Over the past month or so, Lulz Security has become a household name on the Internet. The hactivist group has become synonymous with mischief, pranks, and all-purpose flouting of online decorum. It has leaked people's personal information just for fun, taken down government Web sites just to show it can, and gone after myriad small gaming sites by popular request, all the while with its virtual thumb planted on its proverbial nose.
As the group's impact grows, it has lead to waves of chaos that reverberate far beyond its own sphere of direct influence. A perfect example would be yesterday's shutdown of the Curbed Network, which LulzSec did not touch, after it and other sites found themselves the victims of a ham-fisted Federal Bureau of Investigation raid that confiscated a whole server farm it suspected housed a piece of LulzSec-related hardware. Today, a new bit of malice capitalized on yesterday's arrest of a Briton suspected of operating a botnet on the group's behalf: A fake Facebook post announcing the arrest of the "creator of LulzSec" reportedly infects computers with spam tool bars when it's clicked. Then there is the direct effect of LulzSec's data leaks: Since it released 62,000 email / password combinations last Thursday and plenty more Sony logins on June 2, reports have been rolling in on the pranks and mayhem random people have committed against the users whose logins were exposed. (Facebook trolling, ordering sex toys, and messing with dating profiles are just the beginning.)