While Americans anxiously await election day, computer hackers
have deemed it necessary to disrupt popular domains such as
) NBC sites and eBay's (NASDAQ:
) PayPal payment source. Although those to blame have yet to be
found, the hackers in question are seemingly on a mission to
remind everyone that November 5 is a day of protest and
So why the sudden urge to interfere with these popular sites?
It appears that the reason reaches back centuries ago, as Guy
Fawkes Day (November 5) has become a day of celebration in
Britain. Fawkes attempted to murder King James I and parliament
in 1605, yet his "Gunpowder Plot" failed.
While there is no current proof that PayPal has been affected,
the group assumed to be at fault -- 'Anonymous' -- tweeted that
it hacked the site, releasing almost 28,000 PayPal user's email
addresses, passwords and names. However, it appears that this
could just be a scare tactic as the online payment company has
yet to discover any issues.
"We're investigating this but to date we have been unable to
find any evidence that validates this claim," PayPal tweeted at
The Next Web
, Comcast's hacked sites have since been restored. However, over
the weekend, several NBC pages read, "Remember, remember the
fifth of November."
Likely a part of the same 'Anonymous' group, hacker 'pyknic'
is at fault for the disruption of websites such as Saturday Night
Live and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. Also included in the hack
job was one of pop sensation Lady Gaga's fan sites.
Wearing Guy Fawkes masks in order to maintain public
anonymity, the hackers have made it a point to remind the online
world about their inspiration. The 'Anonymous' group has
indicated that it plans to hack Zynga (NASDAQ:
) and release the company's games for free, while also
threatening to attack Facebook's (NASDAQ:
) user privacy, according to
Food World News
"Conclusively determining responsibility for such attacks can
be nearly impossible,"
The Associated Press
As companies brace themselves for potential hacks throughout
the rest of the day, it appears unlikely that the 'Anonymous'
participants will ever have to pay the consequence for
inconveniencing millions of web users.
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