In the first installment of what promises to become a weekly series of lulz, the hacktivist group LulzSec defaced the website of FBI affiliate Infragard in Atlanta. The website for the Atlanta chapter of Infragard—which describes itself as a non-profit organization serving as an interface between the private sector and the FBI—was replaced with a LulzSec-specific version of the Dimitri meme (seen above). LulzSec also published details on Infragard users and associates, including usernames, passwords, real names, and email addresses.
Currently, infragardatlanta.org is listed as “under construction.”
Most of the websites reporting on the FBI hack have expressed concern and/or bafflement at the unpredictability of LulzSec’s attacks. For instance, while the PBS hack seemed only a matter of time due to the WikiLeaks documentary, and Sony’s security breaches are hardly surprising anymore, the FBI hack was announced and committed same-day, with no previous indication it was in the works. Anonymous News Network suggests that LulzSec’s tactics, compared to those of fellow hacktivist group AnonOps, are more opportunistic and “can strike virtually anywhere” (V); by contrast, AnonOps tends to target one regime at a time:
This makes LulzSec much more capable of striking many, many targets without warning or even without provocation. Whereas AnonOps has been devoted to fighting authoritarian regimes and its own self-preservation, LulzSec is less committed to specific fights and thus able to move more freely. Whereas AnonOps has been devoted to fighting authoritarian regimes and its own self-preservation, LulzSec is less committed to specific fights and thus able to move more freely. (?NN)
Among many other things, the LulzSec strategy seems to emphasize that tried-and-true government methods of persecution are doomed to fail. For every one group of hackers discovered, there is at least another one already hacking a different target. As with Anonymous, you can’t arrest an ideology, especially when that ideology is structured explicitly around “doing it for the lulz.”
Ultimately, rapid-fire hacktivist exploits bring tensions to a head much more quickly than traditional forms of protest. As ?NN states, “While governments and corporations have been putting out the small fires for decades, they haven’t been dealing with the underlying resentment and pressure building up, until it finally reaches a tipping point and engulfs the entire apparatus of power.”
Read the ?NN article here.
This work by V. Manivannan is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.