In a sting called operation "Shooting Sherrifs Saturday," LulzSec and Anonymous hackers published a cache of 10GB of private data they'd grabbed from police servers. The move was in retaliation for arrests of alleged LulzSec and Anonymous hackers—most prominently a young chap from Scotland who the British police maintain is LulzSec key figure "Topiary."
The cache is jam-packed with "a massive amoung of confidential information that is sure to embarass [sic], discredit and incriminate police officers across the U.S." according to the copy-editor-less hackers themselves, and it seems to contain private email threads, password data, training files, and other personal information that's similar to that usually obtained by hacktivists when they're exposing weak security in sites like Sony and News International. Here's a detailed look at their hack attacks so far.
[Video by Adam Barenblat]
The NI case is worth a mention here, because LulzSec used a subtle and clever hack to get in to NI's servers, and claimed to have scooped serious evidence in the form of numerous emails relating to the Murdoch family—a data cache so hot that they've thus far decided not to reveal its contents. And in this latest case, the hackers may have surpassed even this scoop because they've also published addresses and Social Security numbers, credit card data, and even "snitch information."
According to AntiSec, which is a mouthpiece movement, of sorts, for the hacktivists, the credit card data was obtained by sneaking into the commercial servers used to host police Net activity and snooping on police activity. They then used the cards to make "involuntary donations to the ACLU, the EFF, the Bradley Manning Support Network and more." Notably, the group feels entirely justified in its actions because they feel that law enforcement has an "inherently corrupt nature" and by exposing this, they hope to cause "humiliation, firings and possible charges against several officers" and also to "disrupt and sabotage their ability to communicate and terrorize communities."
As for the snitches, and exposure of some officers to personal risk, AntiSec notes "we have no sympathy for any of the officers or informants who may be endangered by the release of their personal information" because "for too long they have been using and abusing our personal information."
AntiSec's sentiments have something of an "eye for an eye" feel about them, no doubt mentioning the moves by U.S. authorities to legalize widespread wiretapping (surely what they mean by "using and abusing our personal information) and even to garner data from users overseas—a trick that most likely helped capture "Topiary." Whether you think LulzSec's, Anonymous' and AntiSec's stance is valid or not, it's a sign that at least some members of this diffuse community feel justified to strike back at the authorities in a way that is deeply personal, with criminal intent to harm and defraud, and that the authorities are technically inferior to those they're trying to contain. And you can spot a pattern here—and in the convenient video above: The authorities will likely see this latest move as justification for more crackdowns, which will result in more hack attacks...