Hacker group LulzSec is once again delving into the realm of political “hacktivism,” releasing more than 700 documents pilfered from the servers of the Arizona Department of Public Safety.
The published documents included hundreds of private intelligence bulletins, training manuals, personal e-mails, classified documents, personnel logs and videos that contained highly sensitive information on drug cartels, gangs, informants, border patrol operations and the names and addresses and other personal information about members of the Arizona Highway Patrol .
LulzSec said that the documents were released to protest Arizona’s Senate Bill 1070, the law that expanded law enforcement’s ability to apprehend and punish illegal immigrants.
“We are targeting AZDPS specifically because we are against SB1070 (the Arizona immigration law) and the racial profiling anti-immigrant police state that is Arizona,” the group said on its Web site. “Every week we plan on releasing more classified documents and embarrassing personal details of military and law enforcement in an effort not just to reveal their racist and corrupt nature but to purposefully sabotage their efforts to terrorize communities fighting an unjust ‘war on drugs,’” LulzSec said.
The Arizona Department of Public Safety hack is one in a long line of highly public government attacks conducted by members of LulzSec, who have also waged successful cyber assaults against Web sites of the U.S. Senate , the CIA and InfraGard, an affiliate of the FBI .
One security expert said that the pervasiveness and popularity of social media has enabled the emergence of large, widely distributed hacker groups that possess the collective skills and wherewithal to hack just about anybody.
Michael Sutton, vice president of security research at cloud security firm Zscaler, said that social networking was a driving force in the sharp uptick of hacktivist attacks -- politically motivated cyber attack -- in part, because “the whole concept of social networking is to provide the infrastructure to bring large, disparate groups together.”
“It used to be small, focused groups that were generally politically motivated and wanted to get their message across,” Sutton said. “Now there are large groups that really have no prior knowledge of one another coming together and assembling very quickly and focusing on a common goal and achieving it. They may not have the guns, but they have the numbers.”
Meanwhile, law enforcement agencies had made attempts in recent weeks to find and crack down on elusive hacker collectives. In a collaborative effort between Scotland Yard and the FBI, 19-year-old Ryan Cleary was arrested in his home in Wikford, England on Monday, on suspicion of being involved with in the attacks on Sony and the http://www.crn.com/news/security/230800003/lulzsec-strikes-again-hits-ci... CIA Web site, among others.
Prior to that, Turkish police arrested 32 alleged members of the hacker group Anonymous while Spanish police arrested three more individuals suspected of being Anonymous hackers.
Following the arrests, however, LulzSec announced it planned to join forces with global hacker collective Anonymous and target governments in politically motivated attacks.
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