A group of Wikileaks sympathizers hacked PBS' website late Sunday and posted a story that slain rapper Tupac Shakur was "alive and well" and living in NewZealand. The group, identified as LulzSec, also posted passwords and email addresses of PBS staffers to its Twitter page, and taunted the news organization about the security breach. "Dudes. Of course Tupac is alive. Didn't you see that official @PBS article? Why would they lie to their 750,000+ followers?" the group Tweeted early Monday.
In a statement posted to Twitter, LulzSec said it was upset about PBS' treatment of secret-spiller organization Wikileaks in a recent Frontline documentary called WikiSecrets. "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," the statement said.
Shortly after midnight, the organization began posting links to the fake Tupac story, which said proof that the rapper was alive was found in a dead New Zealand man's diary, as well as dozens of passwords to PBS databases, user logins, a map of the organization's network and other information.
"Anyway, say hello to the insides of the PBS servers, folks. They best watch where they're sailing next time," the group wrote. PBS quickly picked up on the cyber break-in. One staffer, Teresa Gorman, tweeted furiously starting around midnight to alert PBS readers about the breach. "Again, the story was added by outside sources-aka hacked, not true," she wrote. The headline for the Tupac story was still visible on PBS site Monday morning, but clicking on the story brought users to a dead page. The story also said that rapper Biggie Smalls, whose death is often linked with Shakur's, lived in the same small town in New Zealand. Shakur was gunned down in Las Vegas in 1996. Smalls, whose real name was Christopher Wallace, was killed in a drive-by shooting in 1997 in Los Angeles. LulzSec is notorious for hacking organizations and posting sensitive security information on Twitter. Earlier this month, the group stole email addresses and passwords from Fox and published personal information of about 250,000 applicants to The X-Factor show, Security Business Intelligence magazine reported.
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