LulzSec Denies Involvement in UK Hack, Not Arrested After All

Rumours were apparently circulating that LulzSec was involved in hacking the UK government. These rumours were followed up by a supposed arrest of one of its members, but LulzSec has denied both today.

Note: This is an article I wrote that was published elsewhere first. It has been republished here for archival purposes

There was some dramatic news this morning regarding LulzSec. One story was about LulzSec hacking and obtaining the 2011 UK census data. Numerous outlets including the Wall Street Journal were reporting this news. What followed was an even more dramatic story that someone from LulzSec was arrested. This, again was reported on high profile news outlets like CBS and ZDNET and the Associated Press. So, what was true about LulzSec? It turns out, none of the above.

LulzSec was ridiculing the news. Here’s a series of Tweets of them discussing the news:

LulzSec: “Seems the glorious leader of LulzSec got arrested, it’s all over now… wait… we’re all still here! Which poor bastard did they take down?”

LulzSec: “People should keep releasing fake LulzSec stuff. It helps filter out the peon masses from the respectable, fact-checking media outlets.”

LulzSec: “But hey, if someone out there hacked the UK government in the name of #AntiSec, well done sirs!”

LulzSec: “Anyone in the world can copy and paste The Lulz Boat ASCII art and general lighthearted theme. Smarten up, check the feed first. #AntiSec”

LulzSec: “Just saw the pastebin of the UK census hack. That wasn’t us – don’t believe fake LulzSec releases unless we put out a tweet first.”

So, where did the rumours come from exactly? It’s very hard to say with so many media outlets reporting on the same thing. One report from Naked Securty was pointing to a page on a UK police website while saying it was LulzSec that was arrested. However, the original police report makes no mention of LulzSec. The report merely says that a 19 year old was arrested following “an investigation into network intrusions and Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks against a number of international business and intelligence agencies by what is believed to be the same hacking group.”

The arrest was made while working with the FBI.

Looking at the police report, if other outlets were using the same police report, I think it’s a fairly easy mistake to make because LulzSec and Anonymous were making numerous headlines for their hacking and/or DDoS attacks. The way it was described sort of sounds like it is LulzSec they are describing, but it’s pretty obvious afte checking their Twitter feed that they had nothing to do with either hacking the UK website or being arrested. Will members of LulzSec be arrested? Maybe, but not today.

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Google+.

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