Attacks on websites by various groups including the infamous LulzSec are becoming so regular it is hard to keep up with just who is attacking who, so we’ve decided to sum up what has happened in the last few days.
The wave of cyber attacks, primarily carried out by Anonymous-offshoot LulzSec, recently came to the general public’s attention earlier this week when 19-year-old Ryan Cleary was arrested in Wickford, Essex and charged with a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack on the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA). LulzSec denied that Cleary was a member of its group saying he only hosted a forum for them. The group has come under more and more intense scrutiny in recent days as various groups and individuals attempt to unveil who is behind LulzSec. The latest attack the group is taking credit for is on the Arizona Department of Public Safety (AZDPS), which it attacked because of tough immigration laws "and the racial profiling anti-immigrant police state that is Arizona." The group released confidential details of staff, emails and correspondence on public file-sharing sites. Officers from AZDPS told reporters from Associated Press that they have been inundated with calls from strangers who obtained their personal phone numbers following the cyber attack. LulzSec went on to say it was planning on releasing more classified documents and “embarrassing personal details” in the coming days.
With LulzSec becoming more and more high-profile, it has attracted the attention of rival hackers who are trying to uncover the people behind LulzSec. One of those is The Jester, a former US-military member, who said on Twitter that he had tracked down the groups’ website to an ISP in Malaysia. This morning it was initially thought that the same hacker had taken down the LulzSec website but another hacker, known as Oneiroi, claimed credit for the attack. He wrote on his blog: “I'm afraid I'm unable to post a mission statement at this time. I'd like to let the public know that phase one of OPERATION SUPERNOVA has been successful. Lulzsecurity.com is Tango down at this time. The attack will stop by Midnight PST. Also, Cloudflare is not my target. Please don't argue that lulzsec is up. Cloudflare creates a backup of the website. It's doing its job. I want to make it bloody clear that Cloudflare isn't my target." While The Jester didn’t attack the website he did post information about the person who he believed was leading the LulzSec group. A long-term hacker known as Sabu is apparently the person leading the hacktivist group. This afternoon, in what will be another blow to the group, LulzSec's private chat room logs have bene published on the Guardian's website having been obtained by a former member called m_nerva.
In the UK, in what appears to be a completely unrelated attack, budget hotel chain TravelLodge has had its customer database stolen but has denied that financial information was taken. A statement from the company said: “It would appear a third party has managed to obtain customer names and email addresses.” Customers in that database have reported being targeted with spam email as a result of the data theft. However on the TravelLodge Twitter account the company said that only a “small number” of customers received a spam email. TravelLodoge informed the Information Commissioner’s Office yesterday and today an official investigation was launched.