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Publicity-seeking hacker group LulzSec says it is disbanding

NEW YORK— A member of a publicity-seeking hacker group that sabotaged websites over the past two months — and which announced over the weekend that it is dissolving itself — says his group isn't disbanding under pressure from the FBI or enemy hackers.

"We're not quitting because we're afraid of law enforcement," the LulzSec member said in a conversation with the Associated Press. "The press are getting bored of us, and we're getting bored of us."

The group's hacking has included attacks on law enforcement and releases of private data. It said unexpectedly on Saturday that it was dissolving itself.

LulzSec claimed hacks on Sony and other major entertainment companies, FBI partner organizations, the CIA, the U.S. Senate and a pornography website.

In the interview Sunday, the hacker acknowledged that some of the material being circulated by rivals online — which purports to reveal the hackers' online nicknames, past histories and chat logs — was genuine, something he said had proved to be "a distraction."

He added that three or four of Lulz Security's members were taking what he called "a breather" and said he was considering giving up cyberattacks altogether.

"Maybe I'll stop this hacking thing entirely. I haven't decided," he said. He said he couldn't speak for the others' long-term plans, but said it was possible some of the members would continue to be involved with Anonymous, the much larger and more amorphous hacking group that has targeted the Church of Scientology, Middle Eastern dictatorships and the music industry, among others.

He said the six-member group was still sitting on a considerable amount of stolen law enforcement files.

Although the hacker declined to identify himself publicly, he has verified his membership with Lulz Security by posting a pre-arranged message to the group's popular Twitter feed.

Kevin Mitnick, a security consultant and former hacker, said the group had probably concluded that the more it kept up its activities, the greater the chance that one of them would make some mistake that would enable authorities to catch them. They've inspired copycat groups around the globe, he noted, which means similar attacks are likely to continue even without LulzSec.

"They can sit back and watch the mayhem and not risk being captured," Mitnick said.

As a parting shot, LulzSec released documents and log-in information apparently gleaned from gaming websites and corporate servers. The largest group of documents — 338 files — appears to be from AT&T, detailing its buildout of a new wireless broadband network in the United States. The network is set to go live this summer. A spokesman for the phone company could not immediately confirm the authenticity of the documents.

In an unusual strategy for a hacker group, LulzSec sought publicity and conducted a conversation with the public through its Twitter account. LulzSec attacked anyone it could for "the lulz," which is Internet jargon for "laughs."

Publicity-seeking hacker group LulzSec says it is disbanding 06/27/11 [Last modified: Monday, June 27, 2011 10:15pm]
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