This past Sunday, the hacker group ‘LulzSec,’ aka ‘The Lulz Boat,’ infiltrated the PBS news website and posted a story (cached version here) claiming that deceased rapper Tupac Shakur had been found alive and was living in a small town in New Zealand. The attack was not limited to posting this fake story, but also included various security breaches into the website.
The group claimed that the attacks were a response to a program PBS ran about the notorious organization Wikileaks. LulzSec, which is not without a sense of humor, began taunting PBS with facetious Twitter updates like “What’s wrong with @PBS, how come all of its servers are rooted?", "How come their database is seized?", "Why are passwords cracked?” and a little later they reacted to the Tupac story with a feigned shock: “OMG NO WAAAI #TUPACALIVE.”
According to the New York Times, LulzSec was still in control of parts of the PBS website as of early Monday morning. The hacker group has repeatedly and successfully targeted Sony and Fox in the past few months as well. They insist that they are not affiliated with the other more famous group ‘Anonymous’ and they told Forbes that they attacked PBS for “Lulz and Justice”.
Not everybody is laughing however. These attacks are relatively small and only target specific organizations, but there is worry that a more widespread disruption could wreak havoc. Cyber security is becoming more and more of a threat and this week the Pentagon stepped up its rhetoric claiming that it intends on applying rules of warfare to cyberspace and that a major cyber attacks will be viewed as an act of war.
Credit: Rune Hellestad/Corbis