The rumors have been circulating for the last couple days that hacker group LulzSec was proved to be involved in hacking the government of the United Kingdom. All those headlines continued with a report of a supposed arrest of one of the group’s members. However, LulzSec denied both rumours last week
Some dramatic news regarding LulzSec emerged a few days ago, including the story about worldwide known hacker group hacking and obtaining the latest UK census information. In fact, a lot of reputable outlets, including the Wall Street Journal, reported this news, which was followed by even more dramatic story about a member of LulzSec being arrested. The second story was again published on popular news outlets, such as CBS and ZDNET and the Associated Press. However, it turns out that none of these stories was true!
In response to the news and online discussions, the hacker group denied all of them on Tweeter, saying that if the leader of the group had got arrested, they wouldn’t have still been online. But the group encouraged the news outlets to keep publishing fake LulzSec news, as this helped hackers to find out the respectable media. In case there was some other group that managed to steal UK government data and was taken for LulzSec, they congratulated those guys.
Thus far, it is unclear where the rumours came from, but it didn’t come as a big surprise for many, because there are too many media outlets reporting the same story. One of the sources pointed to a UK police site in its story about LulzSec member being arrested. But it turned out that the original police report didn’t mention the name of LulzSec, but only said that a 19-year-old had been arrested on suspicion of being involved in network intrusions and DDoS attacks against a few international businesses. The arrest in question was made in cooperation with the FBI.
Actually, if one looks at the police report, they would realize it was quite an easy mistake to make for many news outlets. The reason is that hackers groups like LulzSec and Anonymous have been making lots of headlines for both hacking and DDoS attacks within recent months. And the report describes the hacker group whose member was arrested like it was LulzSec. However, simple checking of the group’s Twitter feed made clear that LulsSec had nothing to do with both hacking the UK government and being arrested.