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PBS Sites Hacked; Readers’ Data Not Compromised

BY News Desk  May 30, 2011 at 2:32 PM EDT

Updated 6:20 p.m. Tuesday: Anne Bentley, vice president for PBS corporate communications, issued another statement Tuesday afternoon about the latest attacks on PBS producers’ websites:

“As the hackers continued their attacks yesterday, the Frontline and PBS NewsHour sites were redirected to video.pbs.org. The websites have since been restored.”

While the NewsHour site was under attack, transcripts and videos from Monday night’s broadcast were published via Tumblr and YouTube.

Transcripts and videos from Tuesday’s broadcast will be published to the NewsHour site as usual.

Updated 3:19 p.m. Monday: Frontline has released a statement about the hacking incidents.

Original post: As soon as a hacking incident and phony article were discovered late Sunday, NewsHour social media production assistant Teresa Gorman posted messages on the NewsHour’s Twitter feed and Facebook page informing readers that the story was fake and that a hacking had occurred. The article was quickly deleted from the NewsHour site.

PBS technicians on Monday were working to ensure any potential security gaps were closed.

Anne Bentley, vice president for PBS corporate communications, issued this statement:

“Last night there was an intrusion to PBS’ servers. The erroneous information on the PBS NewsHour site has been corrected. The intruders also posted login information to two internal sites – one that press use to access PBS PressRoom and an internal communications website for stations.

“We’re notifying stations and affected parties to advise them of the situation.”

For NewsHour site visitors, no personal information or email addresses were compromised in any way during the incident.

A group calling itself @LulzSec claimed responsibility for the hacks, saying that it was “less than impressed” with last week’s “WikiSecrets” report on PBS’ Frontline. The documentary covered the leak of U.S. diplomatic cables to the WikiLeaks website.

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