LONDON — After 50 days of wreaking cyber-caper havoc, Lulz Security says it's done and will sail into the horizon.
The group has stolen mountains of personal data in a dozen different hacks, embarrassing law enforcement on both sides of the Atlantic while boasting about the stunts online.
LulzSec made its name by defacing the site of the U.S. Public Broadcasting Service, or PBS, with an article claiming that rapper Tupac Shakur was still alive. It has since claimed hacks on major entertainment companies, FBI partner organizations, a pornography website and the Arizona Department of Public Safety, whose documents were leaked to the Web late Thursday.
But at midnight GMT (7 p.m. EDT) Saturday, the group announced its final release.
"For the past 50 days we've been disrupting and exposing corporations, governments, often the general population itself, and quite possibly everything in between, just because we could," the LulzSec statement said. "All to selflessly entertain others — vanity, fame, recognition, all of these things are shadowed by our desire for that which we all love. The raw, uninterrupted, chaotic thrill of entertainment and anarchy."
"While we are responsible for everything that The Lulz Boat is, we are not tied to this identity permanently," the group said.
Hacking group has its own hackers — and hubris
The group thanked supporters for sailing with it.
"The breeze is fresh and the sun is setting, so now we head for the horizon."
LulzSec, whose name draws on Internetspeak for "laughs," has about 270,000 followers on the messaging site Twitter. Although LulzSec has declined interview requests, it has laid out its prankster philosophy in "tweets" and press releases.
"Vigilantes? Nope. Cyber terrorists? Nope. We have no political motives — we do it for the lulz," the group said in a message sent shortly after it emerged in early May.
LulzSec's Twitter mascot is a black-and-white cartoon dandy that looks like a cross between Mr. Peanut and The New Yorker magazine's monocle man. Its rambling messages are peppered with references to YouTube sensation Rebecca Black, the Dungeons and Dragons role playing game and tongue-in-cheek conspiracy theory.
Many attacks have yielded sensitive information including usernames and passwords — nearly 38,000 of them, in the case of Sony Pictures. Others appear to have been just for kicks. In a stunt last week, LulzSec directed hundreds of telephone calls to the customer service line of Magnets.com, a New Jersey-based manufacturer of custom refrigerator magnets.
LulzSec's actions against government and corporate websites are reminiscent of those taken by the much larger, more amorphous group known as Anonymous. That group has launched Internet campaigns against the music industry, the Church of Scientology, and Middle Eastern dictatorships, among others.
LulzSec hacks Arizona law enforcement info
On Tuesday, 19-year-old Ryan Cleary was arrested as part of a joint FBI-Scotland Yard investigation into hackings linked to both LulzSec and Anonymous.
British Police Commissioner Paul Stephenson described Cleary's arrest as "very significant," although LulzSec has shrugged off the development amid claims of independence and promised more spectacular hacks.
A timeline of Lulz Security's international hacking spree:
Early May: LulzSec sets up shop on Twitter and claims its first series of hacks, leaking what it says is a database of "X Factor" contestants and attacking Fox.com.
May 30: LulzSec breaks into the website of the U.S. Public Broadcasting Service, or PBS, posting a phony story claiming that dead rapper Tupac Shakur is actually alive in New Zealand. The hack came after the broadcaster aired a documentary seen as critical of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. PBS's ombudsman defends the program's treatment of Assange as "tough but proper."
June 2: LulzSec announces that it has broken into Sony Pictures Entertainment, posting the usernames, passwords, email addresses and phone numbers of tens of thousands of people, many of whom had given the company their information for sweepstakes draws. The group said it had compromised about 1 million accounts but could only leak a small selection. Sony calls in the FBI.
June 3: The hackers strike again, this time announcing that they've stolen about 180 passwords from the Atlanta chapter of an FBI partner organization called InfraGard. The group also claims to have used one of the passwords to steal nearly 1,000 emails from Unveillance LLC, an Internet surveillance company in Delaware. Among the emails is a report outlining how Libya's oil infrastructure could be compromised by sophisticated computer viruses.
June 10: LulzSec leaks what it says is a database of email addresses and passwords belonging to users of an established pornography website. A handful appear to belong to U.S. Army personnel.
June 13: LulzSec attacks the U.S. Senate, although there doesn't appear to be much damage. A law enforcement official says that a public-facing server was accessed and that no other files were breached. The group also claims to have stolen information on more than 200,000 users from video game company Bethesda Softworks, which makes games such as "Brink" and "Fallout: New Vegas."
June 16: LulzSec claims responsibility for technical problems with the CIA's public website.
June 20: LulzSec claims to have hit another branch of InfraGard — this time in Connecticut — compromising several hundred more accounts. The group also claims responsibility for bringing down the public website of Britain's FBI equivalent, the Serious Organized Crime Agency.
June 21: A 19-year-old Brit is arrested on suspicion of cybercrime following a joint FBI-Scotland Yard investigation. He's later charged with attacking the Serious Organized Crime Agency. British police have hailed the arrest as a significant development, but LulzSec says his involvement with the group was only tangential. The teen has yet to enter a plea.
I'll believe it when I see it!
Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain!
Hmm I think some kind of tactics. Because they stated To increase efforts, we are now teaming up with the Anonymous collective and all affiliated battleships. so which one is true ??? Keep your eyes open guys .
I don't need to know everything, I just need to know where to find it, when I need it.
The raw, uninterrupted, chaotic thrill of entertainment and anarchy."
Just because they could.... if it's just for the thrill i can think of a few games that would keep them entertained... at least their mothers should have them tucked up in bed at this time...........
@ Indra The exact same thought crossed my mind also
@Jay...and sent them to bed without supper also!at least their mothers should have them tucked up in bed at this time
I'll believe it when I see it. Though I did find out one of my friends needs a hobby, since he's trying to egg them back on.
Honestly, I don't think they're done. And if so, good. But I just can't see that.
pacman -Syyu life not found in sync db
We would like to think it's over to be honest, but my feeling on it is the same, either they will carry on or change the name...glory hunters now have a taste for havoc... lets hope the law bends their ears a bit and your friend can post here giving them a hobby
I see, i don't think they need any more support, maybe untill this group ruins something he likes or supports... never could understand hackers myself, unless they where the kind that performed tweaks.