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Authorities Closing On LulzSec 354

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the lul-me-to-sleep dept.
mask.of.sanity writes "The noose is tightening on hacker group LulzSec, according to a coordinated group of like-minded users, some from LulzSec-Exposed that claim to have uncovered the identity of LulzSec members and supplied them to the FBI. An arrest Monday of a UK teenager was rumoured to be former hacker scene member Ryan Clearly, and the trackers, which includes a former FBI agent, say this arrest is the first of many. They refused to disclose the identities of LulzSec chief, saying it would cause the members to burn the evidence of attacks and scatter."
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Authorities Closing On LulzSec

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  • by Eggplant62 (120514) on Wednesday June 22, 2011 @08:51AM (#36526838)

    But publishing a news story about the arrests isn't going to cause the members to destroy evidence and scatter? Hahahahahahahahahahahaha.... Fuck.

    • by Marc Madness (2205586) on Wednesday June 22, 2011 @08:57AM (#36526914)
      Maybe that's the intention. By putting out a press release stating that arrests are imminent, maybe they are hoping that LulzSec will destroy their own infrastructure and go into hiding, thus eliminating them as a threat. It's true doublethink; it can mean that they have no leads whatsoever, or that they do.
      • by poetmatt (793785)

        this is just another "war on something". They are about as close to lulzsec as imagination is to reality.

      • by interkin3tic (1469267) on Wednesday June 22, 2011 @10:30AM (#36528088)

        By putting out a press release stating that arrests are imminent, maybe they are hoping that LulzSec will destroy their own infrastructure and go into hiding, thus eliminating them as a threat. It's true doublethink; it can mean that they have no leads whatsoever, or that they do.

        -The FBI has identified the members, can capture them, will capture them, put out this statement to scare them into stopping the attacks until they can be arrested
        -The FBI has identified the members, can capture them, will capture them, couldn't keep a lid on the rumors, leading to this leak
        -The FBI has identified the members, can capture some of them, but want to scare off the ones they can't with this
        -The FBI has not identified the members, and wants to scare them off
        -The FBI thinks it has identified the members, foolishly bragging about it beforehand, and will be have egg on their face when the people they arrest have little to do with it, attacks continue

    • That's what we poker player know by the technical term "bluff". And methinks, you just called it... Congrats!
  • by RivenAleem (1590553) on Wednesday June 22, 2011 @08:52AM (#36526846)
    Do it, do it now, they are on to you. No really, it's not just what they want you to think, they really mean it, your time is up, go to ground and never resurface again. Someone within your own organisation has outed you to the Feds, you can't trust any of them, scatter and break all contact with all your members, as any one of them could be the informant. They will get you if you remain organised.
  • Huh? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Afforess (1310263) <afforess@gmail.com> on Wednesday June 22, 2011 @08:52AM (#36526856) Journal
    Really, the FBI isn't afraid that capturing one alleged member of LulzSec won't cause the other members to bolt and hide the evidence, but disclosing the names will?

    It's days like these I think elementary logic classes should be manditory.
    • Really, the FBI isn't afraid that capturing one alleged member of LulzSec won't cause the other members to bolt and hide the evidence, but disclosing the names will?

      It might, but in they may see themselves, at least individually, as well hidden and smarter than the FBI and others. Besides, they want attention, and what better way to get it than taunt authorities

      Sure, they could hide evidence but, in the US at least, hiding evidence could be construed as obstructing justice, which could land them in jail even if they committed no actual crimes. In some ways, that makes it easier for the government since all they basically need to show is they acted to influence the inve

      • by delinear (991444)
        I don't know - it reminds me of police press conferences on the news here in the UK. Generally if the case is proceeding well and they have a good trail of evidence/witnesses to follow they don't give press conferences (why risk spooking the criminals into hiding, let alone waste police time?). When they have nothing they'll often do a conference saying that they believe the net is closing and whoever is sheltering the criminal should give them up - this is pretty standard operating procedure when they have
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by SCHecklerX (229973)

      It's days like these I think elementary logic classes should be manditory.

      Elementary spelling classes, too.

      • by Afforess (1310263)

        It's days like these I think elementary logic classes should be manditory.

        Elementary spelling classes, too.

        That or the ability to edit posts. ;)

    • Really, the FBI isn't afraid that capturing one alleged member of LulzSec won't cause the other members to bolt and hide the evidence, but disclosing the names will?

      I think it's more likely that people at the FBI are afraid they'll lose their jobs if people start thinking they're nowhere with this.
      Congressman: "How is it that the FBI hasn't caught these 'loosesex' people yet? What are you people doing? I think we need to investigate the FBI's ability to-"
      FBI brass: "Well Congressman, you must have missed the rumors that we're about to capture them."
      Congressman: "Oh. Well then, back to doing nothing."

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 22, 2011 @08:53AM (#36526864)

    There's a group of Japanese hackers who've been able to shut down businesses, infect users with rootkits and remotely remove functionality from consumer electronics.

    They call themselves SONY or something...

    • by poetmatt (793785)

      sony? Other than the japanese part, don't you mean microsoft/EA/Intel?

      • by Tim C (15259)

        No, he's referring to the (music) CDs that shipped with auto-install anti-piracy software hidden on them that behaved basically the same as a rootkit and remotely removing the Other OS feature from the Playstation 3. Not sure about the reference to shutting down businesses, but the other points are valid.

        • by Ash-Fox (726320)

          Honestly, I would have expected more corruption from an organisation the size of Sony, they've done pretty well considering.

        • by delinear (991444)
          I believe the shutting down businesses is a reference to Sony's practice of going after people selling modchips, or imported consoles and the like - the most prominent of these probably being Lik Sang [wikipedia.org].
  • "They refused to disclose the identities of LulzSec chief, saying it would cause the members to burn the evidence of attacks and scatter.""

    Yes, because announcing you know his identity on the internet wont do that anyway will it?

    Obviously not the sharpest tool in the box, such a comment doesn't instill much confidence that they have in fact got the right people.

    Let's be honest, the LulzSec people will know if they've let their identity loose to anyone or not, if they have they'll already be watching their b

    • by mr_gorkajuice (1347383) on Wednesday June 22, 2011 @09:11AM (#36527068)
      Are you suggesting that these people are incapable of mistakes, and cannot ever possibly be outsmarted by feds?
      I believe you're vastly overestimating these guys, and similarly underestimating authorities.
      • by Xest (935314) on Wednesday June 22, 2011 @09:31AM (#36527334)

        I'm suggesting that when you've been thinking about such things long enough there's very little room to make mistakes, and that if you have, you'll tend to know about it. The hacker mindset is one of meticulous attention to detail and obsessive thought about a subject on their mind, you can guarantee that particularly when paranoid about being caught which is going to be more the case with such announcements as this that the scope for mistakes will be so small, and the scope for mistakes that can't be cleaned up after the fact and before discovery is even smaller.

        I'm not saying they couldn't be outsmarted by the feds, simply that they wont be outsmarted by someone foolish enough to post on the internet "We know the leader's identity", before he's actually been brought to justice. I also suspect that to actually catch them they're likely to somewhat cheat, and throw due process out the window- they may have a rough idea who is involved but not have the evidence to legitimately question them or seize their kit, so they'll make up some false charge to seize it and build up evidence upon that anyway. They may not even have a case then but the authorities including the judiciary seem quite competent at ruling against people even when the evidence is unacceptably weak in the first place.

        They probably will get them some way or another, but it may not be through a legitimate thoroughly proper and clean legal process. Sure many such hackers have been caught in the end, but how many haven't over the years? How many spammers go untouched, how many criminal hackers do the authorities not even know the rought whereabouts of? how many DDOS attacks against major corporations even before anonymous started doing them went unpunished? you only have to look at the rather famous case of Al Capone, where physical evidence should theoretically have been much easier to come by and see that they had to do him on tax evasion in the end to see that sometimes, achieving proper justice against criminals can be quite the impossible task. The result then is either failure to deal with them at all, or a bending of the law.

        I think more realistically you're underestimating the ability of smart criminals, particularly in the digital world to evade justice. For all the feel good stories about "criminal X has been caught" hammered into us on the news, and newspapers, there's plenty more who are not. It's perfectly possible they will fall into this category, and it seems blurting out to the world that you know the identities of these people even if you don't announce said identity is only going to make life that much harder for the authorities who may truly find any potential evidence has already been burnt and shredded already whether in the physical or digital sense. A smart investigation would simply not announce knowledge of the identity of the target until they were already in custody, anything else is just foolish penis waving.

        • I think more realistically you're underestimating the ability of smart criminals

          The smart criminals usually get away because they know when to stop. Greedy criminals, who continue to commit their crime time and time again tend to get caught because they slip up eventually. I think it's evident LulzSec doesn't know how to quit while they're ahead.

  • Very Unfortunate. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by crow_t_robot (528562) on Wednesday June 22, 2011 @08:55AM (#36526892)
    This is unfortunate considering what lulzsec is currently doing for the IT job market. These attacks are getting incompetent people fired and making companies go out and look for competent people to hire in their place. Also, it is forcing them to actually invest money in their IT infrastructure instead of just slapping some servers together and letting some clowns straight out of a degree mill run them. People need to realize that this is a net good thing because if a 19 year old with no formal education is ripping servers owned by multi-billion dollar international corporations then the Chinese have already been there. A company would not even know about the Chinese intrusion much less publicize it once they found out so what lulzsec is doing is shining the light on how poorly these companies that hold your data are run.
    • by wintercolby (1117427) <[winter.colby] [at] [gmail.com]> on Wednesday June 22, 2011 @09:11AM (#36527058)
      While it is good for the IT industry as a whole, as far as investment in infrastructure and qualified administrators, it is also bad for Internet freedom. The less secure people feel on the Internet, the more we will lose anonymizing proxies and the more public everything we do on the Internet will be. Today we have the "sexting representative", tomorrow it will be a senator that looks at free porn on his home computer. The extreme cases convince us that we need to lose some privacy, and then government passes laws that are harsher and harsher, and relaxes warrant requirements, because no one loses elections for being strong against "crime".
      • I think that says more about the people willing to throw away their own privacy because someone hacked websites on the internet than it does about Lulzsec.

    • by Dhalka226 (559740) on Wednesday June 22, 2011 @09:15AM (#36527108)

      I understand what you're saying, and to some degree I agree: The state of security on Internet-facing web properties is staggeringly bad, and the fact that companies who do an incompetent job protecting their users are getting publicly called out is, in its own way, a good thing.

      Still, there are right ways and wrong ways to do things and LulzSec is clearly on the wrong side of the line. This is particularly true when you read their own postings about how they do it "for the lulz." "You wouldn't know we hacked people if we weren't arrogant shitheads about it!" was nothing more than a post-event attempt at rationalization. And their nonsense with hacking into porn sites and trying to publicly shame people who visit them made me want to strangle them with my own hands.

      Some good can come of all this, and I hope it does. But yes, I also hope these people are caught and punished. There are a lot of horrible things people can do to one another that might, in some way, lead to good conclusions, but that does not mean that they should be done. Robbing your neighbor to prod them into locking their doors at night may end up with a good outcome, but I should still go to prison for it. The same applies here.

      Once they have done their time and paid their debts, I'm sure they can make quite a handy little salary doing these same damn things the right way.

      • And their nonsense with hacking into porn sites and trying to publicly shame people who visit them made me want to strangle them with my own hands.

        Keep your energy for your chicken, that feels much better...

      • by crow_t_robot (528562) on Wednesday June 22, 2011 @09:43AM (#36527486)

        And their nonsense with hacking into porn sites and trying to publicly shame people who visit them made me want to strangle them with my own hands.

        Anyone who pays for porn on the internet should be shamed. Seriously.

        • by vegiVamp (518171)

          I strongly disagree. The ones who pay for porn on the internet are the reason you and me can get it for free. If no-one pays for it, it doesn't get made.

          That being said, these days that no longer fully holds true, thanks to xtube and the like providing oozes of homemade; but one has to wonder how much of their money comes from paid advertising accounts posting 15-second clips of commercial porn.

    • by Dishwasha (125561)

      This is unfortunate considering what lulzsec is currently doing for the [door and lock] job market. These attacks are getting incompetent [locksmiths] fired and making companies go out and look for competent [locksmiths] to hire in their place. Also, it is forcing them to actually invest money in their [door and key] infrastructure instead of just slapping some [keyholes] together and letting some clowns straight out of a [high school] mill [install] them. People need to realize that this is a net good thin

    • by phreakv6 (760152)
      why cry foul if the govt. resorts to the same tactics? (say if they planned an attack that helped pass a bill)
    • by poetmatt (793785)

      Absolutely. Even Penny arcade agrees [penny-arcade.com]
      from the article on PA:

      Like the electronic smash and grab at Sony, I think the endgame here is better security at the places we trust with our data. It’s been an education for me, to be sure: custom passwords everywhere, now, 2-step where available, and when I need a new password I let my daughter go fucking crazy nuts on the keyboard. And then I say who’s my little hash function? Who is it? She knows who.

      Focusing on harming lulzsec is really ignoring that peo

    • Unfortunately few companies will see it that way, the more targets lulz succeeds at attacking, the more likely companies will view them as an unforeseeable and unstoppable act of god rather then a sign their security is garbage. History has shown that the response to a hacker is almost never, oh gosh our security is bad, and more often OMG this criminal must be stopped, push better laws to monitor who's online, catch these criminals and make sure they all get life sentences, and hey while we're at it, the f
  • by Anonymous Coward

    What is all this media attention on LulzSec, it is kinda amusing. The character assassination of Ryan Clearly in the UK news is crazy. They have interviewed people in his road, called him a shut in and other things, I think i heard terrorist today as well. I have even had 2 family memebers call me up to disscuss lulzSec (my 60 year old mother), this whole story is dominating the news WHY? I have not seen rapists get this kind of media attention and character assassination. The fun thing is, Ryans Role is pr

    • by unity100 (970058)
      "Governments are going to win whatever the outcome" - how will that happen with the root of the hacking scene now being in russia.
    • by Ash Vince (602485) *

      The fun thing is, Ryans Role is pretty clear, he was the IRC server host. That's it, so by extension the FBI and UK believe he is now part of Lulzsec.

      If he had a modicum of common sense he would steer very well clear of people engaging in activities that are illegal in the country in which he resided. Alternatively he would realise that just by knowingly providing a place where people could discuss illegal activities english law would consider him an accomplice. The english legal system does not have any decent protection of freedom of speech and we have no bill of rights. The police in this country do not even need to ask a judge before writing themselv

  • by Borland (123542) on Wednesday June 22, 2011 @09:10AM (#36527052)

    It's been obvious from the beginning that Lulzsec might be fickle in their targeting like anons, but that they are a coordinated group. That lends them a bit more power, but also means that despite their bravado they are connected. And since they're not thinking like terrorists, I doubt they have formed "cells" like any organization which doesn't want to fall quickly to a coordinated assault.

    Maybe I don't give them enough credit and the IRC operator was careful to shield everyone and knows no one by name. But despite the publicity, and the fact that they have more skill than I, somehow I doubt they are true black hat masters. Braggarts are the most likely criminals to land in jail.

  • More misinformation. (Score:5, Informative)

    by rhadamanthus (200665) on Wednesday June 22, 2011 @09:22AM (#36527232)

    Ryan Clearly housed a lulz IRC chatroom. He has nothing to do with lulzsec.

    • by guruevi (827432)

      What's important is what a judge/jury will hear and think. They don't understand the difference and even saying "IRC is an anonymous chat system" will mean you're a hacker terrorist that needs to be locked up.

      Thanks to the sensationalist media and government even the First Amendment rights have been all but relegated to the academia. Guilt by association is the norm now.

      • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O2rGTXHvPCQ

        Clearly indicates that IRC is nothing but a den for hackers.

        Thankfully there's no chance whatsoever that any jury will have ever seen it.
    • I question your reasoning that "he has nothing to do with lulzsec". A 70 year old grandma in Kenya would have nothing to do with lolzsec, but, in this case, Ryan willingly hosted an IRC server for lulzsec, hence he had *something* to do with them and the feds will find out what. And btw, why did they need their own public IRC server? Did we run out of IRC networks? Last I checked, freenode was still alive.
  • If they turned that into a movie, I'd totally watch it... P.s. If you're wondering where I got the 4.0 from, here's my list: Hackers (1995), Hackers 2 - Operation Takedown (2000), Hackers 3 - Antitrust (2001).
  • DRAMATICA, Wackyleeks, Wednesday (textfiles.com) — The noose is tightening on LulzSec, oh yes it is, with a red-handed capture nearly almost imminent, said FBI Media Liaison today, and don't you worry about that.

    The drug-running terrorist paedophile probably-Chinese-government members of LulzSec have used their horrifying and "l33t" "Internet Relay Chat" skills (or "sk1llz0r," as "hackers" call them) to break into some of the most complicatedly protected computery gadget devices on the Inter-web-thing, particularly the ones running Microsoft Windows. Just like your computer does!!

    "Fortunately," fed an off-the-record FBI source, "we have tracked down these dastardly fiends to their festering basement lairs, where they sit all day exchanging BitCoins via their 'four-channel' systems. Our agents are poised right now to swoop, swoop! upon these avatars of delinquency! Multiple US agencies are involved. They might be right outside!"

    Authorities worry the "hackers" will get wind of the raids and scatter and burn the evidence. Repeat, the authorities don't want the group to scatter and burn the evidence. Just so that's clear with everyone.

    LulzSec was formed by a group of Scientologists interested in Guy Fawkes. The group is named after "lulls," which is when the four-channel system goes quiet, and "sex," the availability of which would cause the group's immediate collapse.

    Picture: Practice safe computing! [newstechnica.com]

  • I think I liked Sharks vs. Jets better. Better names.

  • To frame somebody with all this secrecy going on?

    It takes a certain character (needing) to become a spook and same goes for the other side.....

    Maybe it's just boredom, need for a purpose and stimulation?
  • If they are closing in, why in the world would they announce it to the world. I mean seriously. Seems they are doing more barking to me than biting.
  • Notice this isn't the FBI saying they are closing in. It's a group of narcs who claim this. Having their own little witch hunt. They better hope they have strong evidence against the people their accusing.

From Sharp minds come... pointed heads. -- Bryan Sparrowhawk

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