Thanks to a group of cunning hackers, PBS found itself unintentionally channeling Rick Ross this weekend. The media service fell victim of a group of Wikileak-avenging hackers who broke into thePBS NewsHour site and published a false report that rappers Tupac Shakur and the Notorious B.I.G were alive and well.
A screenshot of the hacked site can be seen below:
The report, which was still live until 1 am this morning, claimed that Tupac and Biggie were indeed alive 15 years after their deaths and living on a resort in New Zealand. Quickly picked up by Google News and spread though Facebook and Twitter, the page remained accessible even after PBS attempted to pull it. The whole ordeal interrupted many PBS’ staffer’s holiday weekends. NewsHour‘s online engagement staffer, Teresa Gorman spent the better part of her Sunday night replying to inquiries on Twitter about the hacking.
Hacktivist group, Lulzsec has taken credit for the attack. Not only did the group crack PBS security for the NewsHour website, it obtained access credentials for PBS administrators and then used Twitter to tweet links to pastebins of the internal IP addresses, names of PBS servers and the e-mail addresses and passwords for 200 PBS affiliates around the country. Lulzsec also tweeted the information of dozens of PBS bloggers along with the emails of 1,500 third-party reporters who had signed up for access to PBS’s press list. The group said it was seeking retaliation for PBS Frontline’s hour-long documentary, “WikiSecrets” on WikiLeaks leaker Bradley Manning.
According to Wired:
A calling card the intruders installed at pbs.org/lulz/ was still live by 2:00 a.m. EDT. The text read “All your base are belong to Lulzsec.” The title of the page was “FREE BRADLEY MANNING. FUCK FRONTLINE!”
Part of Frontline’s “WikiSecrets” documentary can be seen here:
PBS is the latest victim of Lulzsec. The group has claimed responsibility for breaches of Sony’s Japanese website and Fox News website as well.