A member of the now retired hacking group LulzSec has broken cover for an interview with the New Scientist magazine. And Sabu claims that, although originally for the "lulz", the team's attacks on several large company websites and databases have been instrumental in improving security at those firms.

"Yes, some hacks under LulzSec were done for the lulz, but there are lessons learned from them all," he told New Scientist. "In 50 days, you saw how big and small companies were handling their user data incorrectly."

He continues: "Would you rather your millions of emails, passwords, dox [personal information] and credit cards be exposed to the wild to be used by nefarious dealers of private information? Or would you rather have someone expose the hole and tell you your data was exploitable and that it's time to change your passwords? I'm sure we are seen as evil for exposing Sony and others, but at the end of the day, we motivated a giant to upgrade its security."

What Sabu doesn't mention, though, is that LulzSec subsequently posted some of the database information on its pastebin site or Pirate Bay for all to see and download, and that surely includes "nefarious dealers of private information".

Nonetheless, now that LulzSec has morphed into AntiSec, Sabu has no intention to stop, rather focus on more politically motivated attacks: "Antisec is the biggest movement in years, unifying all hackers and free thinkers across Anonymous and other groups. There's no going back," he says.

What do you think? Were the attacks of benefit, an annoyance, or worse? Let us know in the comments below...