A hacktivist group known as "Lulzsec" has gained unauthorized access to the online networks belonging to Public Broadcasting System in protest of a Frontline documentary examining the whistleblower organization WikiLeaks and accused federal document leaker Bradley Manning.
Lulzsec has gained notoriety recently for other successful hacks against websites belonging to Sony and Fox.com.
The hacktivists posted a fake article on the NewsHour website announcing that deceased rapper Tupac Shakur was alive, as well as posting the user IDs and passwords for the PBS MySQL database and other login credentials supposedly belonging to PBS affiliates and staff.
"Last night there was an intrusion to PBS' servers. The erroneous information on the PBS NewsHour site has been corrected. We're notifying stations and affected parties to advise them of the situation," said Anne Bentley, vice president for PBS corporate communications.
The defacement text stated “All your base are belong to Lulzsec”, and the title of the page read “FREE BRADLEY MANNING. F**K FRONTLINE!”
A screenshot of the PBS website with the planted NewsHour story is shown here:
The group indicated that the attacks were in retaliation for the unflattering portrayal of WikiLeaks and accused leaker Bradley Manning in a May 24 Frontline documentary.
“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,” Lulzsec wrote in a press release announcing the attack.
At the time of this article's publication, reports indicate that PBS staff are still working to regain control of the compromised websites.
Following the hack, the group posted several Twitter messages taunting PBS officials, stating "Dudes. Of course Tupac is alive. Didn't you see that official @PBS article? Why would they lie to their 750,000+ followers?” and “Hey @PBS admins, you still trying to regain control? The Lulz Boat sails through your horrendously-outdated kernels! #Sownage next, folks.”