LulzSec – sailing into dry dock?

If you’ve been keeping an eye on tech news lately you can’t fail to have noticed the rise of Lulz Security (or LulzSec). This small group of hackers, there are only six people in the core team, have made a huge impact with hacking the likes of Sony, Arizona Police Department, and hitting several more websites with Distributed Denial of Service attacks.

They recently teamed up with fellow hackers Anonymous to launch AntiSec – their Anti Security campaign.

Now, somewhat unexpectedly, they have announced that after fifty days of action they are disbanding. They did drop one final data release which contains, among other things, the login details for 550,000 Battlefield Heroes users. If you’ve played that game (and it is actually very good), make sure you haven’t used the same login details elsewhere.

There’s speculation that Lulz Security is backing off because of efforts by rival hackers to expose the people behind it, or that it was always just a short-term gig. The question is, though, is our online data any more secure now?

Of course not. There will always be hackers out there. There will always be people looking to gain unauthorised access to systems and steal the login details. There will always be people using hacking techniques as counter-espionage against law enforcement agencies, and so on. While I in no way endorse or condone what Lulz Security has been doing, at least they widely publicised their intentions and the results. It was a fairly easy task to check what they had found and released… at least, the stuff they chose to make easy to check.

I’m sure the media will expect us to rest easier in our beds tonight, knowing that this band of hackers are no more, but security is always a concern. Companies still need to ask themselves what data they hold on their Internet-accessible machines. They still need to ask themselves how well they have secured sensitive data.

If you’re a website owner yourself, you need to ask yourself if there’s anything on your web server that shouldn’t be, and what measures you’ve taken to secure your information.

Maybe, in the end, that was the point of Lulz Security: to give the tech world a scare and make us more aware of security considerations. Whatever the point, though, don’t assume that just because one hacker group has announced its dissolution the whole hacking scene has vanished overnight.

In short: keep thinking about your security, but don’t have nightmares.

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