LulzSec opens hack request line
The hacker group Lulz Security has opened a telephone request line so its fans can suggest potential targets.
It claims to have launched denial of service attacks on several websites as a result, although it did not detail which ones.
The unspecified hacks formed part of a wave of security breaches that the group called Titanic Takeover Tuesday.
LulzSec has risen to prominence in recent months by attacking Sony, Nintendo and several US broadcasters.
The group publicised the telephone hotline on its Twitter feed.
Callers to the US number are met with a recorded message, in a heavy French accent, by an individual calling themself Pierre Dubois.
While the 614 area code appears to relate to the state of Ohio, it is unlikely that this is its real location.
Lulz Security said it had used distributed denial of service attacks (DDoS) against eight sites suggested by callers.
It also claimed to have hit the websites of gaming magazine The Escapist, and multiplayer games EVE Online and League of Legends.
DDoS attacks typically involve crashing a website by inundating it with requests from computers under the attacker's control.
It is unclear, in this instance, if LulzSec went beyond overloading the sites and sought to gain access to information stored on their servers.
Little is known about Lulz Security, other than their apparent "hacktivist' motivation.
The organisations and companies that it targets are often portrayed as having acted against the interests of citizens or consumers.
Its high profile attack on SonyPictures.com exposed, Lulz claimed, the company's ongoing inability to secure users' personal data.
Along with Anonymous, LulzSec has raised the profile of hacker groups as a potential threat to online services.
Hacktivists see their role as staging valid protests in the most high profile way possible, according to Peter Wood, founder of security consultancy First Base.
"The things they are exploiting at the moment are the sort of mistakes that organisations seem to have been making ever since they connected to the internet.
"Finally there are some players out there who are using them as a means to protest. Whether everyone agrees with them is a different question."