LulzSec & Anonymous – Online Heroes Or Dangerous, Reckless Hackers?

Ads by Google

anonymous hackersBy now, you’re probably aware of the mayhem and mischief that both LulzSec and Anonymous have claimed responsibility for. If not, I’m here to educate you. Both seem to have a feared and revered reputation as defiant hacktivists that accept no compromise. Although these two groups seem as close as cousins by nature, both have their distinct differences that we’ll venture into briefly.

One question still seems up in the air and at a divide in the public: Are these the good guys or the bad guys? The media often portrays them as vigilante villains and the internet seems to embrace them as defenders of freedom and transparency. While the answer to that question is difficult and often dodgy, I’m going to address the situation without bias. Afterwards, I want your opinion in the comments.

Anonymous

Famously sporting the Guy Fawkes mask and appearing at sensationalized protest after protest, it’s strange to fathom that a group with such a name is is so popular in today’s world.

Anonymous became relevant in 2003, birthed by the majority default of Futaba-based imageboards. These imageboards (and one, especially, that you all know I am talking about) are often shunned into deep web as sewers of the internet. Seen as cesspools filled with questionable images and other content, trivial inside jokes (“memes”), and internet trolls and bullies extraordinaire, it’s really no wonder why mainstream internet tries to tuck them away.

The most obvious snag with the Anonymous hacker group is the fact that there is no leader or figurehead. Anonymity comes with its disadvantages, and this is definitely one of them. As a whole, the group seems very unorganized and out there. Official membership is achieved by simply concealing your identity as you carry out your activities online. The entire group seems like an umbrella over several smaller factions. LulzSec itself is often described as a sort of subsidiary of Anonymous. Anonymous has often been often cited as a major contributing pool to WikiLeaks.

anonymous hackers

Ads by Google

As Anonymous matured (and I say that carefully), the impact of their hacks and pranks began to magnify. Early in formation, you could find the group participating in:

I can’t point out any true acts of heroism there. Hal Turner isn’t an angel, but none of this is progressive. As time passed, Anonymous grew. Their activities have completely changed:

  • Attack on HBGary Federal, a security company dedicated to the US government
  • Operation Sony, where Sony’s PlayStation Network suffered a breach and ridiculous amounts of downtime
  • Operation Anti-Security, a collaboration with LulzSec dedicated to (maliciously) breaching government websites and security

lulzsec anonymous

Things have started to become pretty serious. There are large-scale hacks. After specifically searching for operations that show any glint of positivity, I’ve come across one:

  • Operation Darknet, where websites harboring child pornography were attacked and personal information of those frequenting and contributing to the websites were posted

This is huge and it is even commendable. There are other ways to go about the situation, but I can’t find a real reason to argue with the outcome. This needed to happen, one way or another.

lulzsec anonymousSeveral plots and attacks have been shrugged off by the majority as unofficial. Operation Facebook, where the Anonymous hackers vowed to take down Facebook, was disbanded. Anonymous’ threat to the NYSE during the recent Occupy Wall Street protests was said to be drafted by outsiders with no pull inside of the group. The attack, which ended up being merely a DDoS attempt on the NYSE website (not the exchange itself), managed to create a hiccup for all of two minutes. Fail, as they say.

The verdict: At best, Anonymous is a group of troublesome trolls and hackers who seem to scapegoat current events and search for an excuse to cause problems. They’re in it for attention and this is not a good group of people overall. Sometimes the chips fall in their favor, but they are not heroes.

LulzSec

When compared to Anonymous, LulzSec was more straightforward. They were also more organized, having only six official members. They seem to have had no issue at all in revealing that their intentions weren’t completely kosher. The group’s motto was “Laughing at your security since 2011!” and they were an organization that did it all “for the lulz.” (It means it was done for their personal entertainment.)

lulzsec anonymous

LulzSec seems to have been a one-off deal and they have since halted all operations. To commemorate the disbandment and “achievements” of the group, LulzSec released the “50 Days of Lulz” on June 26th, 2011. The name plays on the fact that the group was in full and operational swing for exactly 50 days. The release included confidential accounts and passwords across various websites.

Preceding this final release, hacks included:

More small releases took place on the group’s official Twitter, mostly consisting of Pastebin or MediaFire account dumps.

anonymous hackers
Just like Anonymous, LulzSec is no stranger to trying to play protector  (as they did with Sega).

The verdict: LulzSec was a brief run, but that comes with no amnesty. Fortunately, this group seemed not to be concerned with views of the public and media. I don’t think a single member of LulzSec would wholeheartedly argue that the effect of their mischief was anything other than profoundly negative. Problem is, they seem not to care very much.

So, let us hear your opinion after this exposé’. Heroes or villains? This should be an easy one.

Image Credit: DigitalTrends.com

Join live MakeUseOf Groups on Grouvi App Join live Groups on Grouvi
Hacker Groups
Hacker Groups
105 Members
Internet Crimes
Internet Crimes
43 Members
Internet Piracy
Internet Piracy
22 Members
Internet Meme Origins
Internet Meme Origins
21 Members
WWW Fact or Fiction
WWW Fact or Fiction
19 Members
Ads by Google
Comments (17)
  • Hemoseternal

    The down-trodden will rise and a new world will emerge. With our heads held high we march into the oncoming dawn. A Mask of Valor is what we seek. Our world made whole and for the better. We of the shadowed world will make the peoples dreams come true Anonymous shall forever have my support.

  • Jimmydwang

    Everyone on the internet is a troll, anyone who denies trolling is full of donkey semen (speaking of which, I got to go download some German porn).  So who cares if one is or ain’t because just look in the mirror and you find one.

    Anonymous and LulzSec are heroes, want to know why?  They show the power we all have.  The great thing about the internet is this, it gives the common man (there are no women on the internet men are men, women are men, and kids are the FBI) the ability to attack the system that controls us and determines our futures.

    Before we had to all get together and be gunned down by the thugs of the wealthy and powerful.  Now, we can hack the bank accounts, companies, and domains of the wealthy and powerful and destroy their wealth at our whim.  This is the next revolution, this medium will determine the future, these Anonymous trolls are the future (creepy ain’t?).

    “For the time will soon come when trolls will shape the fortunes of all.”

  • Gho5t

    -“With respect, Master Wayne, perhaps this is a man that you don’t fully understand either. A long time ago, I was in Burma. My friends and I were working for the local government. They were trying to buy the loyalty of tribal leaders by bribing them with precious stones. But their caravans were being raided in a forest north of Rangoon by a bandit. So we went looking for the stones. But in six months, we never met anyone who had traded with him. One day I saw a child playing with a ruby the size of a tangerine. The bandit had been throwing them away.”-“So why steal them?”-“Well, because he thought it was good sport. Because some men aren’t looking for anything logical, like money. They can’t be bought, bullied, reasoned or negotiated with. Some men just want to watch the world burn.”-“The bandit, did you catch him?”-“Yes.”-“How?”-“We burned the forest down.”

  • Not_Anonymous…Yet

    The best think about anonymous is that they are not organized, and that they are anonymous!
    Anything that can be controlled WILL be controlled, and if they know who you are you will be pressed for what you believe in if you do not agree with the powers that be.

    EVERYBODY should join/be Anonymous!

    Regarding wikileaks… they were asking for it!
    Assange, like all the other powers that be, just wanted fame and power, he could have published if in freenet, bittorrent or any other p2p network, that way it could not be taken down, but then he would no have control!

  • Anonymous

    Who paid you to write this propaganda? You don’t think taking on Visa and Mastercard for stealing donations and cutting of Wikileaks (you can still donate to the Aryan Nation through the two lovable companies, look it up), is a commendable cause? In fact, you don’t even find, that their greatest operation yet – the operation that made them famous – is worth mentioning?

    “The verdict: At best, Anonymous is a group of troublesome trolls and hackers… They’re in it for attention”That sounds like a bit of a mouthful. The very point of the group is that it is very loosely organised, and yet you don’t feel ashamed to pass judgement on every single “member” while concealing facts and presenting clearly biased estimates as other “facts”.You sir, have failed, and you are awarded 0 internets!

    • Craig Snyder

      Propoganda? Passing judgment? Bias?! Let me first remind you, this is definitely an opinion piece! I can promise you that I’m not concealing anything or being biased in any way, I’m looking at information readily available to me and expressing my opinion. My last interest is going out of my way to find a reason to go against a group that is often known for personally attacking those who choose to do so. Not that I’d be a very big fish in the pond, anyway.

      You’ve conveniently misquoted me though! Here it is again: “At best, Anonymous is a group of troublesome trolls and hackers who seem to scapegoat current events and search for an excuse to cause problems. They’re in it for attention and this is not a good group of people overall.”
      I have a pretty moot opinion about the Visa/MasterCard incident, by reason of being unsure of the motive. You claim (and were probably told) it was in undying, loving support of WikiLeaks. But are you sure? Are you suuure? Are you sure it wasn’t to flex that hacker muscle a little bit and take the spotlight for a few days? Consider it, now. It wouldn’t be the first time! Nonetheless, those credit card companies are privately owned. I’m indifferent about the situation because I’m shielded from the facts on both ends. I’m not going to say allowing donations to any group over another is “immoral” though.

      Let’s tally one for you, you get the point for the Visa/MasterCard incident in this example. Do you have an explanation for the others? Any other incidents you’d care to share that may shift my opinion? I’m all eyes!

    • Anonymous

      What about Chanology? Anon brought the Scientology Sect to light with infographics, websites, videos, harnessing the power of social media.
      They manifested many times and got the media’s attention on the subject. How’s that not a good thing?

    • Ryan Dube

      I agree – I’ve been supporting their efforts at my own blog, and I find both groups to hold honorable and just intentions, and I always agree with the targets that they choose. In fact I cheer ever time I hear about one of their successful infiltrations into some fat-cat, greedy corporate powerhouse that thinks it is invincible and above the law. I personal stand in support of Anonymous and LulzSec…their efforts are long overdue.

      I don’t agree that Craig is passing judgement – he has a right to have an opinion. His opinion was well written and clearly laid out. While I feel he may not fully appreciate the mission of Anonymous, I don’t see any bias or judgement in what he’s written in this article.

Load 10 more
Affiliate Disclamer

This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.
Affiliate Disclamer

This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.