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Four Charged in PBS Hacking Case

by ARLnow.com March 6, 2012 at 2:29 pm 2,694 8 Comments

Federal prosecutors announced charges today against four alleged computer hackers in connection with last year’s hack of the web site of PBS.

Prosecutors say Ryan Ackroyd, Jake Davis, Darren Martyn and Hector Xavier Monsegur — alleged members of the “hacktivist” group LulzSec — hacked into PBS servers last year in retaliation for what they perceived to be unfavorable coverage of Wikileaks by the PBS news program “Frontline.” At the time, news outlets reported that LulzSec defaced PBS.org and posted a fake story on the PBS NewsHour website suggesting that the late rapper Tupac Shakur was actually alive and well in New Zealand.

PBS is based in Crystal City and the PBS NewsHour is produced in Shirlington, though prosecutors say the organization’s computer servers were actually located in Alexandria.

Ackroyd and Davis, of the United Kingdom, and Martyn, of Ireland, are each charged with two counts of computer hacking conspiracy. In addition to the PBS hack, they’re also accused of hacking into the systems of Sony Pictures Entertainment, Rockville-based Bethesda Softworks, and other companies.

Monsegur, of New York City, has already pleaded guilty to a host of charges connected with those hacking incidents. See the full list of charges from a United States Attorney’s Office press release.

  • awh hells bells

    I’m sure these four aren’t loling about this pwnage anymore.

  • Tupac Shakur

    G’day, mates!

    • Paul Hogan

      I’ll slip an extra shrimp on the barbie for you.”

      • Tupac Shakur

        Go back to your own island, biotch.

  • SomeGuy

    The men charged in these crimes should be more accurately described as “malicious security crackers.” This link does a good job of making the distinction between “hacker” and a “malicious security cracker:”
    http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/security/hacker-vs-cracker/1400

    • brendan

      eh… i agree that most of the Anonymous crowd is pretty lame in their hacking skills. most of the attacks are through poorly protected logins or DDOS. The lulzsec group was a little more capable than the average misguided Anonymous youth and used a variety of methods to gain access to servers. Not sure what they did for PBS, but one of their favorite methods was sql injections, which i’d argue is legit hacking when they use it to gain control of a system or server. Sabu in particular was quite talented at writing malicious scripts to gain access and while it seems he employed an army of non-hacking ‘sniffers,’ the core group did have some talent.

      Most of the stuff they did in the name of ‘lulz’ was pretty stupid and hurt thousands, if not millions of online customers…. not sure what else they did to the PBS servers, but if it was just posting a fake story about Tupac while exposing a security flaw that’s kinda funny and not terribly harmful. Yes, it’s illegal but the Sony and attacks on law enforcement should be what brings them the most jail time. Hopefully they don’t let Sabu off the hook easy for his cooperation w/ the FBI… Seems pretty clear he was one of the most selfish and destructive forces behind this whole escapade.

      • Stitch_Jones

        And Sabu accomplished it all while existing on state-sponsored welfare.

        Reality is why I no longer read fiction.

        • brendan

          what was he on? haven’t read much of the follow up. but kind of stupid for someone with a premium of remaining out of sight to be on the dole. probably why it was so easy for the fbi to pick him up without much of a scene and flip him.

          kind of interesting for someone who had access to millions of credit cards and blackmail material…

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