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updated 6/20/2011 3:47:35 PM ET 2011-06-20T19:47:35

The Lulz Security hackers have declared war.

Already notorious for breaking into U.S. Senate and Fox Broadcast Network servers, and knocking the CIA's website offline, Lulz Security (LulzSec) issued a call to arms yesterday (June 19) encouraging online attacks against organizations LulzSec believes are threatening the freedom and openness of the Internet.

"Welcome to Operation Anti-Security (#AntiSec) — we encourage any vessel, large or small, to open fire on any government or agency that crosses their path," LulzSec announced on its Twitter page.

LulzSec's nautical-themed battle cry urges people to deface government websites with the phrase "AntiSec," and exhorts: "Whether you're sailing with us or against us, whether you hold past grudges or a burning desire to sink our lone ship, we invite you to join the rebellion. Together we can defend ourselves so that our privacy is not overrun by profiteering gluttons."

LulzSec's manifesto could have far-reaching and potentially damaging effects.

The group says in its manifesto that is has partnered with the Anonymous hackers, infamous for their high-profile takedowns of MasterCard, PayPal, Sony's PlayStation Store and several government websites.

UPDATE: LulzSec's first target has been struck. Shortly after 12 p.m. EDT, the group announced via Twitter that it had launched an attack on soca.gov.uk, the website of the United Kingdom's Serious Organised Crime Agency. The distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack took down the website intermittently, although it is back online now.

But a follow-up tweet hints that subsequent attacks on other sites may be more damaging.

"DDoS is of course our least powerful and most abundant ammunition," the post reads. "Government hacking is taking place right now behind the scenes."

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