Attacking The Hacker Hydra: Why FBI's LulzSec Takedown May Backfire

from the top-down-approach-to-a-bottom-up-threat dept

Interesting timing. Just about the same time that we had our story concerning how LulzSec kept its own site from getting hacked, the news was breaking that the key leaders of LulzSec were being arrested, in large part because the "leader" of the group had become an FBI informant after they tracked him down last year. Of the various hacking efforts out there, LulzSec has definitely been the most brazen, so it's not a huge surprise that it would be targeted by the FBI. Also, unlike "Anonymous," LulzSec was pretty clearly an effort by a few key individuals, rather than a loose collective of folks joining and leaving at will.

As I've been saying since these various groups started their various hacking and vandalism campaigns, I think these efforts are a really bad idea, and don't do much to further the supposed causes that they're trying to support. They're only going to lead to backlash, as we're already seeing in government officials using these groups as an excuse to try to make a power grab over the wider internet.

Given that, as I've said in the past, I haven't been surprised to see the various arrests of folks supposedly associated with Anonymous or LulzSec. I expect that we'll continue to hear such stories -- in part because these kinds of stories are likely to provoke more of the same type of activity. Law enforcement keeps claiming that these arrests will frighten off others, but that shows a typical lack of understanding of what's going on. As counterproductive as these activities are, it's pretty clear that this isn't about criminal activity for the sake of criminal activity, but about dissatisfaction with what's going on in the world -- and, as such, the arrests are actually only likely to create more such activity, which is the exact opposite of what law enforcement should be seeking to do.

Not understanding who they're dealing with, and taking a top down approach to a bottom up threat, seems to be a specialty of US law enforcement.

Again, I think that the actual efforts by these folks are incredibly counterproductive and set up this "battle-siege" mentality, when the folks involved in all of this could be much more strategic in using their skills for good, rather than destruction. But that doesn't mean that we should ignore the reality of why it's happening, or how it's likely to continue to evolve. More groups will pop up, more hacks will happen and (I'm sure) more disaffected skilled computer hackers will be arrested. But none of that (either the hacking or the arrests) is likely to bring us any closer to actually dealing with the problems that created this mentality in the first place.

Filed Under: anonymous, bottom up, fbi, hacking, lulzsec, top down


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  1. icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 7 Mar 2012 @ 7:41am

    Re: Re: Just a simple point...

    "AQ is now very disorganized,"
    [CITATION NEEDED]

    Because if this were true would we be having our private parts fondled by TSA workers to keep us "safe"?
    It seems the narrative they want to use about Al Qaeda is they are a real super threat, and other times they want to make them appear to be anything but a real threat. Please pick 1.

    "It's a group of people with the same goals, to perpetrate illegal acts, to hack systems, and to cause problems for companies that oppose their points of view."

    So what your saying is they are the **AA's?

    "that anonymous was much more structured than anyone wants to admit"

    No, what you are seeing is a buncha FBI people patting themselves on the back and trying to create the illusion that this was a super sekrit society lead by a small group. Kind of like the "Lone Wolf Terrorists" they keep catching, after they spend the time to push them towards being more radicalized. Your also confusing LulzSec with Anonymous.

    "why would a flat, loose group have a spokesman, or have anyone who feels they are a spokesman?"

    You pretend Anonymous elected him or appointed him to that position in an international talent show. Contestants are judges first on looks, then on talent, and finally on evening gown. Newt Gingrich identifies as a conservative, and yet has committed serial adultery and other ethically questionable acts. Just because someone identifies as something does not defacto make them that now does it?

    "You don't want to do the time? Don't do the crime."

    Funny anything LulzSec is accused of doing during this time is still just allegations. Shall we also point out that they didn't cause the worldwide economic meltdown, and those who did commit that crime still face no time.

    Saving 2 small children from state care more than likely was the motivation not saving his own ass, but I do enjoy you trying to keep the narrative of hes a self centered ass going. Trying to sow fear and misinformation is a tried and true tactic, but you seem to have underestimated your audience.

    At no point did I say he was a perfect angel, because I have yet to hear a jury make a decision. That decision will not be coming as the legal system is stacked against those without money and power.
    As for wrongdoing, shall we cover the greatest hits of the FBI and DOJ?

    Do you even know what LulzSec did during their reign of "terror"?
    Showing the state of online security among major corporations to be completely flawed and/or nonexistent.
    Showing that it is the customer who always bears the burden to clean up the mess, not the corporation who is shielded from their own stupidity.
    They mocked the FBI - ooooh.
    So given all of the crimes happening right now, they focused on a group of hackers. Anyone feel safer yet?

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