After causing chaos in Brazil last week with a serious of hacking attacks, it seems the LulzSec security group has disbanded and sailed their ‘boat’ off into the sunset unchallenged.
A statement issued on their Twitter stream on Saturday reads simply:
Major news organizations across the world have reported the breakup of the group, which came to global attention through attacks on companies such as Sony and Nintendo. Broadcasters in the USA, including Fox and PBS, were attacked along with government organizations such as the CIA and the US Senate.
In an exclusive interview last Friday, the BBC’s Newsnight program talked to LulzSec and found that they merely wanted to target the “higher ups” who write the rules and “bring them down a few notches”. The group appears to have started out as six hackers just having fun, before morphing into a more socially aware and politically motivated group in a very short period of time.
But, it looks like the hackers were hacked. Many hackers feel that they have a social purpose – particularly around the exposure of political and business corruption – and this new team on the block just hacking for laughs riled many of the groups who take their discreet activities more seriously.
I don’t think there will be any lasting damage for Brazil and the domestic IT industry here . It’s true that many Brazilian government departments and websites were hacked last week, not just by LulzSec, but most of the international attention has been on the US and Japan. When companies such as Sony and organizations such as the CIA are being attacked successfully, there does not appear to be any organzation that is safe.
If Brazil was more exposed to international IT offshoring – as India is – then a wave of hacking attacks could be far more serious, but Brazil is not India, the vast majority of IT services sold in Brazil are for Brazilian companies.
One point worth remarking on though is that these successful attacks on Brazilian government infrastructure have demonstrated to the people of Brazil that the future is coming faster than the government would like. What use is a law banning access to documents when the files can be hacked and published online anyway?
How can politicians seriously expect to keep corruption under the radar when the hacker community will enjoy exposing every last email, IM message, or phone call the politician makes?
The hackers might be anarchic and disruptive, but they are demonstrating that if you want to clear up corruption in political leadership then all you need is transparency. If it has to be forced, then so be it – like it or not, it will happen.
Photo by Don Hankins licensed under Creative Commons