Did you imagine that the recent arrests of LulzSec members would put a dent in their activities? It seems not, as two new groups have already taken action.
We should keep in mind that some of the online actions by Anonymous can be seen as beneficial. Two of their targets have included the pornography industry and viewers of child pornography. Anonymous has led these operations in earnest or “for the lulz” (for laughs):
- The Pron.com website attack: Usernames and passwords of about 26,000 users were exposed in June 2011 “for the lulz” by the Lulz Security Team
- Operation Darknet: A doxing campaign (exposing those responsible) in October 2011 against Lolita City, a child pornography sharing website that was accessible anonymously via The Tor Project’s encrypted service. Anonymous also claimed to have shut down at least 40 websites hosting child-abuse materials.
- Operation SafeKids: For 10 months, an Anonymous branch has asked Facebook users to participate in identifying and reporting profiles and pages containing or promoting child pornography
Recently two more groups appeared in this arena, with both showing sympathy with Anonymous’ goals.
The first is Th3 Consortium. This group hacked the DigitalPlayground porn server and stole 72,960 client passwords and email address (82 of which had a .gov or .mil domain), as well as data (including CCVs, names and expiration dates) from 40,000 credit cards. For a limited time, they also offered about fifty pornographic movies for free.
The second group is LulzFinancial. It took on a Dutch pedophile-friendly website and released names and personal information belonging its users.
Created in February, the LulzFinancial blogs have been silent for three weeks. For now, LulzFinancial communicates just via Twitter. Besides the pedophile website attack, the group is credited with some other hacks, including one on the Syrian Ministry of Presidential Affairs.
The first tweet posted by Th3 Consortium is dated February 22. The group is apparently not, as has been asserted elsewhere, responsible for the previous hacks on two websites owned by Manwin, an adult entertainment company based in Luxembourg. According to the Associated Press, the first site, Brazzers, was hacked by a 17 year-old Moroccan. And according to the ESET blog, YouPorn was just the victim of an error made by a careless programmer.
We don’t know how long these groups with goals similar to some of Anonymous’ aims will last. But they may indicate that, in spite of the recent arrests made by Interpol and the FBI, the descendents of AntiSec and LulzSec live on.