At 5:48 PM yesterday, hacker group Lulzsec claimed responsibility for taking down the CIA.gov website with a distributed denial of service attack. According to news outlets, the site was down or only intermittently accessibly until about 8:00 PM.
Since the CIA site is publicly accessible, the likelihood that any sensitive information was compromised during the attack is highly unlikely. That doesn’t make this attack any less embarrassing for the CIA, who surely do not take kindly to such provocations. While taking down the spy agency’s website may seem like no mean feat, Lulzsec claimed on their Twitter feed that it was far from their “biggest” operation. For that, they directed users to a torrent of data gleaned from an intrusion into Sony’s networks.
Lulzsec followed up their attack by releasing over 62,000 password and email combinations for various web services, which apparently included Facebook and dating websites.
The attack came fresh on the heels of this week’s Titanic Takeover Tuesday, in which the hacker group took down several online gaming sites including League of Legends and Minecraft upon request from fans via Twitter and by phone. The attack on the CIA is also not the first government agency targeted by Lulzsec, who claimed responsibility for hacking the Senate website.
While the group has certainly made a name for itself since bursting onto the scene not long ago, their origins are still unclear. The group claims to be born out of the infamous /b/ thread on 4-chan, but has been quick to distance itself from the hacker group Anonymous which apparently shares that origin.This fracturous background may have some unintended consequences; there are reports that denizens of 4-chan’s video game thread responded to the Titanic Takeover Tuesday and Lulzsec’s chides on Twitter by DDOSing sites related to the group. The interaction between these online groups will certainly be interesting to watch play out, provided we can all keep clear of the collateral damage.
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