Hacker group The Script Kiddies was back in the news two weeks ago when they claimed responsibility for breaking into the @NBCNews Twitter account and posting alarming messages about a non-existent terrorist attack at Ground Zero, just days before the tenth anniversary of September 11.
This is the second high-profile Twitter hack for The Script Kiddies, who made headlines in early July when they gained access to the @FoxNewsPolitics Twitter account to post false reports about President Obama being shot.
In an exclusive conversation with Think Magazine, a representative claiming to be from The Script Kiddies said that NBC News was simply an unlucky victim, not a premeditated target.
“We planned to hack any media group; NBC wasn’t specifically targeted,” said the Script Kiddies representative.
In the months since they hacked Fox News, The Script Kiddies have carried out several smaller scale hacks, mostly against corporations, and almost entirely targeted to social media platforms. Pfizer, McAfee and Verizon all had Facebook pages hacked by The Script Kiddies in the last two months, though the extent of the damage never extended beyond a few tweaks to profile information and a few self-congratulatory wall posts.
The Script Kiddies’ preference for social media sites may relate to the relative ease of breaking into Twitter accounts and Facebook pages. At news organizations like NBC News or Fox News, often interns or low-level employees are given broad access to social media sites like Twitter. And while NBC News reported that only three senior executives at the company had access to their main account, the Script Kiddies representative said that there were gaping holes in NBC’s online security.
“Since we got the idea, it took about 4 minutes until we were on the Twitter account,” said the representative, who was reached via Instant Message. “NBC has more security issues we are trying to contact them about.”
NBC did not return calls for a comment.
The Script Kiddies say that their tweets, which went out to @NBCNews’ approximately 130,000 followers, were simply the fastest way to attract attention to their message.
“Under normal conditions no one would care to hear our message. Although it’s not something we would normal [sic] want to do to the American people, it was needed to accomplish our goal.”
And the goal?
“It’s our first stand against the Patriot Act,” said the representative. “The Patriot Act is a clear violation of our natural given rights, we hacked NBC to bring attention to this issue.” It’s unclear how NBC News or any other news outlet is directly related to the Patriot Act.