Two things most people have never heard of before have been in the news recently: Bitcoin and LulzSec. Over the weekend the largest Bitcoin exchange, MTGox, was hacked, compromising user accounts and devastating the exchange’s credibility. The attack involved a massive sell off of Bitcoins in MTGox’s network, which is in the process of being rolled back.
Yesterday, the arrest by British Police of a suspected LulzSec member was announced. So what’s the link between the two? Apparently The Guardian feels confident enough to invent one. An article catchily titled “LulzSec rogue suspected of Bitcoin hack” outlines an unsupported theory about the Mt. Gox fiasco. So, who exactly suspects LulzSec, besides The Guardian? Except for those regurgitating The Guardian’s line, no one, really.
I suspect the sensational title isn’t anything more malicious than a plea for page views, but there’s still something dishonest about making such a tendentious link. There’s just no evidence linking LulzSec to the attack. The article admits that LulzSec would stand to lose from Bitcoin attacks and that LulzSec has denied responsibility, which the Guardian recognizes as out of character for a group of trolls after a successful hack. Finally, the article admits the “possibility of a third, as yet unnamed, group of hackers carrying out the attacks,” which would seem to be the most logical conclusion. Perhaps the Guardian should avoid running such blatantly misleading ledes. But I guess when you can only name one or two hacking collectives, its best to arbitrarily assign responsibility.