Governments, businesses, people caught in hacker crossfire

Author: Byron Acohido

Collateral damage to governments, businesses and consumers caught in the crossfire of an unprecedented surge of Internet hacktivism is starting to mount.

Late last week, the upstart hacking group LulzSec announced that it had cracked the Arizona Department of Public Safety's web site to protest a controversial state law boosting police authority to detain suspected illegal immigrants. 

The hackers then publicly posted sensitive police documents and personal information about individual officers, putting cases and people at risk. "Lost in the media frenzy and the self-promotional aspects of LulzSec is the fact that innocent individuals are being affected," says Alexey Raevsky, CEO of data security firm Zecurion. 

Saturday, the group unexpectedly announced it was dissolving itself. Sunday, a member of the group told the Associated Press that the group didn't dissolve under pressure from law enforcement, but because "we're getting bored of us." The hacker declined to be identified, but he verified his membership by posting a pre-arranged message to the group's Twitter feed. 

Quote from John D’Arcy:

"Given their propensity for hitting large scale targets, I expect a major government website or that of an international organization or a multinational company to be next," says John D'Arcy, information technology professor at the University of Notre Dame. He says LulzSec is likely seeking "targets that would make a big splash and re-establish their credibility as legitimate hackers in the eyes of the public."

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