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NullCrew: the principled hacker group?

18 September 2012

In a wide-ranging interview broadcast over online Spreaker radio but conducted probably via IRC, UK Anon Winston Smith has been talking to Null, the leader of the NullCrew hacking group.

Smith set the scene by asking for the relationship between NullCrew and Anonymous. NullCrew says it is not part of Anonymous, but supports many of the Anonymous operations. “Anyone can be in Anonymous, but we don’t want to make a bad name for Anonymous because some of our hacks are for no reason,” such as Sony and ASUS which were hacked “for the lulz.” This is contrary to other crews, who seemed to hack for fun (LulzSec) and money (UGNazi); but then claimed affiliation with Anonymous because, said Null, “they felt they would get in less trouble if people thought they hacked for a cause.”

Interestingly, Null felt that many of the arrested hackers were caught through their own fault. “Cosmo [from UGNazi] really messed up over carding. I hate carding. UGNazi were hungry for the fame – just like LulzSec. The feds didn’t catch them through forensic work - most of them brought it on themselves. Sabu,” he added, “logged into IRC without proxy or VPN.”

The conversation turned to NullCrew’s recent hack of Cambridge University in the name of the Anonymous OpFreeAssange campaign. Critics have been unable to see a connection between a world famous seat of learning and the Julian Assange case – and have been looking for a deeper meaning. It doesn’t exist. We did it for the publicity, said Null. “We’re after government and educational sites because they get the most media; and we need that publicity to get the message OpFreeAssange across.”

Why Cambridge, asked Smith. Why not Oxford? “We’ve done Oxford,” said Null; but we’re getting through Cambridge first. NullCrew seems to want its university targets, starting with Cambridge, to publicize OpFreeAssange – but this is not likely to happen. So, “it’s only going to get worse and worse for Cambridge University,” said Null.

The implication from the conversation, however, is that all universities should consider themselves on notice (from what he said, it may be too late for Oxford) simply for the publicity. But, added Null, “I’d like to say that we don’t mean to hurt the public, and the public should understand that we are fighting alongside the public. Our focus is to fight for operations we believe in, and that need to be fought for.”

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