NBC Web sites hacked

The U.S.' NBC television Web sites were hacked on early November 4. The sites were coming back up by mid-afternoon.
Written by Steven Vaughan-Nichols, Senior Contributing Editor
The NBC television network's Web sites were hacked on Sunday morning.

NBC, the major U.S. television network, suffered a Web site hack earlier today. The sites are now coming back up, but hours after the initial Sunday morning attacks, there are still dead pages and others that aren't working properly.

According to Deadline Hollywood, the attack first appeared to hit such popular specific sites such as Saturday Night Live, Jimmy Fallon, and Jay Leno pages. It quickly became apparent that the attack was much bigger and it also hit the main NBC site. At the time of writing, 3:15 p.m. EST, some NBC pages are still down, and many others are still broken.

The hacker, who called himself, "Pyknic," replaced the Websites with a simple page displaying scrolling text saying, “Remember, remember the fifth of November. The gunpowder treason and plot. I know of no reason why the gunpowder treason should ever be forgot.”

This is a reference to Guy Fawkes Day. This British holiday celebrates the failure of the "Gunpowder Plot" to blow up the U.K. Parliament, celebrated each year on November 5. A stylized image of Guy Fawkes is often used as one of the symbols for the social protest hackers group, Anonymous.

Anonymous, however, has made no claims to be behind this attack. Anonymous recently claimed to be preparing to attack Facebook on Guy Fawkes Day along with online gaming giant Zynga in protest of the recently announced Zynga firings. Attacks without a real message, such as the one on NBC, are not typical of Anonymous.

Pyknic also claimed that “user info” and “passwords” had been exposed. The hacker's name itself, an uncommon adjective that means to have a short stocky physique, gives no clue as to whether he had any goal beyond disrupting the NBC Web sites.

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