02 June 2011

FLASH--PBS hacked in retribution for Frontline Wikileaks episode--LD

CID/2; US/301; US/1; ATTN: HST/2; NSNS/1; VS/2; US/12

[ed.note: Very interesting. Monday night, US/1 was repeatedly unable to get on any Frontline hyperlinks from the BlackNETintel Page, than being directed to a generic PBS page. Thanks CID/2!

Last week, http://blacknetintel.blogspot.com had it’s first comment posted from “Anonymous,” complaining about a report on US interference in IRAN.

Also, several internet searchs for BKNT website posting on 22 May 2011 = BKNT--FRONTLINE: WikiSECRETS - Tues. 24 MAY 9 PM ET--OS, seeming to orginate from, www.google.com.au (AUSTRALIA).

Perhaps by fortunate happenstance, BKNT-HQ posted this sidebar after actually viewing the film:

WikiSECRETS - New!

WiKiLEAKI: Exposed...or Explained?

In addition, the following two BKNT website IMAGEs were searched for: the SixTeamSIX emblem (unofficial) and the Al-Awlaki soliciting MUGSHOT BKNT--Anwar al-Awlaki - A Taste for the Ladies--OS.



The PBS.org website, and data associated with the PBS television network, its programs, and its affiliate stations, appear to have just been hacked by an entity calling itself LulzSec (or "The Lulz Boat"). The hack was made public around 1130pm ET, Sunday, May 29, and included cracking the PBS server, posting a bogus news story and some defacements, and publishing what appear to be thousands of passwords.
The information compromised and published included network, server, and database details and logins, as well as user login data for some PBS staff and contractors. As of 3:24am ET Monday, some defacements are still live on pbs.org.

The group that carried out the hack claims they are not affiliated with "Anonymous", and that the action is retribution for the recent "Wikisecrets" episode on Wikileaks, which was perceived by Wikileaks and its supporters to be unfair to Wikileaks.

According to an article in the Australian edition of IT security publication SC Magazine, LulzSec has gone after other media entities in recent weeks: Fox News Network and the TV show X-Factor are reported as prior targets. As the name implies, LulzSec would appear to be in it for the proverbial lulz, rather than, say, financial gain.

A statement from LulzSec:
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 shitty 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.

The PBS program Frontline (and specifically the producers of the "Wikisecrets" episode), may have been the stated target, but the scope of intrusion was significantly more broad. And the Frontline site and its "Wikisecrets" subsite don't show any signs of a hack at all. 

LulzSec posted an overview of the data and defacements here.

Here's a cache of the fake "Tupac still alive in New Zealand" story the intruders posted. Unfortunately, Tupac remains dead, and PBS NewsHour social media and online engagement point person Teresa Gorman spent Sunday night on Twitter repeating this fact to dozens of incredulous individuals and news organizations [partial screengrab of @gteresa's Twitter feed here].

Here's a copy of the "Free Bradley Manning" defacement page LulzSec posted, featuring the "nyan cat" meme.

Below, a screengrab of @LulzSec's Twitter timeline documenting the attack. Click for full size.

UPDATE, 3:50am ET: Wired story here

[: Hacktivists Scorch PBS in Retaliation for WikiLeaks Documentary

A hacker group unhappy with PBS Frontline’s hour-long documentary on WikiLeaks has hit back at the Public Broadcasting System by cracking its servers, posting thousands of stolen passwords, and adding a fake news story to a blog belonging to the august PBS Newshour…”]
, New York Times story here.

[:Hackers Disrupt PBS Web Site and Post a Fake Report About a Rap Artist

Published: May 30, 2011
The PBS Web site briefly carried a fake article claiming that the famed rapper Tupac Shakur was alive and living in New Zealand after a group of hackers took over the organization’s computer systems on Saturday night.
In  addition to posting the fake news article, the group, which identified itself on Twitter as @LulzSec or The Lulz Boat, began posting passwords and e-mail addresses of people from a wide range of news organizations and other information belonging to PBS.
As late as 2:30 a.m. on Monday, PBS had still not regained control of its Web site as the hackers continued to post defaced pages.
Comments posted by LulzSec indicated that the group was unhappy with a Frontline program about WikiLeaks that was recently shown on PBS. The group began posting messages on Twitter about midnight on Sunday: “What’s wrong with @PBS, how come all of its servers are rooted? How come their database is seized? Why are passwords cracked?”  That message was followed by a succession of posts with links to lists of passwords and other data…]

UPDATE, 5:50pm ET, Monday: PBS issued a statement on the hack; shortly afterwards, new evidence of hacking/takeover/defacement was visible at the PBS Frontline url (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/), then disappeared. (via Greg Mitchell)
News, Technology, security, television • Tags: Anonymous, bradley manning, Frontline, julian assange, Lulzsec, NewsHour, PBS, Wikileaks


FRONTLINE statement on PBS hacking

Hackers attacked PBS' servers late Sunday night, publishing internal login information and posting fake news on PBS.org sites. A hackers' group said the attack was a protest against a FRONTLINE film broadcast last week examining the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks. PBS said that no viewer information was compromised and that the sites were repaired quickly.

Following the broadcast last Tuesday of "WikiSecrets," about alleged leaker Bradley Manning and WikiLeaks, FRONTLINE received both praise and criticism from viewers. Some supporters of Manning and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange objected to what they saw as negative portrayals of the two men. FRONTLINE published and addressed criticism at its website, including comments from Manning's father Brian, Manning supporter David House, WikiLeaks supporter Gavin MacFadyen and Julian Assange.

FRONTLINE Executive Producer David Fanning called the hackers' 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."

You can watch "WikiSecrets" and read the discussions here.

[Information contained in BKNT E-mail is considered Attorney-Client and Attorney Work Product privileged, copyrighted and confidential. Views that may be expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of any government, agency, or news organization.]

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