LulzSec Attacks Gaming Sites ... Just for Laughs

The hacking group known as LulzSec called it Titanic Takeover Tuesday. Gamers called it by a variety of names, many of which cannot be reprinted here. But for system administrators at a handful of gaming companies, Tuesday, June 14 was a nightmare: the day their websites went down under an online attack.

The hacking group known as LulzSec called it Titanic Takeover Tuesday. Gamers called it by a variety of names, many of which cannot be reprinted here. But for system administrators at a handful of gaming companies, Tuesday, June 14 was a nightmare: the day their websites went down under an online attack.

LulzSec took down systems at the Escapist, Eve Online, Minecraft and League of Legends Tuesday during a three-hourlong distributed denial-of-service rampage that left gamers annoyed and the Lulz hackers crowing.

"Welcome to #TitanicTakeoverTuesday where everyone is laughing at crybabies getting Lulz Cannoned!" the hacking group said during one of its many Twitter messages documenting the online assault.

LulzSec emerged out of nowhere last month and immediately embarked on a series of high-profile hacking attacks, stealing data from Sony and game-maker Bethesda Softworks and compromising computers at the U.S. Senate and the Public Broadcasting Service, among others.

Unlike the better-known Anonymous hacking group, LulzSec doesn't appear to have any particular political motivation behind its attacks. The group takes its name from Lulz -- hacker speak for "laughs" -- and often appears to be hacking just for the fun of it.

Tuesday's attack started at the Escapist, an online magazine whose forums had swelled with angry comments after the Bethesda hack. "I want them caught and punished, a few years in jail for people like that would be hell," wrote Escapist forum member Psychicflash666 before the site was taken down.

An Escapist spokesman said that access to the company's website was "intermittent" for three hours Tuesday because of the attack. "Our system administrators are still reviewing the situation to assess whether anything occurred other than a DDoS attack," he said in an e-mail message.

After its attack on the Escapist, LulzSec invited people to call in via telephone and recommend new targets. It then began attacking gaming sites Eve Online, Minecraft and League of Legends. The hackers also said that they hit FinFisher, an IT intrusion monitoring company owned by Gamma Group.

Late Tuesday Eve Online and the Escapist websites remained offline, but League of Legends, Minecraft and FinFisher were all operational.

"And that concludes our DDoS party: Escapist Magazine, Eve Online, Minecraft, League of Legends + 8 phone requests. #TitanicTakeoverTuesday," LulzSec said in a Twitter message.

An hour later, LulzSec was again inviting followers to call in. "Now accepting calls from true lulz fans - let's all laugh together at... gamers. "

Robert McMillan covers computer security and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Robert on Twitter at @bobmcmillan. Robert's e-mail address is robert_mcmillan@idg.com

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