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Bethesda Hacked, Details About To Be Leaked

They're not really quite so refined, sadly.

Update: LulzSec have released what they claim to be everything they took from Bethesda, including source code and admin passwords, except for the 200,000 user details which they say they’re leaving out because, “We actually like this company.” (They also claim to have broken into senate.gov, and paste this as proof. That should bring them some dark-glassed attention.)

LulzSec, who have claimed responsibility for many of the gaming hacks of late, have announced they’ve had access to Bethesda/Zenimax’s data for a couple of months, and are planning on releasing details today. They’ve been winding up BethSoft all day, threatening to release details of a number of games, including Brink. However, in their usual way, they are suggesting they’ll go easy on them because “we love Call of Cthulhu.” They rather spuriously suggest this is motivated by a lack of details on Skyrim, but even if they received some, plan “to embarrass you anyway.”

As usual LulzSec’s Twitter feed is a mixture of taunting boasts and in-fighting with others in the community, but in the mix is the claim that they currently have over 200,000 users’ details. That’s the bit they suggest they might not leak because of the power of 2005’s Cthulhu game, co-published by Bethesda.

But for some reason the focus of their attack seems to be Brink. Yesterday they warned, “Say your prayers, Brink users.” Seemingly in response to protests from others who pointed out that there’s little argument for their being victims they explained, “If you want ethics, go cry to #Anonymous,” indicating their anarchic motivations are far less politically or socially driven than the Fawkesian crowd. “We did it because they couldn’t stop us,” is the reasoning.

They explain that they’ve had access to the Bethesda data for a couple of months, but seem to be waiting for a couple more details before they release it all. And then comes the threat just a few minutes ago that if Bethesda gives “everyone more info on Skyrim and we’ll keep the user database to ourselves. However we are going to embarrass you anyway. :D” Then they push their teasing one step further suggesting, “Bethesda, add an official LulzSec top hat to Skyrim and we’ll remove your admin configurations from our incoming leak. Deal?”

It’s clearly an extremely unpleasant experience for those at Bethesda, and it’s a demonstration of what is behind these hacks: the lulz. Those trying to fathom a pattern, or guess what form of revenge or injustice is behind their motivations needs to understand that no such thing is relevant. It’s not even because it’s found to be funny, nor to prove hacking prowess (although that’s clearly a factor along the way). It’s because they can. Thus, lulz.

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John Walker

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