Lulz(Sec), PBS. Problems??

An article claiming “Tupac still alive in New Zealand” appeared on late last night, and for most readers was probably the first indication that strange things were afoot in the site’s security sector. Hacker group LulzSec (or “The Lulz Boat”) commandeered PBS’s website in retaliation for their recent Frontline broadcast, “Wikisecrets,” which criticized Wikileaks, Julian Assange and Bradley Manning.

As part of LulzSec’s attack, the group posted PBS and Frontline staffer login information, released SQL database files and the PBS network map through their Twitter account. A “Free Bradley Manning” page was added to the site with the nyan cat meme image at the top of this post. Even after PBS was aware of the hack and reportedly “in control” of the situation, LulzSec continued to post on the site well into the early morning hours.

Alas, Tupac is not alive and probably never hung out in New Zealand with Biggie Smalls, and it appears PBS is back in control of their website (at least for the time being). The Lulz Boat’s hackery has apparently been cleared away.

As a response to a single aired broadcast, the hack seems a little overzealous to me. To quote BoingBoing commenter sumi : “It’s only a television program, FFS.”

What say you, Geeks? Is The Lulz Boat perhaps a little heavy-handed, or was the move totally justified?

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20 Responses to Lulz(Sec), PBS. Problems??

  1. I find it ironic that groups purporting to further the freedom of speech do so by screwing with people for expressing their own opinions. I.e., get a life and leave PBS alone.

  2. Funny as it is, it's distressing how much hate is slung around because somebody said something you don't like or agree with.

  3. I haft a say that this seems a bit much, also as much as am I for  freedom of speech, Wiki-leaks is probably treasonous, at least with information in whatever country you're in, as well the fact that generally things that governments don't want to release they have a reason to keep secret.  (also i don't particularly want to know what kind of trash talk world leaders share in their offices when venting that seems stupid)

    • I think similarly to you.  I was with WikiLeaks right up to the point when they released information that endangered lives that were *currently* on missions.  It's great to make the public aware that the government isn't the most honest entity, but when you're endangering people who are only doing their jobs, then you've crossed a line.

      So that brings me to: why PBS?  They are the PUBLIC broadcasting system.  Way to attack the organization that has the power to swing public opinion either way.

    • If you believe PBS is still the decent, fair station it used to be, you are sadly mistaken. PBS is not going to treat them any more fairly than any other station out there. PBS sold out long ago, and is mostly just feeding our nation as much trash as it can get away with. 

  4. Why would you care if someone critiscized Bradley Manning for what he did? He committed treason and he's lucky to not be dead for it.

  5. Exposed vulnerabilities in a harmless way, hopefully the security will be tightened enough to keep the Chinese out if there's a real attack.

  6. Exposed vulnerabilities in a harmless way, hopefully the security will be tightened enough to keep the Chinese out if there's a real attack.

  7. What you think of Wikileaks, or Assange or Manning, is not the question.  It isn't even pertinent.

    Lulz is willing to use force to shut someone else up.  That makes them the Bad Guys by their own definition.

  8. What are you talking about? I saw Tupac and Biggie Smalls down on Cuba St, Wellington just the other day! haha

  9. I don't feel they were trying to shut someone else up. To me, it seemed as if they were trying to make a point, but I guess that's just my take on it. Personally, I have seen PBS broadcasting more and more biased, misguided information over the last few years, and I don't think they are nearly the bipartisan, honest opinion they used to be. Personally, I'd like to see them actually do a report on Wikileaks that doesn't just take the same regurgitated stand that everyone else is taking. Don't get me wrong, there are two sides to every story, and I am not saying Wikileaks, Assange, or Manning shouldn't be criticized. But like I said: two sides. And I honestly feel like everything just paints Assange & Manning, and Wikileaks in general, as being as bad as say, suicide bombers and mass murderers. I felt that the hack was more of a way of making fun of PBS, not trying to shut them up or do damage, and personally, if the people who did it feel anything like I do, I can understand the point they were trying to make. That's just my stance on it. If they were just trying to "Shut up" PBS, then they failed and they are idiots for trying to spit in the face of free speech.

    • Of course they are spitting in the face of free speech. They released info on PBS folks not even related to the Frontline program they were upset by.

      Not to mention the fact that you don't support free speech by trying to suppress info you disagree with.  You refute it, with evidence and facts. But trying to suppress it? That's chilling to me, as a former journalist. (How many journalists with a real, important story do you think will be willing to sacrifice the personal and financial security of their families if they get contacted by a group that threatens to ruin them if they report on something they disagree with?)

      If they had hacked the site and put up stories with verifiable facts to refute info in the Frontline report, that would be closer to so called "hacktivism". But what they did? It was just digital vandalism.

    • Ah, I hadn't heard anything about them posting information about the folks there, or anything like that. All I knew of it was that they had put some spoof articles on PBS's website and basically made fun of the station.

      And I agree with you, you can not try to shut one person up while claiming to support free speech. That's like a war for peace or screwing for virginity. It doesn't work, and it makes you look foolish.

      I only knew about the prank articles, and at that point, I felt they were just making fun of PBS to get their point across that they felt PBS had been unfair and bias. However, if they were posting information about people at PBS or trying to threaten people? That's an entirely different ballgame. Since the PBS thing, they've hacked quite a few more people, and I've pretty much disagreed with their motives in all of those and frankly think they need to be shut down, permanently, because they've gone way farther than free speech. They're actually doing damage to people's finances and character now, and really need to be stopped.

  10. There are so many other ways to voice your displeasure over something. Resorting to hacking, even if it's for the lulz, is just childish. Use your big boy words and write a blog, then go outside and get some air.

  11. hey these guys have no right attacking government agencies b/c  they dont like a law passed, i say screw the fence jumping pukes coming illegally from mexico and tell them come legally or be shot and the mexican drug cartels that come over here should be shot on sight i appluad arizona and the efforts they are putting forth

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