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LulzSec hacker defends 'hacktivist' movement in interview

A member of now-disbanded hacking outfit LulzSec has defended the group's actions in an interview with the New Scientist, saying that it forced corporations to review their security.

A member of LulzSec has defended the hacking group's actions and the 'hacktivist' movement generally, in an interview with the New Scientist. The hacker said the group was responsible for forcing major corporations to upgrade their security.

Going by the moniker 'Sabu', the outspoken hacker said he was a "man who believes in human rights and exposing abuse and corruption". If the Guardian's leaked chat logs from inside LulzSec are to be believed, he could be the group's leader.

When asked what he'd say to critics who denounced hacking groups as troublemakers, Sabu said that groups like LulzSec and Anonymous were making a serious point with their attacks, highlighting security flaws in major corporations, and showing what could happen if a group with more villainous intentions decided to start hacking websites.

Sabu said: "Everything we did had a duality: a lesson and some LOLs at the same time. Would you rather your millions of emails, passwords, dox [personal information] and credit cards be exposed to the wild to be used by nefarious dealers of private information?"

LulzSec shot to prominence in May, hacking and the Public Broadcasting Service website, before moving onto Nintendo, digital security firms, Sony Pictures and even sites affiliated with the FBI. The group has now disbanded.

Sabu first got involved with Anonymous, as opposed to LulzSec, after the Wikileaks cable scandal late last year, saying that he found it "absolutely absurd" that Julian Assange was arrested in the UK.

When asked whether he's afraid of being caught, Sabu said that he was past the point of no return, and hopes that, if he is caught, the hacktivist movement will continue in his absence. "There is no fear in my heart," he said.

What do you think of hacking groups like LulzSec? Are they Robin Hood-esque liberators of information and quashers of coward corporations? Or scurrilous digital burglars who deserve to be punished? Tell us your thoughts in the comments section below or on our Facebook page, and check out the full interview on the New Scientist's website.