THIS STORY HAS BEEN FORMATTED FOR EASY PRINTING

Hackers post fake story on PBS site

This image appeared on the hacked PBS website. A group called LulzSec and “The Lulz Boat’’ claimed responsibility This image appeared on the hacked PBS website. A group called LulzSec and “The Lulz Boat’’ claimed responsibility
By Brett Zongker
Associated Press / May 31, 2011

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WASHINGTON — PBS officials say hackers have cracked the network’s website, posting a phony story claiming dead rapper Tupac Shakur was alive in New Zealand, and a group that claimed responsibility for the hacking complained about a recent “Frontline’’ investigative news program on WikiLeaks.

PBS confirmed early yesterday morning on its official Twitter account that the website had been hacked. The phony story had been taken down that morning. It had been posted on the site of the “PBS NewsHour’’ program, which is produced by WETA-TV in Arlington, Va.

Anne Bentley, PBS’s vice president of corporate communications, said in an e-mail that erroneous information posted on the website has been corrected. The hackers also posted login information for two internal PBS sites: one that media use to access the PBS press room and an internal communications website for stations, she said. She added all affected parties were being notified.

David Fanning, executive producer of “Frontline,’’ said he learned of the hacking early yesterday, nearly a week after the program aired its “WikiSecrets’’ documentary about the leak of US diplomatic cables to the WikiLeaks website.

The documentary, produced by WGBH-TV in Boston, generated criticism and debate on the program’s website in recent days from those sympathetic to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and from those who thought the program was fair, Fanning said.

“Frontline’’ producers hear impassioned responses all the time, Fanning said. Having a group attack the PBS website over a news program was unusual but “probably not unexpected,’’ he said.

“From our point of view, we just see it as a disappointing and irresponsible act, especially since we have been very open to publishing criticism of the film . . . and the film included other points of view,’’ Fanning said. “This kind of action is irresponsible and chilling.’’

PBS officials did not immediately respond to phone and e-mail messages.

A group calling itself LulzSec and “The Lulz Boat’’ on Twitter claimed responsibility and posted links to other hacks.

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