In only 50 days a group of hackers calling themselves “Lulzsec” have made quite an impact on the way people will look at internet security. For those that don’t know, Lulzsec is a community of hackers who set out to show the world that most organizations have very poor internet security that is vulnerable to being hacked. The name broken down is “Lulz” which is another form of saying “LOL” at someone else’s expense and “sec” which is short for security. The group even had a tagline that read “Laughing at your security since 2011.” They proved thier point by actually hacking in to websites and servers and taking information from them. These weren’t small organizations either. Some of the organizations on their hit list included Sony Pictures, Fox.com, AT&T and even the FBI. Some people have even claimed that Lulzsec was also responsible for the Playstation Network hack that took the entire network offline for almost 3 weeks, but this has never been confirmed.
Lulzsec started their attacks on May 15th and on Monday of this week (June 26th) announced that they were done with their reign of security terror. The group released a press release saying that they only planned on doing this for 50 days to prove a point, that internet security for most organizations is not nearly where it needs to be, and for the “lulz.”
During this 50 day span of internet security terror the group definitely garnered the attention that they were hoping to. Using MAP, our social media monitoring and analytics platform, I took a look at what people had to say about Lulzsec. Since May 15th the group managed to get 38,830 blog posts, 24,763 news articles, 311,000 tweets and 44,391 forum posts talking about Lulzsec.
This is quite an impressive feat, as before May 15th the group had never been heard of. A look at our popularity chart of the past six months shows not even a blip about them until the May 15th hack.
The group also managed to build up a Twitter following of over 285,000 people in that short amount of time. The word cloud bellow shows the most common words from their followers bios, and we can see that a lot of their followers seem to be young people people (as we can see “student” and “university” are quite prevalent) from the developer and geek communities interested in what the group was up to.
Playing around with some new features that will be coming to MAP soon (don’t worry, we’ll let you know when they’re available to the public) I was able to pull up some stats that cover all the mediums we cover and bring them into one place. A look at where all the conversations about Lulzsec were coming from shows that a majority of the conversation stemmed from the US, which is no surprise as most of the organizations attacked were in the US. However, there were also some worldwide targets including some based in the UK, and we can see that they were talking about it as well.
A look at our buzzgraph shows just what everyone was talking about when talking about Lulzsec and it’s no surprise to see the words “hack” and “hacker” being most prevalent. We can also see that “FBI” and “CIA” were two of the more commonly used words as the world was talking about the surprise that these organizations were vulnerable to get hacked. Lying on the outskirts we can see that there was talk about other networks that were hacked including “Sony,” “PBS” and “Nintendo” which Lulzsec apparently tried to hack but were unsuccessful. We can also see “Playstation” among the mix because people think that Lulzsec may have been behind the Playstation Network hack, but it has not been proven and the group has not claimed responsibility for it.
While some people may have found the group’s antics amuzing, a look at overall sentiment around Lulzsec shows that a majority of the conversation about them was negative. 45% of all conversations in social media seemed to have a negative overtone while only 11% was positive.
Now that Lulzsec has finished their “campaign” only time will tell if they made their point. Do you think organizations are going to start beefing up their security so that they don’t become the next to be talked about for having their information stolen?