Hackers Diversify to include Revenge Services

by Matt Klassen on June 21, 2011

This recent wave of hacker attacks is quickly changing from revolutionary technophiles trying to change the world by bringing down the current ‘system,’ to common cyber-thugs trying to shake down the local tech company for some quick cash. In fact, as if straight out of some B-list mobster film, some hacker groups are now diversifying their portfolio, going beyond illegal hacks to offering protection and revenge services for those looking to stop the rash of cyber-crime.

Over the weekend gaming and software company Sega became the latest victim in this seemingly unstoppable crime spree, as its Sega Pass service was compromised according to an email sent to users. But with its database in tatters, is there anywhere Sega can turn for help? Sure there is, but don’t worry, they’re not criminals; in fact, they prefer to think of themselves as freelance heroes.

Today, still wanted by the government, they survive as soldiers of fortune. If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire the A…I mean, LulzSec.

The truth of the story may not be quite so dramatic, but in an interesting twist in this ongoing hacker saga popular hacker group LulzSec has offered its extensive services to get revenge on those who hacked Sega this past weekend, stating in a tweet, “@Sega – contact us. We want to help you destroy the hackers that attacked you. We love the Dreamcast, these people are going down.”

While LulzSec may feel like its more like the A-Team, soldiers of fortune fighting for good in a corrupt and evil world, they still strike me as nothing more than petty thugs with too much time on their hands, trying to shake down the likes of Sega for, if nothing else, some pseudo-credibility for its hacker protection racket.

Ultimately its unclear to me what LulzSec hopes to get out of this, whether it actually thinks that its doing Sega a favour, or beyond that if it thinks that Sega will really take the group up on its offer—with LulzSec having hacked Sega itself in the past—or if this is simply another attention grab for the hacker group known for its brazen live updates to companies its currently hacking.

That said, it doesn’t strike me as terribly far-fetched to posit a near future where companies, as a last recourse in response to the inability of security firms and governmental bodies to stop the hacks, turn to these hacker groups in a cruel Catch-22, employing the groups to stop the anarchical technological carnage that the groups themselves have unleashed upon the world. It’s a plan so deviously masterful that I’m sure even Tony Soprano would be proud.

To further that point, there is really little difference between these hacker groups and the mob, even if the former offers its “legitimate” protection services, the only problem being that its significantly easier to stop the mob.

So, in an ironic twist, we could soon see hacker groups policing the very cyber dystopia they unleashed on us in the first place…that is, if the price is right.

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Written by: Matt Klassen. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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