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

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread

  1. icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 7 Mar 2012 @ 10:25am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Just a simple point...

    And the rest??

    Or were you just looking to make 1 point where you could shine. You made several logical leaps yourself in the original answer with even less evidence.

    Al Qaeda seems to have no problem recruiting new members, but very few are the true believer types ready to make the ultimate sacrifice.
    This might be helped along by the heavy handed Western approach where if your not Christan your wrong.
    CIA experts helping NYPD target people who have committed the ultimate crime of being brown and Muslim.
    NYPD agents stationed around the world acting in some super capacity to stop "terror".
    NYPD agents going camping to keep an eye on shifty Muslim students, who must be guilty for belonging to a religion that is not understood and feared.
    From horrible acts many people are happy to hang out all brown, Muslims as terrorists waiting to happen. Should we be looking cross eyed at white Christians?
    They do have a history of killing minorities, committing murder in the name of their "god", and bombing clinics.

    Or maybe it is trying to apply the model of Al Qaeda being like a foriegn nation that is causing the problems. The broadbrush strokes that all Muslims can be converted to being a suicide bomber because of their religion. That they operate like a nationstate that can just be stopped if we take out the leaders. I think it should be fairly clear that what they have been doing is actually making the problem worse, but then keeping people scared of terror keeps them from asking where their civil rights went.

    Now about the rest of what I said...

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter

Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Techdirt Gear
Show Now: Takedown
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads


Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.