June 24, 2011 at 2:34 PM ET
The hackers of LulzSec are faced with the wrath of other hackers who are furious with LulzSec's activities — especially Thursday's unleashing of personal information, including email addresses and phone numbers, of Arizona law enforcement, something LulzSec claims credit for.
The group portrayed itself as pranksters until this week when it allied itself with Anonymous — best-known for its denial-of-service attacks on Visa and MasterCard, which halted online donations during the WikiLeaks controversy — and then also encouraged others to join it in efforts to "open fire on any government or agency" that "crosses their path."
Now, other hackers who stridently disagree with LulzSec's activities are going after the group. One of them, a self-described anti-terrorist hacker known as The Jester, was lampooned by LulzSec Friday on Twitter and in a statement on PasteBin:
Jester's campaign has been ongoing for over 18 months. Our campaign has been ongoing for 2 months. Aside from using a "homemade" DoS tool to down several tiny Jihad websites for 30 minutes at a time (sometimes operating so slowly that he only hits one per week), Jester doesn't seem to have done much else.
We'll not brag too much of our accomplishments, as they speak for themselves on our releases page. 2 months of mayhem with more to come - we declared war on the police and hundreds of internal police documents are released in the same week. 'Nuff said.
LulzSec — "Lulz" is Internet slang for "laughs" and "Sec" is for "security — says it won't "brag too much" about its accomplishments, but that horse is already out of the barn. The bragging began weeks ago, as the group took credit for various denial-of-service attacks, including the CIA and U.S. Senate's public websites, as well as the sites of several video game companies, attacks that brought the sites down and put them out of commission for awhile.
Now its biggest enemy may be itself.
"LulzSec seems to be imploding a bit with the pressure put on them by their own interpersonal issues as well as the likes of th3j35t3r (The Jester) and the Web Ninja’s on their backs as well," wrote Scot Terban on Infosec Island, a website for IT and security professionals.
He cites LulzSec's "tactical failures that are directly leading to their ultimate party van special that seems to be coming soon," including being blabby-mouthed about their activities.
"Perhaps some of these guys will actually skate because they were smart enough to keep some of their personal details ... well ... personal," Terban wrote. "LulzSec seems to have misunderstood that secrecy is really really important when you are doing something like a digital insurgency."
In Friday's Guardian, Charles Arthur and Josh Halliday also suggest the party may be over soon:
The trouble with hacking for glory — as LulzSec ... are doing — is that you want everyone to know what you've done, but you don't want anyone to know who you actually are. And the combination of human nature, where people want their due respect, and the internet, where every action leaves some sort of trace, means there will always be tensions between carrying out acts and denying that you carried them out.
And, the two noted, that like gangs, hackers have "similar problems: the twin threats from rival gangs and from law enforcement":
The latter move more slowly, but are more dangerous; the former are quicker and can draw in the latter. LulzSec have prompted the ire of a powerful hacker, The Jester, an American ex-military operator who works alone. The Jester is only one of a number of rival hackers threatening to blow the lid off LulzSec. Others are angry too, calling LulzSec "suicide bombers of the internet" for their lack of any clear agenda; the attack on the Arizona police (on the grounds that LulzSec dislikes its proposed immigration laws) will not assuage that anger.
Hacking group Web Ninjas ("If LuzSec can expose security holes, we can expose their holes") puts it another way, albeit simpler and more idealistic: "Bad Guys might seem to be on top for sometime but always Good wins over Bad."