PBS NewsHour hackers turn eyes to Sony

LulzSec, the group of hackers that broke into PBS’ NewsHour website, has said it is attacking Sony — although the PlayStation Network (PSN), the company’s primary gaming network, will apparently not be involved.

“Hey @Sony, you know we’re making off with a bunch of your internal stuff right now and you haven’t even noticed? Slow and steady, guys,” the hacker group said in a Tweet on its main Twitter account last night. (The picture to the right is the avatar for the group’s Twitter account.)

Members of the hacker group were able to break into the PBS site and post a fake story that said rapper Tupac Shakur was still alive. It was the third high-profile hacking attack on a private network in a little more than a month. But now the group has apparently turned its eyes on Sony, which was forced to bring down the PSN and beef up security as a result of an earlier attack by an as-yet unidentified hacker group. A cyber attack on Sony’s PlayStation Network (PSN) led to hackers stealing sensitive information from potentially more than 100 million PSN and users.

“You Sony morons realize we’ve never attacked any of your precious gaming, right? Do you know Sony does this thing called “music” too?” the group said on its Twitter account.

The statement came on the same Twitter account that claimed ownership of the hack on PBS’ NewsHour site. But the group has been quick to remind everyone that it is not a part of hacktivist group Anonymous — which regularly takes up political causes and sometimes commits hacks like this for amusement. Those within Anonymous — an amorphous and loosely associated group of hackers that are regulars on message boards like 4chan — typically use the term “lulz” to describe the amusement they get out of hacks like these.

Defense contractor Lockheed Martin was also hit by a cyber attack last week, but the company said it successfully fended off the “tenacious and significant attack” and said no information was compromised. While sensitive information about 100 million consumers was at risk during the PSN attack, sensitive information about defense contracts and advanced technology could have been at risk during the attack on Lockheed Martin’s private network.

The LulzSec group might be targeting Sony’s music service, Qriocity, or the company’s music component, Sony Music Entertainment. The latter is the second largest record company and is a member of the “big four.” Those record companies have come under fire for relentlessly targeting individuals that pirate music and suing them, seeking huge cash settlements in an attempt to discourage people from pirating music.

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