LulzSec uses zero-day on PBS, promises more attacks

Powered by SC Magazine
 

PBS hacked after an it broadcast an "unfair" documentary of Wikileaks.

A group of hackers who compromised servers belonging to PBS.org early Monday morning said they used a zero-day vulnerability in a blog software program to obtain access to the popular site.

In a post Sunday on the file-sharing site Pastebin, a vigilante hacker contingent known as LulzSec said PBS.org "was owned" through an unpatched vulnerability in Moveable Type version 4.

Using that vector to gain their foothold, the hackers - seeking revenge against PBS for recently airing what they considered an unfair documentary about WikiLeaks - were able to compromise the PBS NewsHour website to post a fake story that rapper Tupac Shakur is still alive. In addition, the intruders posted the usernames and passwords to PBS staff, as well as those working at other networks apparently affiliated with PBS.

"We just finished watching WikiSecrets and were less than impressed," a message from the group read. "We decided to sail our Lulz Boat over to the PBS servers for further ... perusing."

One of the hackers who claimed responsibility teamed up with just a few others to launch the attack, according to a Forbes story. Aside from humor, their motive was to express support for WikiLeaks whistleblower Bradley Manning, the US Army private who leaked roughly 250,000 secret US State Department diplomatic cables to WikiLeaks.

"While our main goal is to spread entertainment, we do greatly wish that Bradley Manning hears about this and at least smiles," the hacker, who called himself Whirpool, told Forbes.

It took some time for PBS to regain control of its servers, with the group launching additional defacements many hours after it posted the fake story. The LulzSec Twitter account documented most of the incidents.

"The erroneous information posted early yesterday morning on the PBS NewsHour site was corrected," a statement from the network said. "The intruders also posted login information to an outdated version of PBS PressRoom and an internal communications website for stations. We have notified stations and affected parties to advise them of the situation."

LulzSec does not appear to be affiliated with Anonymous, a separate hacktivist group, but both support WikiLeaks.

Rob Rachwald, director of security strategy at data security firm Imperva, said the hackers likely used a three-step process to compromise PBS.org: use automated software to locate a vulnerability, then use tools to harvest database contents and finally use some of that stolen information to login to certain systems.

"The breach highlights how hacking has become industrialized," Rachwald said in a Sunday blog post.

The LulzSec collective also has taken credit for hacking into Fox.com and a Sony website in Japan. It also promised more problems for Sony, according to a weekend tweet.

Meanwhile, experts said the PBS hack should offer pause for other news outlets who believe their networks are secure from similar attacks.

This article originally appeared at scmagazineus.com

Copyright © SC Magazine, US edition


LulzSec uses zero-day on PBS, promises more attacks
 
 
 
Top Stories
Frugality as a service: the Amazon story
Behind the scenes, Amazon Web Services is one lean machine.
 
Negotiating with the cloud email megavendors
[Blog post] Lessons from Woolworths’ mammoth migration.
 
Qld govt to move up to 149k staff onto Office 365
Australia's largest deployment, outside of the universities.
 
 
Sign up to receive iTnews email bulletins
   FOLLOW US...

Latest VideosSee all videos »

The great data centre opportunity on Australia's doorstep
The great data centre opportunity on Australia's doorstep
Scott Noteboom, CEO of LitBit speaking at The Australian Data Centre Strategy Summit 2014 in the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia. http://bit.ly/1qpxVfV Scott Noteboom is a data centre engineer who led builds for Apple and Yahoo in the earliest days of the cloud, and who now eyes Asia as the next big opportunity. Read more: http://www.itnews.com.au/News/372482,how-do-we-serve-three-billion-new-internet-users.aspx#ixzz2yNLmMG5C
Interview: Karl Maftoum, CIO, ACMA
Interview: Karl Maftoum, CIO, ACMA
To COTS or not to COTS? iTnews asks Karl Maftoum, CIO of the ACMA, at the CIO Strategy Summit.
Susan Sly: What is the Role of the CIO?
Susan Sly: What is the Role of the CIO?
AEMO chief information officer Susan Sly calls for more collaboration among Australia's technology leaders at the CIO Strategy Summit.
Meet the 2014 Finance CIO of the Year
Meet the 2014 Finance CIO of the Year
Credit Union Australia's David Gee awarded Finance CIO of the Year at the iTnews Benchmark Awards.
Meet the 2014 Retail CIO of the Year
Meet the 2014 Retail CIO of the Year
Damon Rees named Retail CIO of the Year at the iTnews Benchmark Awards for his work at Woolworths.
Robyn Elliott named the 2014 Utilities CIO of the Year
Robyn Elliott named the 2014 Utilities CIO of the Year
Acting Foxtel CIO David Marks accepts an iTnews Benchmark Award on behalf of Robyn Elliott.
Meet the 2014 Industrial CIO of the Year
Meet the 2014 Industrial CIO of the Year
Sanjay Mehta named Industrial CIO of the Year at the iTnews Benchmark Awards for his work at ConocoPhillips.
Meet the 2014 Healthcare CIO of the Year
Meet the 2014 Healthcare CIO of the Year
Greg Wells named Healthcare CIO of the Year at the iTnews Benchmark Awards for his work at NSW Health.
Meet the 2014 Education CIO of the Year
Meet the 2014 Education CIO of the Year
William Confalonieri named Healthcare CIO of the Year at the iTnews Benchmark Awards for his work at Deakin University.
Meet the 2014 Government CIO of the Year
Meet the 2014 Government CIO of the Year
David Johnson named Government CIO of the Year at the iTnews Benchmark Awards for his work at the Queensland Police Service.
Q and A: Coalition Broadband Policy
Q and A: Coalition Broadband Policy
Malcolm Turnbull and Tony Abbott discuss the Coalition's broadband policy with the press.
AFP scalps hacker 'leader' inside Australia's IT ranks.
AFP scalps hacker 'leader' inside Australia's IT ranks.
The Australian Federal Police have arrested a Sydney-based IT security professional for hacking a government website.
NBN Petition Delivered To Turnbull's Office
NBN Petition Delivered To Turnbull's Office
UTS CIO: IT teams of the future
UTS CIO: IT teams of the future
UTS CIO Chrissy Burns talks data.
New UTS Building: the IT within
New UTS Building: the IT within
The IT behind tomorrow's universities.
iTnews' NBN Panel
iTnews' NBN Panel
Is your enterprise NBN-ready?
Introducing iTnews Labs
Introducing iTnews Labs
See a timelapse of the iTnews labs being unboxed, set up and switched on! iTnews will produce independent testing of the latest enterprise software to hit the market after installing a purpose-built test lab in Sydney. Watch the installation of two DL380p servers, two HP StoreVirtual 4330 storage arrays and two HP ProCurve 2920 switches.
The True Cost of BYOD
The True Cost of BYOD
iTnews' Brett Winterford gives attendees of the first 'Touch Tomorrow' event in Brisbane a brief look at his research into enterprise mobility. What are the use cases and how can they be quantified? What price should you expect to pay for securing mobile access to corporate applications? What's coming around the corner?
Ghost clouds
Ghost clouds
ACMA chair Chris Chapman says there is uncertainty over whether certain classes of cloud service providers are caught by regulations.
Was the Snowden leak inevitable?
Was the Snowden leak inevitable?
Privacy experts David Vaile (UNSW Cyberspace Law and Policy Centre) and Craig Scroggie (CEO, NextDC) claim they were not surprised by the Snowden leaks about the NSA's PRISM program.
Latest Comments
Polls
Which bank is most likely to suffer an RBS-style meltdown?





   |   View results
ANZ
  21%
 
Bankwest
  9%
 
CommBank
  11%
 
National Australia Bank
  17%
 
Suncorp
  24%
 
Westpac
  19%
TOTAL VOTES: 1441

Vote