Arik Hesseldahl

Recent Posts by Arik Hesseldahl

LulzSec Strikes Again, Hits Bethesda Softworks And U.S. Senate

Having been hinting about it via Twitter all day, the hacker group LulzSec made good on its promise to release data taken from gaming publisher Bethesda Softworks, in a message posted to Pastebin.

It then added a second file to its release: A server configuration file for the servers used on the U.S. Senate’s Web site. No sensitive information was released in that message, though it’s clear from the file that it was taken from U.S. Senate servers and indicates the group has somehow penetrated that system.

“We don’t like the US government very much,” the group explained. “Their boats are weak, their lulz are low, and their sites aren’t very secure. In an attempt to help them fix their issues, we’ve decided to donate additional lulz in the form of owning them some more! This is a small, just-for-kicks release of some internal data from – is this an act of war, gentlemen? Problem?”

The “Act of War” reference refers to a new finding by the U.S. Department of Defense that says the U.S. can consider cyberattacks and sabotage against U.S. networks and infrastructure an act of war that can be met with traditional force.

Earlier in the day, LulzSec claimed to have compromised Bethesda’s servers “two months ago” and had been saving the files taken for a later date. The file released was said to contain everything LulzSec took in the attack except one key batch of information: 200,000 user names and passwords for players of the online game Brink. “We actually like this company and would like for them to speed up the production of Skyrim, so we’ll give them one less thing to worry about. You’re welcome!”

(Image via deviantART user Biozz who is apparently a LulzSec fan.)

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work