being part of either of these collection of individuals as, like you, I don't want get arrested for doing so.

Working inside the law unfortunately doesn't always produce change. Individuals and governments regularly break their own laws to get things done.

ISPs should not be held accountable for the content they are transferring as it's completely against net neutrality. The person running the process that's sending / requesting data is responsible. It's exactly the same if I was to send someone a stinky fish in the mail; it's not the delivery services fault, it's my fault.
June 14, 2011 9:01:14 PM

I think the major problem here, aside from the whole legality issues is that hacking (and a lot of non-internet based things) as a collective for the purpose of a certain cause has a natural tendency to turn into a form of vandalism and the resulting disruptive/destructive effects are greater on the end user then the intentional target, thus pissing people off.

I mean this is why the law exists to begin with, vigilante work (which I would have to say hackivism falls under) is biased and tends to cause chaos. Thus addressing this as an "ethical opinion" I would say that it is ethically incorrect. Yes the law is flawed but its better then just anarchy.

As for "ethical hacking" or even doing it for the challenge, white hat hacking I would say has never been a problem with people (outside of the law breaking bit). But the problem is that you always tend to cause more worry then you really should, so really if people are into that they should just join a security firm.
June 14, 2011 9:23:15 PM

That's what it is designed to do, cause chaos, instability, and strife.
June 14, 2011 10:53:04 PM

^ They could always spread syphilis.
June 14, 2011 11:34:34 PM

I agree with 2 billion penguins ... call me a flightless bird who is overweight and ungainly on land if you like ... but graceful under water.

Do penguins spitroast?

Anyone tried one?

June 14, 2011 11:38:43 PM

^ Can't say I have tried.
June 15, 2011 8:35:06 AM

fazers_on_stun said:
http://ingame.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2011/06/14/6858309-lu...

Now why would Lulzsec target independent game devs?? Just to say they could??

In other news, it seems Greece is claiming they arrested 32 of them - good job!


I'm not defending this but how sure can anyone be that this is actually Lulzsec and not someone doing something under an anonymous flag. The same thing can be said for Anonymous. Sony initially said the PSN attack was from Anonymous?

On a similar vein, when authorities say they've arrested people operating in these groups who can be sure they actually are?

I'm Spartacus. No I'm Spartacus! No wait that guy over there is Spartacus!

June 15, 2011 9:55:26 AM

Reynod said:
I agree with 2 billion penguins ... call me a flightless bird who is overweight and ungainly on land if you like ... but graceful under water.

Do penguins spitroast?

Anyone tried one?



:o  why would you want to eat a poor defenseless penguin? DX!


But in any case supposedly its illegal at least under US law... but im guessing if you actually went down to antartica, claimed that you had no food but the right cooking equipment you could try.

June 15, 2011 12:19:36 PM

I like some of what they do, but lulz in particular seem to have gone off the rails since they started getting media attention.
June 15, 2011 12:56:22 PM

2 billion penguins said:
:o  why would you want to eat a poor defenseless penguin? DX!


But in any case supposedly its illegal at least under US law... but im guessing if you actually went down to antartica, claimed that you had no food but the right cooking equipment you could try.



You have a few threads to read and catchup on to get that post ... sorry I wasn't having a go at you.

I tend to treat all of the new posters here well ... as I need disciples for my new religion.

It was meant to incite gamer into a strong bout of gnashing of teeth.

Sadly I think he is just too good for me now ... I'll have to hang up the boots and go back to weeding.

:) 

P.S. I wonder of penguin would taste like? Anything like seal ?
June 15, 2011 12:57:16 PM

They shut down EVE online yesterday for hours. Well, to be accurate CCP shut it down when they detected the attack. No customer information was compromised but you had 10's of thousands of pissed off players.
June 15, 2011 1:06:22 PM

What did the EVE people do to deserve that i ask?

June 15, 2011 1:15:37 PM

EVE exists. That's good enough for some spit*uck hackers out there. Especially the ones living in mother's basement.

It pissed me off royally. I had to fail a courier contract worth 4.5 million. The bastards.
June 15, 2011 3:13:28 PM

Did any of them at LEAST attack the Federal Reserve?
June 15, 2011 5:52:04 PM

Rusting In Peace said:
I'm not defending this but how sure can anyone be that this is actually Lulzsec and not someone doing something under an anonymous flag. The same thing can be said for Anonymous. Sony initially said the PSN attack was from Anonymous?

On a similar vein, when authorities say they've arrested people operating in these groups who can be sure they actually are?

I'm Spartacus. No I'm Spartacus! No wait that guy over there is Spartacus!


True - nobody really knows for certain, but the article did mention that Lulzsec posted on their twitter account that they were responsible. Unless some other person or group hacked twitter or Lulzsec and got the account info. If that is the case, I don't see any denials yet from Lulzsec..

If Anon or Lulzsec and others bring about enough anarchy & pain, I suspect the ultimate victim will be precisely what they are supposedly fighting for - anonymity & freedom of the internet. IIRC, Intel had a processor ID function built into some of its CPUs (P4??) that was turned off by default - could be that governments world-wide would force the CPU manufacturers to include such a feature and make it permanently on, as a digital fingerprint attached to every IP packet. While I'm sure hackers will find a way to spoof that, it will start a cat & mouse game where industry counters with additional digital-ID type measures, etc etc until the point where it has escalated to make the whole Internet almost unusable.
June 16, 2011 3:12:36 AM

Rusting In Peace said:

Working inside the law unfortunately doesn't always produce change. Individuals and governments regularly break their own laws to get things done.

That is true, but you need to be prepared to pay the price.
June 16, 2011 5:24:11 AM

They took down the CIA website evidently ...

A case can be made that that activity consitutes a terrorist attack.

Jeez why mess with the people you pay to take care of your freedom?




June 16, 2011 5:36:05 AM

^ The CIA does not do much except track us...thought they rival the FBI...good ol buy guys, good ol boy!

I know the CIA does much, outside the US.
June 16, 2011 3:13:23 PM

I think it was just the CIA's public website, no secret info or anything else useful stored there, and it was a simple ddos attack. I doubt the CIA cares much except for perhaps some public embarassment, or maybe they monitor everything and now have some info on Lulzsec. And I'm pretty sure the Chinese are much more skilled than Lulzsec at hacking anyway..
June 17, 2011 7:08:35 AM

I think freedom of speech is important and so is the well spread distributation of facts.
But both of those being said, I belive that comprimising corporations security and stealing personal information for whatever use is wrong, criminal , and unjust.
With such little evidence to support its hard to beilve there is some "robinhood" type group of hackers fighting for the better future of our world.
However with whats thrown in our face its easy to notice the oposite, groups of hackers stealing information for monetary or criminal gains, or to try and strike fear into a digital based world.

Maybe abit harsh but i think they should seriously step of enforcement of internet security as well as punishment for hacking related crimes.
These people who sit "safetly" behind there computer silently fking with other peopels hard earned lives, if found guilty criminal hacking for above stated reasons, i belive should be trialed for treason against their country(if the victim of the attack in within their own country) as well as crimes against humanity along with the slew of charges that comes with idenity theft and intentional security comprimises for criminal intentions.
If we(USA) could spend a 10th of the resources that we use fighting terrorisim or the massive amount of funds we spend on our LOLwarondrugs maybe we could isolate and convict some of these offenders and hacker cells and make "examples" out of them.

Now i'm not saying the victims of these cyber attacks are moraly ok either. I just dont think the current trend of internet hacking is the answer we need.
June 17, 2011 1:09:02 PM

^^ some of these hackers are just like the Joker in the Dark Knight. They just want chaos, and to watch the world burn.
June 19, 2011 3:52:50 PM

Maybe they need to get jobs instead of sponging off their parents and using their internet connection to stuff the rest of us around.

/checks smoothwall.

None of my kids are pinging anyone to death here ... if they did I would know.

I think ISP's could easily put in place software to prevent some of the mundane ddos scripts from running ... how hard is that eh?

June 20, 2011 12:52:51 PM

Reynod said:
Maybe they need to get jobs instead of sponging off their parents and using their internet connection to stuff the rest of us around.

/checks smoothwall.

None of my kids are pinging anyone to death here ... if they did I would know.

I think ISP's could easily put in place software to prevent some of the mundane ddos scripts from running ... how hard is that eh?


It's a fairly big and dismissive assumption that anyone involved in said groups are just jobless bums living with their parents with an internet connection.

There is plenty of DDOS detection software and hardware available. The difficulty of an ISP implementing these systems shouldn't be in question. The real point of discussion is around whether ISPs should be forced to monitor and restrict DDOS traffic.

My opinion on this is pretty straightforward; ISPs should not be forced to monitor or restrict DDOS traffic as in doing so they'd be violating net neutrality.

I think I might have changed my opinion on Lulzsec though. They are significantly less Robin Hood than I had thought. It's one thing to announce a company has a security hole; it's another to release user data to the world. I appreciate that the release of data is the venom in the action but surely this is a bit far. :( 
June 21, 2011 10:43:49 AM

How about trying to find the corporate hackers who took down this one below?

4,800 DistributeIT sites “unrecoverable”
http://www.itwire.com/it-industry-news/market/47996-480...

Hackers who attacked these guys smashed their systems to the point where the company will be lucky to remain solvent.

Either it is a deliberate corporate attack from a competing company or it is terrorism.

Net neutrality should not prevent the law from dealing with the people who perpetrated this ... as an example.
June 21, 2011 1:07:33 PM

For DDos hackism. It is like stopping animal cruelty by protesting in front of a bush meat market where endangered animal is sold and stopping customers buying their bush meat. In real life, it is freedom of speech. But in cyber space, it is a crime. I think this is because in real life, there is no physical harm, but the internet is virtual and the virtual is also its physical, therefore you can say it is causing physical damage. But really, I don't think the moral ideal of the legal system which was decided hundred years ago in reality space take in the account of possible interactive virtual/physical duality, thus the law maker today using the same moral idea is not capable of legislating law appropriate for cyber space.
June 21, 2011 4:11:59 PM

They has some lulz.

Just had to be a frackin teenager to dowse my prior arguments!

Article pisses me off though for reasons I've already mentioned; Lulzsec and Anonymous are very different and most certainly have different agendas!
June 24, 2011 12:57:56 PM

Pyree said:
For DDos hackism. It is like stopping animal cruelty by protesting in front of a bush meat market where endangered animal is sold and stopping customers buying their bush meat. In real life, it is freedom of speech. But in cyber space, it is a crime. I think this is because in real life, there is no physical harm, but the internet is virtual and the virtual is also its physical, therefore you can say it is causing physical damage. But really, I don't think the moral ideal of the legal system which was decided hundred years ago in reality space take in the account of possible interactive virtual/physical duality, thus the law maker today using the same moral idea is not capable of legislating law appropriate for cyber space.


But a DDOS isn't actually damaging the system; there is no corruption to the system. It's more like a blockade stopping you from connecting at that point in time.

If they company loses money because of the outage it's exactly the same if the meat market wasn't available.

So I respectfully disagree!

However you are absolutely right about attempting to apply old laws onto new scenarios. The problem is often those attempting to set precedents for these new laws often have no idea of the implications of what they rule.

For example, I've seen so many retarded IT decisions being passed by the UK government it's quite obvious that the people making the decisions don't know enough about the topic they are making changes to. It's incredibly disturbing.
June 24, 2011 1:05:00 PM

I agree with rusting, even though they aren't physically harming people they are still interrupting business. Our company has been DDoS'd before and it sucks, the company is pretty much cutoff from the outside world.

For example imagine if you went to go walk into work but a biker gang just blocked your way in, and every time you try to get around them they get in your way. Same principle no one is getting hurt, just being huge assholes to the point where someone steps in and says" You are such a dick we are going to arrest you"
September 12, 2011 4:20:38 PM

This topic has been closed by Reynod
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