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LulzSec launches anti-government crusade, takes down U.K. police site

Gregg Keizer, Computerworld | June 20, 2011
A day after a pair of hacker groups promised to step up their attacks against government Web sites, one of them claimed to have knocked the U.K.'s Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) offline.

"That dopey little groups can embarrass large organizations shows where we're at now, when vulnerabilities get ahead of security due diligence," Pescatore added.

What worries Pescatore isn't LulzSec and groups like it, but the profit-motivated copycats that will invariably appear. "A whole bunch of other people then see how much money can be made from the same techniques," he said.

One Gartner client -- Pescatore would only identify it as a lobbying group for a major religion -- reported a concerted, though not intensive DDoS attack. Shortly after, several other clients, all online electronic retailers, told the research firm that they'd received extortion demands to halt similar attacks.

Pescatore said the LulzSec attacks will also have another side effect. "Governments will want to try to help," he said.

According to Reuters, the Obama administration has pressed Congress to double the maximum sentence for hacking government and private networks to 20 years.

Pescatore said other efforts would pay better dividends. "Companies have to protect themselves by minimizing the vulnerabilities," he said.

And that's certainly possible.

"You don't see Cisco and Microsoft getting hacked," Pescatore noted. "They've evolved their security. But most companies haven't."


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