Inside the LulzSec Hacker Group: Paranoia, Defection and Threats

The group that hacked Sony and the CIA is revealed as disorganized and fearful in batch of leaked private chat-room logs

The hacker group LulzSec (Lulz Security) has itself been hacked — and the results shed an informative light on the secretive cabal of internet troublemakers.

British newspaper the Guardian has obtained a number of leaked logs from a private chatroom operated by the group, which is credited with the recent attacks on Sony and the Central Intelligence Agency.

The transcripts reveal a small organization that, while loose-knit and seemingly in it for the laughs, is prone to paranoia and emotional outbursts toward disobedient members.

In one exchange, on June 2, the group's informal leader, known as Sabu, warns the other members of the group about interacting with other hacker groups, writing, "The people on [popular hacker site] 2600 are not your friends. 95% are there to social engineer [trick] you, to analyse how you talk. I am just reminding you. Don't go off and befriend any of them."

Another missive finds Sabu lashing out at a member named Neuron, who launched a Q&A session for the group on the web site Reddit, so that they could interact with the public.

The LulzSec honcho upbraids Neuron for the action, threatening fatal retribution.
"You guys started an IAmA on reddit?" Sabu writes. "I will go to your homes and kill you. If you really started an IAmA bro, you really don't understand what we are about here. I thought all this stuff was common knowledge … no more public apperances [sic] without us organizing it."

Perhaps not surprisingly, there have been recent defections from the group — particularly following LulzSec's June 3 hit on a site affiliated with the FBI, when members known as "recursion" and "devrandom" bolted. Sabu used the opportunity to once again caution members about remaining tightlipped.

"You realize we smacked the FBI today.," Sabu warned. "This means everyone in here must remain extremely secure."

Earlier this week, British authorities arrested 19-year-old Ryan Cleary, who they claim masterminded the attacks on Sony, the CIA and the U.S. Senate. The group, however, claims to only have a marginal connection to Cleary.

"Clearly the UK police are so desperate to catch us that they've gone and arrested someone who is, at best, mildly associated with us," the group tweeted after the arrest. "Ryan Cleary is not part of LulzSec; we house one of our many legitimate chatrooms on his IRC server, but that's it."