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Fun Motivates CIA Website Attack

Sophos : 17 June, 2011  (Technical Article)
Sophos comments on the attitude of LulzSec and internet users on the Denial of Service attack on the CIA website, believing this attack may be the last straw for the hacking group

A post to LulzSec's Twitter feed appears to confirm its participation in the attack on the CIA website yesterday, and is one of a long catalogue of attacks in the last few weeks by LulzSec.

LulzSec claims to be exposing security vulnerabilities in websites and organisations for "fun", but a poll conducted yesterday by Sophos discovered that internet users are divided in opinion - 43 percent say hacking into companies is no laughing matter, whereas over 50 percent find some amusement in the hacks.

"While some people think this is a fun game that can also help point out corporate security weaknesses, the truth is that companies and innocent customers are - in the worst cases - having their personal data exposed," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos.  "There are responsible ways to inform a business that its website is insecure, or that it has not properly protected its data.  What's disturbing is that so many internet users appear to support LulzSec."

The results of the poll question, “Do you find LulzSec’s activities amusing” are:

* "Yes, they're funny. And they're making a serious point about security. More power to them!" 39.74%  (585 votes)

* "Yes, they're funny. But I don't approve of what they're doing" 17.12%  (252 votes)

* "No, hacking into companies and launching DDoS attacks is no laughing matter" 43.14%  (635 votes)

Total Votes: 1,472

"Crucially, a denial of service attack - like that which appears to have hit the CIA website - is against the law.  You have to ask yourself if LulzSec has finally bitten off more than it can chew.  After all, they've just poked a very grizzly bear with a pointy stick.  LulzSec's cockiness may be their undoing," added Cluley.

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