On November 4th, Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols of ZDNet, who covers security, posted on his blog that NBC had suffered a hack on a number of its websites during the early morning of Sunday, November 4th. According to Vaughn-Nichols, as of noon Eastern Standard Time the sites were coming back up, but there were still a number of dead pages, as well as some pages that weren’t working properly. Originally reported on Deadline Hollywood, the attack first appeared to hit the Saturday Night Live, Jimmy Fallon and Jay Leno pages, but it soon appeared it had compromised the main NBC site, www.NBC.com.
The hacker, "Pyknic," replaced the NBC websites with a simple page of scrolling text that referenced Guy Fawkes day, November 5th, a British holiday celebrating the failure of the Gunpowder Plot to blow up Parliament:
Remember, remember the fifth of November.
The gunpowder treason and plot.
I know of no reason why the gunpowder treason should ever be forgot.
Pyknic also claimed that “user info” and “passwords” had been exposed.
A stylized image of Guy Fawkes is often used as one of the symbols for the social protest hackers group, Anonymous, but Anonymous has made no claims regarding the November 4th attack on NBC. As of November 5th, all NBC sites had been restored.
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