A group which, smartly preempting the press, is reportedly going by the techie pejorative “Script Kiddies”, hacked into the Fox News Twitter account on independence day and posted a number of disturbing messages about President Obama.
The hacked tweets claimed that President Obama had been murdered, prompting concern from the Secret Service. “BREAKING NEWS: President @BarackObama assassinated. 2 gunshot wounds proved too much. It’s a sad 4th for #america. #obamadead RIP,” began the series.
Fox was locked out of its own account and the disturbing messages remained up for several hours. Eventually some poor, hard working techies had to leave their BBQs and remedy the situation.
In recent months high-profile hacking attacks have become common, to the point where they make an easy and believable scapegoat for a high-profile politician like Anthony Weiner. But, sadly, the incursions are becoming less and less interesting or principled.
It was Wikileaks which really reignited the global interest in hackers and the information they could provide on governments and corporations. That was followed by Anonymous, who, in many instances, sought to strike out against those in power as retaliation for perceived injustice against Wikileaks or other hackers.
Next through the media cycle was LulzSec, who, in their farewell letter, teased the idea that hackers who find security vulnerabilities are actually “white hat,” doing the world a service by helping companies discover what they need to fix before real criminals take advantage. But in the same document, LulzSec admitted that, “Yes, yes, there’s always the argument that releasing everything in full is just as evil, what with accounts being stolen and abused, but welcome to 2011. This is the lulz lizard era, where we do things just because we find it entertaining.”
In the age of Twitter, its not difficult to get attention for pranking a high profile target. But as a former Script Kiddie wrote on Betabeat recently, kids with computer skills have much more interesting opportunities beggin’ for their talents these days.