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6/30/2011
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LulzSec Successors Press On, Hitting Viacom, AZ

Hacking groups Anonymous and #AntiSec mount attacks on media companies and a previous LulzSec government target.

Less than a week after hactivist group LulzSec called it quits, a hacker group to which its members migrated mounted separate attacks on Viacom and Vivendi SA's Universal Music Group as well as on a previous LulzSec target, the Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS).

Last Saturday, hacking group LulzSec, aka the Lulz Boat, announced online that it was ceasing operations, ending a 50-day hacking spree that included attacks on the Central Intelligence Agency and the U.S. Senate.

However, at the same time it called for others to carry on; advice its own members--who have joined forces with hackers from the Anonymous group to form a new group, #AntiSec--are taking.

#AntiSec has claimed responsibility for several new hacks, including another on the Arizona DPS, the second the department experienced in a week.

The Arizona DPS confirmed Wednesday's hack by #AntiSec, saying the group had released documents and personal information of DPS employees--in a statement on its website. Officials said #AntiSec appeared to obtain access to the personal email accounts of at least 11 DPS employees and has posted stolen information online.

"Law enforcement agencies are working to identify the source of the cyber-attack and have initiated a joint criminal investigation," according to the Arizona DPS, which added that "there is no evidence the attack has breached the servers of computer systems of DPS, nor the larger state network."

E-mail access for DPS employees remains suspended in the wake of Wednesday's attack. The DPS took the same response last week when LulzSec also hacked into Arizona DPS employee email accounts and posted a torrent on the Pirate Bay containing internal documents, claiming to protest its anti-immigration policies.

Those files included a mishmash of unrelated and largely inconsequential documents, including various situational awareness bulletins, a complementary invitation to a border security conference, and a street price list for various illegal drugs. LulzSec hackers also posted a graphic video--apparently taken from a camera inside a police cruiser--showing an Arizona law-enforcement officer throwing an unidentifiable metal object across a highway and then being hit by a car.

On Tuesday #AntiSec posted another torrent on the Pirate Bay it claims contain files from Viacom and Universal Music as well as the Zimbabwean and Brazilian governments. Spokespeople from Viacom and Universal Music could not immediately be reached for comment Thursday.

In notes about the latest release, #AntiSec confirmed that the hacks are the work of former LulzSec members now operating under a different name and with various other actors. "It has been a week since the LulzBoat lowered the LulzSec flag, she now proudly flies under the #AntiSec colors," according to the notes. The group also said that while the "LulzBoat is still sailing with us," #AntiSec's aim is different.

"Despite being still driven by Lulz and therefore also providing them, the mission has become larger than us," according to the group. "#AntiSec is more than Lulz and more than even Anonymous: It is our true belief that this movement has the capability to change the world. And should that fail, we will at least rock the world." Lulz has been defined as "the joy of disrupting another's emotional equilibrium."

What industry can teach government about IT innovation and efficiency. Also in the new, all-digital issue of InformationWeek Government: Federal agencies have to shift from annual IT security assessments to continuous monitoring of their risks. Download it now. (Free registration required.)

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