What, exactly, is the appeal of LulzSec? Here lately, just about every move the group has made gets large amounts of Internet media love, with rarely a dissenting look. This publication, including this author, is guilty of the same. In fact, LulzSec is viewed as a mischievous group who openly hide in plain sight, almost a social media Robin Hood with great hacking abilities, if you will. Granted, it's doubtful the CIA or the U.S. Senate -- nor the average Joes who have to clean up after the group's shenanigans -- feels particularly fond of LulzSec, but, at this moment, the group is almost revered, especially by the Twitter crowd.
Nothing else explains the popularity of LulSec's 1000th tweet, which, if they continue on the path they've started down, what will become just another post in a sea of "we are coming after you next" updates? As of this posting, the tweet's existence, combined with the usual flair LulzSec uses, is big news. In fact, it's one of the more popular stories on Techmeme and Google News.
Granted, the release they issued in conjunction with the tweet ratcheted up the interest level exponentially, but we're still dealing with a group that has made some very prominent hacks against a number of established web presences. Don't get this article wrong, either. It's not meant to admonish LulzSec or their actions. Instead, it's surprising more members of the mainstream media -- Fox News, CNN -- haven't initiated some kind of corporate media backlash against what they probably see as a group of outlaws.
Perhaps they are afraid of getting hacked...
While we've gained many, many supporters, we do have a mass of enemies, albeit mainly gamers. The main anti-LulzSec argument suggests that we're going to bring down more Internet laws by continuing our public shenanigans, and that our actions are causing clowns with pens to write new rules for you. But what if we just hadn't released anything? What if we were silent? That would mean we would be secretly inside FBI affiliates right now, inside PBS, inside Sony... watching... abusing...
Do you think every hacker announces everything they've hacked? We certainly haven't, and we're damn sure others are playing the silent game. Do you feel safe with your Facebook accounts, your Google Mail accounts, your Skype accounts? What makes you think a hacker isn't silently sitting inside all of these right now, sniping out individual people, or perhaps selling them off? You are a peon to these people. A toy. A string of characters with a value.
This is what you should be fearful of, not us releasing things publicly, but the fact that someone hasn't released something publicly. We're sitting on 200,000 Brink users right now that we never gave out. It might make you feel safe knowing we told you, so that Brink users may change their passwords. What if we hadn't told you? No one would be aware of this theft, and we'd have a fresh 200,000 peons to abuse, completely unaware of a breach.
Now for the chaos:
...we do things just because we find it entertaining. Watching someone's Facebook picture turn into a penis and seeing their sister's shocked response is priceless. Receiving angry emails from the man you just sent 10 dildos to because he can't secure his Amazon password is priceless. You find it funny to watch havoc unfold, and we find it funny to cause it. We release personal data so that equally evil people can entertain us with what they do with it.
Most of you reading this love the idea of wrecking someone else's online experience anonymously. It's appealing and unique, there are no two account hijackings that are the same, no two suddenly enraged girlfriends with the same expression when you admit to killing prostitutes from her boyfriend's recently stolen MSN account, and there's certainly no limit to the lulz lizardry that we all partake in on some level.
And that's all there is to it, that's what appeals to our Internet generation. We're attracted to fast-changing scenarios, we can't stand repetitiveness, and we want our shot of entertainment or we just go and browse something else, like an unimpressed zombie.
LulzSec: simply providing a service, free of charge, one might add.
While there's a lot of fun and games going on with the this particular group, the members are also well aware of the potential mortality, but they also show a keen awareness of how so many short attention spans of people with so much information in their hands drive the narrative:
We've been entertaining you 1000 times with 140 characters or less, and we'll continue creating things that are exciting and new until we're brought to justice, which we might well be. But you know, we just don't give a living fuck at this point - you'll forget about us in 3 months' time when there's a new scandal to gawk at, or a new shiny thing to click on via your 2D light-filled rectangle.
In the Internet industry, becoming "yesterday's news" happens on such a rapid basis, it's just about impossible to keep up with all the shifting stories and popular items that float around in the binary ether. It's certainly become a "blink and you missed it" world, especially in relation to the modern news cycle, and LulzSec clearly understands this, too.
With that in mind, it should be noted LulzSec and Anonymous are not at war with each other. Apologies to anyone offended by the language:
To confirm, we aren't going after Anonymous. 4chan isn't Anonymous to begin with, and /b/ is certainly not the whole of 4chan. True story.
All things considered, I can't wait to see what LulzSec does with their 2000th tweet, provided they haven't been taken down by then.