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LulzSec and Anonymous unite for Operation Anti-Security

AntiSecDespite some speculation about an alleged rift between hacktivist groups LulzSec and Anonymous (which was swiftly denied), the two underground organizations have teamed up to take on the lack of government transparency. According to a LulzSec press release, the two will declare “immediate and unremitting war on the freedom-snatching moderators of 2011.”

Dubbing their effort Operation Anti-Security (#AntiSec for Twitter purposes), LulzSec and Anonymous will unite forces to expose faulty handling of user data or poor security measures. While the two groups both have similar operations, their targets and public profiles differ. Anonymous has a business-oriented approach and tends to hack oppressive governments or reportedly corrupt businesses; LulzSec, on the other hand, openly mocks its victims and doesn’t shy away from showmanship. It also makes no qualms about punishing vulnerable sites simply for their lack of security measure. Regardless of who exactly is behind these sects, security firm and government websites (which have frequently been at their mercy) should take notice. “Top priority is to steal and leak any classified government information, including email spools and documentation. Prime targets are banks and other high-ranking establishments,” the statement reads.

These groups aren’t all talk. Gaming companies’ web properties aren’t the only ones affected by the hackers, and the likes of the CIA and security firm HB Gary have also been successfully infiltrated. The site for UK-based Serious Organised Crime Agency was taken down earlier this morning, which LulzSec claimed responsibility for. It has since been restored.

A new era of Internet warfare has been ushered in by these hacktivist groups, and they’ve proven that hardly anyone is safe. How long these operations will last is unknown, and both groups largely claim they genuinely want to bring attention to Web privacy issues as well as the insecure sites consumers put their faith and personal data in. “Do you feel safe with your Facebook accounts, your Google Mail accounts, your Skype accounts? What makes you think a hacker isn’t silently sitting inside all of these right now, sniping out individual people, or perhaps selling them off? You are a peon to these people. A toy. A string of characters with a value,” LulzSec says. “This is what you should be fearful of, not us releasing things publicly.”

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Molly McHugh
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Before coming to Digital Trends, Molly worked as a freelance writer, occasional photographer, and general technical lackey…
Report: Second quarter ‘one of worst on record’ for online security
report second quarter one of worst on record for online security hacking

A new report issued today by Panda Security has found that the period between April and June of this year was "one of the worst on record" for online security.  Panda Security cites the high-profile hijinx carried out by hacktivist outfits Anonymous and LulzSec as sterling examples of the increasing dangers for businesses and organizations operating on the Internet -- particularly those that store sensitive information in online databases.
One wouldn't expect Panda Security, a company that's in the security business, to see hacktivist groups in a favorable light. And its report doesn't pull any punches in describing the activities of LulzSec and Anonmyous.
"[Members of Anonymous] claim that their activities are ’peaceful protests’, despite their actions are purposefully enacted to cause economic loss and completely illegal," reads the report. "They say they represent everyone’s ‘best interest’ but are not brave enough to appear publicly, hiding instead behind their pseudonym."
And the report holds LulzSec in even lower regard: " In my opinion, if you took the most irresponsible and brainless members of Anonymous and put them all together, they would be considered the most refined gentlemen compared to LulzSec."
Hacktivists traditionally claim that they're exploits are in part motivated by a desire to expose shoddy security measures employed by companies that should know better. Whether hacking companies databases and posting their customers' personal information is the best way to go about achieving that goal is up for debate.
Last month, both Anonymous and LulzSec put aside their supposed differences for a collaborative effort intended to promote government transparency. They called the venture "Operation: Anti-Security."
Panda Security's report isn't all caught up in high-profile hacking. Malware continues to be a major threat with Panda Security reporting an average of 42 variants being created every minute throughout the quarter. The second quarter of 2011 also saw the first large-scale trojan attack directed towards Mac users. The attack was carried out by a program masquerading as a anti-virus program called MacDefender. Apple has since released a patch to prevent MacDefender from infecting its OS X operating system.

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LulzSec changes wardrobe, hits Brazil, Anguilla and Zimbabwe governments as AntiSec

If you had any thoughts that LulzSec had been cowed and beaten back into the cybermire, those thoughts were premature. AntiSec, the combined monster of Anonymous and LulzSec, is ravaging the country side. Or rather, countries. Operation Anti-Security is dumping batches of information onto MediaFire taken from the servers of multiple countries' governments.
“Aye, we may get a nice little chest full of fine booty ready for release later today. Expect a surprise,” the voice of LulzSec tweeted on AnonymousIRC, the new Twitter vehicle for the group. The hackers later proceeded to dump batches of information, first from the Anguilla Government, then the Brazillians, then Zimbabwe as well as Australia. There is even data from US companies. The anti-government hackers promised to put it all into a convenient torrent on Tuesday, along with more data from US companies and surprises.
The group prefaces each new upload with, “A wild leak appears”. The content they upload ranges in specificity from general server data snatched from Anguilla, to passwords ripped from Brazillian servers, to a SQL-Dump of all Zimbabwe servers starting with the small userbase of Zimbabwe. The hacktivists wrote, “currently uploading about everything about Zimbabwe Government on Internet there is to know. Who actually likes Robert Mugabe? # AntiSec”.
There's no statement as to the purpose of today's rapid fire exposure of countries' servers, other than pushing for the latest conquests of the Operation Anti-Security unification. These recent MediaFire uploads, as well as the Anonymous takeover of the Tunisian government website follow LulzSec's announcement that it would retire after 50 days of wreaking havoc. Prior to this, Lulz Security notoriously attacked PBS, the CIA and stole date from Arizona law enforcement.
“Yes, my fellows. We may be not quite as funny, but we can assure you: We sail in the same spirit. LulzSec = Anonymous”, the group tweeted to anyone foolish enough to believe them truly gone.

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Anonymous releases counter-hacking manual
lulzsec wages war with anonymous and 4chan releases 62000 logins

With Lulz Security now on permanent hiatus, fellow hacker group Anonymous has filled in the gap with the release of a "counter-cyberterrorism" manual from the US Department of Homeland Security. According to ABC News, which was first to sort through the 650 MB file posted to MegaUpload, the release was originally thought to have come from a certain private security firm whose website went offline soon after Anonymous released the data. It was later found that the information actually comes from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which originally produced the "Counter Terrorism Defense Initiative" training program in 2009. Accordring to the program's website (which has since been taken offline), the "SENTINAL" program — short for "Security and Network Training Initiative and National Education Laboratory" — "is a national initiative to educate technical personnel in cyberterrorism response and prevention." The program was intended for employees of "public safety, law enforcement, state and local government, public utilities, colleges and universities, and health care providers." And it "focuses on enhancing the prevention, preparedness, and response capabilities of local, state, tribal, and rural public safety jurisdictions."It does not appear that the release contains much that wasn't already publicly available on the Internet. It does, however, provide a list of all the Federal Bureau of Investigation office locations throughout the United States. Other contents of note include stock letters for officially requesting user information from Internet service providers, and various hacking and coutner-hacking tools. In short, there's really nothing much here that a determined person couldn't have found without hacking a single thing.
Regardless of the value of the release, the action shows that the hackers are far from finished. This release is part of the "AntiSec" (anti-cybersecurity) campaign launched by Anonymous and LulzSec (before it disbanded). According to @AnonymousIRC, a 100,000-follower strong Twitter feed that reports on the group's escapades, "all @LulzSec members" are onboard with the #AntiSec campaign. While LulzSec claims that it planned from the beginning to remain a coherent group for 50 days before splitting up, some believe the hacker sect called it quits after a rival gang of hackers, A-Team, released what it claims are the identities and online properties of all of LulzSec's members.

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