Lulz Security, or “LulzSec” for short is a computer hacker group responsible for many of the high-profile cyber attacks that occurred during the peak of their existence—a period of 50 days during which they broke into the computer networks of governments, companies, and other individuals, making public vast quantities of private information including many usernames, passwords, and personal identifying information. While the group claimed in their June 26, 2011 statement “50 days of lulz that they had only planned to be active for 50 days starting in May 2011”, on July 18th, 2011 they attacked the sites of British newspapers The Times and The Sun, planting a false story about the death of owner Rupert Murdoch. According to themselves, LulzSec’s hacking was for “the lulz” (an internet meme roughly translating to “entertainment”) rather than for financial gain.
The now disbanded group consisted of six core members, some of which were originally leaders in another hacking group, Anonymous: Sabu, their leader (who acted as an FBI informant helping law enforcement to apprehend the other members), Topiary, their media relations expert (who ran their infamous Twitter account @LulzSec), Kayla/KMS, an owner and operator of a botnet consisting of about 800,000 infected machines, T-flow, a web developer and PayPal scammer, and Avunit and Pwnsause, two non-founding members with no particular roles. In addition to these six core members, Neuron, suspected to be an engineering student in the United States, aided LulzSec by building software and possibly participating in some of their denial-of-service attacks.
While the original LulzSec is no longer in operation, on June 10th, 2012 a new individual or group dubbing themselves LulzSec Reborn posted a Pastebin URL on Twitter (@lulzboatR) containing a link to a database of 10,000 compromised Twitter accounts obtained through a vulnerability in the tweetgif.com Twitter app, allowing any Twitter user to set his or avatar to an animated .gif image. This attack was the second perpetrated by LulzSec Reborn, following their March 26, 2012 hack of military dating site MilitarySingles.com.