Skip to main content

So Long & Thanks For All The Lulz: How LulzSec Actually HELPED Online Security

It would be easy to dismiss Lulzsec as just another hacker group that attacks and pilfers from websites collecting booty from all around the internet; the entity behind the Lulz Security website, for a change, did not try to hide its acts and was more than happy to bask in the limelight of celebrity.

One could controversially compare the impact of Lulzsec on the world of security to what 9/11 did to the common psyche of the American people. From now on, there will be a Lulzsec AD and BC, a turning point in the timeline of the internet which may have a longer lasting effect than many might expect, for a number of reasons.

First, it shows how excruciatingly vulnerable some of the biggest and most trusted organisations on the planet are; various governments, UK's NHS, Sony, Nintendo, the CIA, the FBI, SOCA, just to name a few.

Secondly, it highlights how appealing hackers can be to the web populace in an increasingly bi-polar internet ecosystem. In just over 50 days, Lulzsec's Twitter account got more than 280,000 followers, tens of thousands of whom have migrated to Anonymous which, until then, had seven times less members.

To some extent, Lulzsec, with Operation Antisec, is emulating what Al Qaeda did years before by enlisting support from quasi-autonomous groups from all parts of the world and bestowing the "Anonymous" or "Lulzsec" franchise on them.

Thirdly, and it is a belief shared by many (opens in new tab), Lulzsec's rise to fame did more good to the security segment than harm; expect a surge in demand over the next few months (with an accompanying rise in salary) for security related jobs like Network security engineers, System security penetration testers, Technical IT security consultants etc.

Désiré Athow
Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.