For the past couple of months, a band of wily and vainglorious hackers known as Lulz Security (or LulzSec) have been on a mission of mayhem, trespassing wherever they saw fit and helping themselves to bundle after bundle of personal information. They've embarrassed government agencies and pissed off the gaming community at large, and now they're supposedly hanging up their hats and sailing off into the sunset. But is this really the end?
According to LulzSec, which issued its "final release" over the weekend, the six-person band of boisterous hackers planned all along to disrupt the Internet for 50 days.
"It's time to say bon voyage," LulzSec posted. "Our planned 50 day cruise has expired, and we must now sail into the distance, leaving behind -- we hope -- inspiration, fear, denial, happiness, approval, disapproval, mockery, embarrassment, thoughtfulness, jealousy, hate, even love. If anything, we hope we had a microscopic impact on someone, somewhere. Anywhere.
"Thank you for sailing with us. The breeze is fresh and the sun is setting, so now we head for the horizon."
As a parting gift of sorts, LulzSec released the personal data of hundreds of thousands of people in a data dump that includes user emails from 50,000 accounts from random gaming forums, router logins, private investigator emails, and AOL and AT&T internal data and documents, among other things, all neatly organized in a Torrent file.
Authorities appear to have been closing in on LulzSec in recent weeks, starting with the arrest of a 19-year-old suspected of having strong ties with the hacking organization. This may have played a role in the group's decision to suddenly disband, though they hinted that this might not be the end.
"Wile we are responsible for everything that The Lulz Boat is, we are not tied to this identity permanently," the group said. "Behind this jolly visage of rainbows and top hats, we are people."
LulzSec went on to say that it believes in the AntiSec movement, so much so that "we brought it back, much to the dismay of those looking for more anarchic lulz. We hope, wish, even beg, that the movement manifests itself into a revolution that can continue on without us."