On Saturday evening, PBS put out a report claiming rap legend Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls were still alive and living in a small resort in New Zealand. His location was revealed by the diary of a local man who was recently shot by local gangsters.
Except none of it is true and Tupac and Biggie remain dead.
Hacker group Lulz Security, upset at a documentary PBS aired about Wikileaks, hacked the PBS website and posted the bogus story. The hackers were trolling for lulz and trying to embarrass PBS in a clever way.
This is a common MO (modus operandi) for hacker enthusiasts, especially those associated with groups like Anonymous.
Habbo, a social networking site designed as a hotel, was raided by hackers who dressed up in avatars of black men with afros and blocked the entrance to the hotel pool, declaring it to be closed due AIDS.
Google Trends was hacked on several occasions. 'f*** you google', lol n*****,' and a Nazi swastika symbol have appeared on the trending list.
An epilepsy support forum was hacked and flash animations were posted with the intent of inducing seizures.
Hackers uploaded numerous pornographic contents on Youtube disguised as family-friendly videos.
Groups like Anonymous also flexed its muscles in 'non-lulz' ways on numerous occasions, including taking down the websites of MasterCard, Paypal, and various governments they accused of practicing censorship.
The 'lulz' aside, the exploits of Anonymous (and hackers unaffiliated with the group) illustrates the pervasive lack of preparedness against cyber attacks, so much so that a loosely-organized group of enthusiasts can deface and embarrass the largest corporations and media organizations in the world.
Most of the damage groups like Anonymous and Lulz Security dishes out is not critical.
However, the lack of cyber security has emboldened serious institutional cyber criminals to hack companies like Google and Lockheed Martin. In Google's case, the cyber attackers were able to gain access to personal information on Chinese political dissidents and presumably feed that information to the Chinese government.