The LulzSec hacking group has claimed responsibility for recent attacks on Sony and Nintendo. however, before they attacked these high-profile technology companies, LulzSec went after a less obvious target: PBS’ NewsHour website.

The most visible part of their hack was the posting of a false story about rapper Tupac. The fabricated story stated that the iconic hip-hop artist, who was gunned down in 1996, is actually still alive and living in New Zealand.

In addition to posting the false story about Tupac on the PBS NewsWire’s website, LulzSec also defaced a second page and released of a small set of PBS related names and passwords. these hackers used unsophisticated tools to hack a poorly protected content management system (CMS) to do their work. The defaced pages also included immature mocking of a very sophisticated “Anonymous” hacker group.

Common reasons people hack include: greed, social activism and social acceptance. at first, LulzSec might seem like an exception to these typical hacking motives. it doesn’t seem to be that LulzSec is obtaining money from the stolen data, they haven’t presented a social agenda and their actions certainly are not deemed acceptable by general society. however, the idea of “social acceptance” doesn’t have to include all of society. it has been said that LulzSec is only hacking for the infamy and entertainment of it all.

What was the specific reason for LulzSec gave for hacking PBS? they said it was because they didn’t like a televised story about WikiLeaks hacker/activist Bradley Manning that aired on PBS. As a result, one might suspect that the motivation behind LulzSec’s attacks was to gain social acceptance among other hackers, maybe even creditability in the hacking community.

These attacks might have been entertaining for LulzSec, but they have caused a headache for PBS, Sony and Nintendo. we can, however, learn something from these attacks. they provide a warning for website owners: even though your benevolent website might not have monetary value, it still stands the chance of becoming a target. Amateur hackers are always seeking out new targets to help them gain their 15 minutes of fame, and PBS is testament to this.

As this hacking group, who take their name from the world “Lulz” – a slang term used online to refer to laughter, continues to gain notoriety for their rash of web attacks, the world waits to see who will get the last laugh.

 

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