The internet is a space which records all the data that ever crosses it and creates a form of data aggregation. Due to the heavy reliance on the internet, it is without surprise the amount of personal information which is stored online and with this information allowing people to access money and information mixed with the human emotion of greed, the notion of cybercrime is ominous. Despite the negative connotations, not all hackers have criminal intentions although the act of hacking itself is illegal.
A prime example of this is in the group LulzSec – a contraction of “lulz”, for laughs, and “security”, which is what hackers like to compromise. They targets organisations such as Fox and U.S. broadcaster PBS, where they planted a fake story saying the dead rappers Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls were in fact alive and living in New Zealand. Later they hacked into games companies including Nintendo (though without success) and Sony’s PlayStation Network, stealing 24.6 million customers’ private data, and leading the company to take the network offline for days. They thought of themselves as “latter-day pirates” and boasted they were “gods” when they attacked a site.
LulzSec’s members never met in the real world; they were unaware of each other’s identities. Some were based in the US, and some in the UK, pointing to the way that hacking too has become globalised. Their intention, the court heard after some members were arrested, was just to gain attention, embarrass website owners and ridicule security measures. But by putting private information such as credit card details online, the group caused problems that cost hundreds of thousands of pounds to fix.