LulzSec hacks: Time to play the game

Money isn't the only reason why cyber criminals have made attempts on entertainment businesses.

In the work of LulzSec, who were reportedly behind strikes on both Sony and Nintendo, you can find two major reasons why hackers have gone after games firms: activism and greed.

LulzSec's recent tussle with private botnet monitoring service Unveillance following the Infragard hack presented us with the two sides of the coin. LulzSec said it wanted to highlight what it believed were dubious practices on the side of Unveillance, which struck back by claiming LulzSec was simply in it for extortion.

Everyone knows many hackers are after money, but the whole Sony saga has again proven some want to act on a moral point. Others even claim they want to make the internet a better, safer place, just as LulzSec did.

This isn't anything new, of course. Anonymous and its suspected spin-off LulzSec have been active in this space for some time. Security experts across the board hailed cyber activism as a major trend for 2011, so it's no surprise to see it really ramping up.

In these cases, having the right security in place might not save you. If hackers have the power and know-how to break a firm, they can do it.

So how do you avoid the wrath of Anonymous et al? Clever corporate social responsibility and simple common sense are two answers.

First off, don't invite the fight. As seen with HBGary, antagonising the enemy can end up being catastrophic.

Second, you might do well to actually perform some altruistic acts. Not only will this do some good for society, it could prove to more morally prone hackers your company isn't worthy of an attack.

Being responsible post-hack will stand you in better stead as well you don't want repeated breaches like Sony has had to deal with.

"If Nintendo comments further, it will go the more responsible route of giving customers a realistic (as far as possible) assessment of the present risks and possible future risks that may affect them (customers) directly, and letting them know what measures, if any, they can take to mitigate those risks themselves," Harley added.

"Though I doubt if they'll go into much detail publicly about what form the hack actually took. If they know, of course."

Tom Brewster

Tom Brewster is currently an associate editor at Forbes and an award-winning journalist who covers cyber security, surveillance, and privacy. Starting his career at ITPro as a staff writer and working up to a senior staff writer role, Tom has been covering the tech industry for more than ten years and is considered one of the leading journalists in his specialism.

He is a proud alum of the University of Sheffield where he secured an undergraduate degree in English Literature before undertaking a certification from General Assembly in web development.