Several NBC domains, a Lady Gaga fan site, and a Norwegian marine biology website’s forum have been hacked in preparation for November 5, a symbolic date on which activists and hacktivists protests are intensified. The one responsible for the attacks is a hacker called Pyknic.
Since on November 5 Britain celebrates Guy Fawkes Day, the hacker posted this message on the defaced pages: “Remember, remember, the Fifth of November, the Gunpowder Treason and Plot. I know of no reason why the Gunpowder Treason should ever be forgot.”
He also posted a message claiming that user info has been exposed and passwords have been “dumped.”
The affected domains include NBC’s main site, Saturday Night Live, and the NBC Sports Rotoworld forums (forums.rotoworld.com).
According to Ars Technica, all the affected domains utilized Invision Power Services software. Coincidentally, the discussion board software provider released a critical security update on October 25.
It’s likely that the administrators of the affected websites have failed to apply the update, allowing the attacker to leverage the vulnerabilities in order to breach the sites.
Some of the affected sites have been restored, but others have been taken down altogether. In addition, NBC has temporarily disabled user logins.
A number of other hacker collectives have announced their intentions of attacking websites today, on November 5, 2012.
The potential targets include Zynga and even Facebook. The latter was the target of Anonymous hackers last year as well, but their plans to disrupt the website failed.
Experts say that it’s unlikely they’ll achieve anything this year.
Furthermore, Anonymous’ Operation Jubilee – a live protest in front of the Parliament building in London – is also programmed to take place today. The goal of the campaign is to eliminate poverty, redistribute land, cancel all debt and stop wars.