PBS Hacked After 'WikiSecrets' Documentary Aired

PBS aired a Frontline episode focused on Wikileaks on May 24, and received retribution as a result. Its site was hacked, late Sunday, by the hacking group LulzSec. Remnants of the site defacing were still around on Monday.

The episode, titled "Wikisecrets," didn't sit so well with the hacking group LulzSec. As a result, they hacked PBS' main news site, the PBS NewsHour site, which temporarily reported that Tupac Shakur was alive and well, living in New Zealand some 15 years after he was actually killed.

[To be clear, rapper Tupac Shakur died from wounds suffered in a drive-by shooting in 1996.]

The following is LulzSec’s "confession" to the hack.
“Greetings, Internets. We just finished watching WikiSecrets and were less than impressed. We decided to sail our Lulz Boat over to the PBS servers for further… perusing. As you should know by now, not even that fancy-ass fortress from the third… Pirates of the Caribbean movie (first one was better!) can withhold our barrage of chaos and lulz. Anyway, unnecessary sequels aside… wait, actually: second and third Matrix movies sucked too! Anyway, say hello to the insides of the PBS servers, folks. They best watch where they’re sailing next time.”
LulzSec was quick to remind people, however, that they are not affiliated with another highly publicized hacking group, Anonymous.

Meanwhile, PBS later published a story on the hacking itself, reassuring readers that no personal data was accessed.

Frontline made the following statement (which is likely to result in its own site being hacked):
FRONTLINE Executive Producer David Fanning called the attack "irresponsible and chilling."

"We see it as a disappointing and irresponsible act. We have been very open to publishing criticism of the film, and the film itself included multiple points of view. Rather than engaging in that spirit, this is an attempt to chill independent journalism."
Via:  Boing Boing
omegadraco 3 years ago

Seems like we have more and more major hacking going on. So what does secure really mean now a days?

DLaphamJr 3 years ago

Omegadraco -- Nothing has ever been secure. I for one of always thought that RSA and the like were overrated. The only secure network is one that had zero connections to the outside world, not any other network. They also have no wireless and are housed inside a shielded Faraday cage. Even that can be thwarted.

Anything on the internet should be assumed to be insecure.

Drake_McNasty 3 years ago

I totally agree, a closed system is the only really safe one, but not many people have a computer with no outside connections. I still cringe at the idea of cloud computing, too easy to lose control of your stuff.

dollsong 3 years ago

I'm conflicted in what the hack was intended to accomplish. On one hand, it appears that they weren't happy with the way Julian Assange may have been portrayed in the piece--I didn't see it so I don't know, however, I did have my assumptions on Pirates of the Caribbean the third already--or if it was to make their presence known and differentiate themselves from Anonymous.

Fundamentally, these skirmishes seem to be about information. Who is entitled to know what and how much? When do we cross the line from being informed to being dangerous? And who decides that? Governments? The media? The silent l33t who have their fingers on the pulse of the machines? (And artfully crafted avatars.)

So it seems this has created a paradox. WikiLeaks is the focus of negative attention for sharing information that was not intended for public consumption, and in turn PBS was met with retaliation for sharing..um...information about WikiLeaks.

It's enough to make you wonder if unplugging from it all is the only way to be secure in a metadata, cloud driven, tag ladened world. And I would, if I weren't so addicted to information.

AKwyn 3 years ago

[quote user="Dollsong"]So it seems this has created a paradox. WikiLeaks is the focus of negative attention for sharing information that was not intended for public consumption, and in turn PBS was met with retaliation for sharing..um...information about WikiLeaks.[/quote]

I doubt that's reasonable... I'm guessing they didn't like how the PBS documentary portrayed WikiLeaks so they decided to take retaliatory action by hacking them.

Just like the Sony thing and the thousands of anonymous attacks that we have so ever forgetten. It just proves that the internet isn't as secure as we thought and while I can ramble on about the political implications, restrictions of internet freedom and how we lived in an obsessed information but then again, they haven't restricted our Internet access yet so I can say that we're worrying too much about this issue. I say this one single phrase in closing. "secure your damn servers so that you don't get hacked in the first place."

inspector 3 years ago

"Frontline made the following statement (which is likely to result in its own site being hacked):"

LOL, thats just asking for it. Or maybe their want them to hack it and they have something stored for them :D That would be too funny.

Also guys a closed system isn't all that secured either :). Nothing is secured, there is always this thing called psychically accessing the system :P

omegadraco 3 years ago

True there is always an inside job with a closed system as well :)

bob_on_the_cob 3 years ago

What scares me about all the attacks as of late is the chilling effect its going to have on the governments. When most law makers already have a very small understanding of the internet the overly broad laws that will come out of this can be nothing, but bad for the free internet. On another side note I almost find it hard to believe companies when they say no personal data was taken. It seems they all say that at first them wait weeks to let you know someone may have your CC number or enough of your info to open one in your name.

realneil 3 years ago

I have a duck that can read minds. Problem is that I can't understand all the information he uncovers,......................sigh! Wilted Flower

OSunday 3 years ago

What strange is once the website was hacked PBS, didn't update, change or alter any of the information posted by hackers until like 24 hours later

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