Arik Hesseldahl

Recent Posts by Arik Hesseldahl

LulzSec Shrugs After Scotland Yard Nabs Hacking Suspect (Updated)

The arrest of an alleged hacker in the U.K. by Scotland Yard has led to some fevered speculation that the first true arrest in the case of the LulzSec gang may have just occurred. However, the group itself denied, via its Twitter feed, that any of its members have been arrested.

The arrest of a 19-year-old came in the wake of word that the U.K.’s Office for National Statistics is looking into the possibility that some data from the 2011 Census may have been stolen. There was a claim on Pastebin by someone claiming to be part of LulzSec that they had conducted just such an attack. On its Twitter feed, LulzSec denied any role in attacking the U.K. Census, but it expressed support.


Seems the glorious leader of LulzSec got arrested, it’s all over now… wait… we’re all still here! Which poor bastard did they take down?
@LulzSec
The Lulz Boat

LulzSec, of course, is the group that claims to have hacked several Sony Web sites, as well as a Nintendo site, then the gaming servers of a couple of companies. It has also attacked the Web site of the CIA and of private affiliates of the FBI. As recently as yesterday it claimed to have carried out a denial-of-service attack against a British police agency.

Scotland Yard isn’t yet saying much about the arrest, but did say in a statement that it was in connection with computer attacks carried out against several companies, including denial of service attacks that LulzSec has been openly bragging about for days. It also said it is cooperating with the FBI.

The Wall Street Journal quoted a source familiar with the matter saying that the person arrested “may be a member of LulzSec,” but that can be difficult to pin down in these situations. The person could be merely a sympathizer emulating LulzSec’s methods but without taking the same care to avoid detection. Or it may be a person operating on the fringes of the group in some way.

For what it’s worth, there was yet another claim by the group Web Ninjas, a rival faction that says it wants to expose LulzSec members, that the person arrested goes by the name Ryan and that his is just the first arrest of several that are coming. “Well bad news for LulzSec, count your days as we count your heads, How about this for LULZ?” they wrote. The Web Ninjas go on to describe “Ryan” as the administrator of the IRC chat server supposedly used by LulzSec. But as I said yesterday, it’s difficult to sort out all these claims and counterclaims. We have, of course, seen similar claims before.

Meanwhile, if LulzSec is worried, it isn’t showing any evidence of it. It’s promising to publish more data it has been given.


Thank you to the supporters who have assisted in leaks. Like @, our sources remain anonymous. Leak payloads are being decided now.
@LulzSec
The Lulz Boat

Update: LulzSec is now confirming at least some of the Web Ninja account. In a series of Twitter updates starting about an hour ago, the group said that the person initially identified as Ryan “is not a member of LulzSec,” though the group does acknowledge a connection. See the tweets below, one of which links to a Sky News report that I’ve embedded further down.


Ryan Cleary is not part of LulzSec; we house one of our many legitimate chatrooms on his IRC server, but that’s it. http://t.co/98VflEi
@LulzSec
The Lulz Boat


Clearly the UK police are so desperate to catch us that they’ve gone and arrested someone who is, at best, mildly associated with us. Lame.
@LulzSec
The Lulz Boat

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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald