LulzSec: Essex teen is genealogists' pin-up boy as 2011 census comes a century early

Posted on by Mike Evans

As the Cloud gets ever denser and we are implored to upload more of our precious data, security breaches are getting more attention. First Sony succumbed to the LulzSec hackers. Now it is reported that this group of pirates has managed to download the entire British census of 2011. At least one group, the genealogists, will have mild cheer at the news. They’ve only just feasted their eyes on the 1911 returns. The real smarties amongst them will be able to pencil in the missing century when this year’s details get posted to the interweb.

But there’s not much fun in it for any of us. Just how safe is the data we have already uploaded to Amazon, Google, Dropbox and the rest? How much are we going to commit to iCloud and can Apple be relied on to stay out of the clutches of the likes of LulzSec? While it has nothing to do with hacking, our favourite cloud provider, Dropbox, committed a great sin this week when they left 25 million accounts open for four hours. All you would have needed would be a user’s email address because the passwords were temporarily disengaged.

Fortunately, help is at hand in the shape of the portly personages of Essex Constabulary. At 3.30 this morning the PCs raided the home of an alleged hacker, probably while the teenager was snuggled up with his teddy bear. It has been alleged that this Essex boy is much more than a single strand in the LulzSec web. Maybe we will learn more of the shadowy organisation once the cops have finished with him. Bring on the thumb screws.

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