On Sunday night, PBS's NewsHour web site published a phony story about Tupac Shakur being found alive in New Zealand. The fake story (Tupac died in 1996), was the work of a hacker group named LulzSec who broke into the site and published thousands of employee passwords. But apparently there was a discarded idea before inspiration struck with the Tupac story. “I was gonna write about Obama choking to death on a marshmallow, but I figured Tupac would be funnier,” said Whirlpool, a member of LulzSec who spoke with Forbes's Parmy Olson.
The hacker said PBS was targeted two reasons: "Lulz and justice." The "justice" part of the equation was inspired by PBS's airing of "WikiSecrets,"a Frontline documentary critical of WikiLeaks that LulzSec members say unfairly portrayed the organization and its founder Julian Assange. "Lulz," meanwhile, is just another word for big laughs. “While our main goal is to spread entertainment, we do greatly wish that Bradley Manning hears about this, and at least smiles,” Whirlpool said. “From the start [the documentary] painted a negative picture on WikiLeaks, and it put a great deal of focus on discrediting Julian Assange and Bradley Manning." Whirlpool said the attack was carried out by four hackers in total and was rather easy because of PBS's "outdated" system.