Obama Not Dead, Hackers Strike Again

Obama Not Dead, Hackers Strike Again

Hackers broke into Fox News’ Twitter account and posted fake messages about the assassination of President Obama, as online battle moves to political targets.

A group dubbed the “Script Kiddies” yesterday took credit for hacking Fox News’ Twitter account. White House officials assured the nation that the President was fine and enjoyed an Independence Day celebration with his family.

The Script Kiddies’ posts began at 2 a.m. on July 4 and continued for several hours before Fox regained control of its account.

“We wish @joebiden the best of luck as our new President of the United States. In such a time of madness, there’s light at the end of tunnel,” said one tweet by the hackers.

The Secret Service is investigating the hack, given the seriousness of the subject. Fox News also requested Twitter determine how hackers broke into the TV network’s account, though Twitter said it is “unable to anticipate compromises that take place due to offsite behavior.”

Script Kiddies’ attack comes as political hacks are making headlines around the world. Given the recent security breaches at the International Monetary Fund, Lockheed Martin and Google, hackers aren’t always out for money or the fun of creating chaos. More are starting to take an interest in influencing world politics.

The recently disbanded group LulzSec and established hacktivist collective Anonymous teamed up to wreak havoc on worldwide governments, especially the U.S. Before it dissipated, LulzSec released Arizona law enforcement data in protest of the state’s immigration laws, in addition to its earlier hacks against the FBI, CIA and U.S. Senate.

Anonymous has a long history of anti-governmental protests too, most notably targeting Visa, MasterCard and Amazon for refusing to accept WikiLeaks payments in December 2010. Most recently, it supposedly hacked NATO. The collective also targeted the Indian and Israeli governments as well, purporting to attack online censorship and corruption wherever possible.

“Anons” and LulzSec members have paid the price for their extracurricular activities, though, as Turkey and Spain arrested 35 Anons this month for bombarding these governments with distributed denial-of-service, or DDoS, attacks. And British officials arrested a teenager with possible connections to LulzSec who allegedly hacked the country’s Serious Organized Crime Site.

Despite governmental crackdowns, however, today’s hack suggests politically motivated attacks have staying power that isn’t going away anytime soon. Hackers like LulzSec and Script Kiddies can publicize their agendas by aiming at political targets, a reward sure to keep them active in the future.

A supposed Script Kiddies member took a swipe at Fox while explaining the reason behind the hack, according to student reporter Adam Peck of Stony Brook University’s Think magazine.

“Fox News was selected because we figured their security would be just as much of a joke as their reporting,” said the hacker.

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