SAN FRANCISCO — Lulz Security hacker group is flaunting its notoriety with a telephone hotline for people to call and suggest targets for cyber attacks.
"Our number literally has anywhere between five and 20 people ringing it every single second," members of the group said in a Twitter message posted on a LulzSec account late Wednesday morning.
"We can forward it anywhere in the world," they continued in a string of "tweets" that suggested they were using the flood of calls to jam phone lines of companies in telephone versions of Internet "denial of service" attacks.
Lulz has been in the spotlight after taking credit for cyberattacks on high-profile companies including Sony and Nintendo.
Videogame companies appear to be favored targets for the group, prompting some in the computer security industry to believe its members are young people up to antics rather than cyber crooks out for loot.
The hotline number spelled out "LULZSEC" and had an area code in the US state of Ohio.
A recorded greeting featured a man speaking with an exaggerated French accent explaining that "Pierre Dubois and Francois Deluxe" were unavailable because they were up to mischief on the Internet.
Setting up a telephone hotline was "kind of eccentric" given that the hackers could have easily set up an online forum asking for targets, according to Panda computer security firm labs technical director Luis Corrons.
"These guys are upsetting a lot of people," Corrons said. "They think they will never be caught, and that could be their biggest mistake."
LulzSec began taking requests by telephone a day ago on what it called "Titanic Takeover Tuesday."
It claimed to have marked the day with attacks on The Escapist videogame lifestyle website and a popular League of Legions online battle game.
LulzSec has claimed non-game targets including the US Senate, the Public Broadcasting System news organization, and an Infragard company that works with the FBI.