If you’ve been watching the net in the past 24 hours or so, you should be aware of the activities of the group LulzSec. As of this posting, they have been cited with responsibility for knocking Eve Online’s Servers Offline, compromising PSN source code as well as user data, defacing the CIA’s website, and redirecting thousands of calls to various companies and government organizations including the FBI. Of those, 3 of them have occurred within the past 24 hours. Now, before we blow the CIA thing out of proportion, lets remember that the CIA has a sort of “right of passage” that comes with irritating them, and knocking out their public facing website happens to be one of them. What concerns me though is how LulzSec and “Anonymous” (A collective of *chan memberbases) have been turned against each other.
Normally I’m all for pointless internet rivalries, god knows it was hilarious watching Ebaums world turn the DD0S attack from Newgrounds, Something Awful, and others right back at them. But in this case I am concerned over the nature of the LulzSec targets. On the exterior, if I were to review the target list, it remind me of targets that might have been selected by the *chan’s userbase earlier on (2007 / 2008) and hence I would simply attribute this to the often used language of “Old Fag”. The targets they have selected are based purely on what they would be capable of taking down in addition to which of those that they could take down that would cause the most distress. If one is to assume that LulzSec is getting their lulz from just pissing people off, than their target list makes perfect sense. You go after gamers, the government, and the tech savvy and irritate the daylights out of them. The problem of course is that if I were putting together that list, it would look like a perfect justification to start tightening the wrench on the internet and its security.
The Government is already irritated with their data being leaked on sites like Wikileaks, forcing transparency in situations they weren’t looking to be transparent. Lulzsec presents a new level of irritation, one to the general public. By knocking out things like Eve Online for extended periods of time, it is almost as if they are wishing to taunt the already voracious gaming community into a frenzy. The thing about gamers is that most of them are incompetent about technology (Sad Truth). They will talk about these fantastic 4-year-old technologies that their console system just implemented, and then proceed to tell me why it is amazing that their computer game gets 60 FPS. Meanwhile, algorithm development continues in areas where the primary focus is not “how shiny can we make the water”. As such, in irritating them, they represent a real threat to those in the industry who are aware of what passing regulations regarding internet traffic could do.
It is interesting the Lulzsec would show up now, after the Wikileaks founder simply disappears from the map in terms of Media Coverage. In addition, the schism between the *Chans /Reddit and Lulzsec presents an interesting divide in how far people might be willing to go. I think we can state with some verifiability that Lulzsec is not choosing their target list based on the greater good, they are simply choosing targets that will get the most laughs on their part. As Anonymous the group has shifted more from that lulzcentric attitude into this sort of Chaotic Good force in the world, attempting to use their collaborative efforts to bring about slactavist revolutions it may rub the wrong way with Lulzsesc’s more chaotic neutral character.
These two groups being at a crossroad is exactly what others need in order to try to dismantle them; because, if you can prove one as a guilty party, than you have just enough room to work against the other. If they are distracted trying to chase each other (And assuming that Lulzsec is a legitimate organization, and not funded in part by any national body) than we have a real problem. It’s not truly a case of the immovable object vs. the unstoppable force as neither side is all that strong, but it does present a public internal divide between the intentions of the Internet Group Anonymous and Lulzsec. In addition, by drawing such public attention to themselves in a relatively short time, Lulzsec is showing either incredibly bravery in the face of what will likely be a harsh and uncaring rebuttal from the US Security Organizations, or they are actually incompetent.
I would really like to favor the notion that Lulzsec simply has a case of brass balls when it comes to pissing on the FBI and CIA on the same day and telling the rest of the world about it; because, if their not hidden somewhere safe, the CIA has never been good about asking if they can do things.