US & Canada

PBS victim of Tupac Shakur hacking hoax

Tupac Shakur
Image caption Tupac died in 1996 after being shot four times

Hackers posted a fake story about dead American rapper Tupac Shakur on the website of US public broadcaster PBS.

The hoax on the site of the PBS NewsHour programme said Tupac was alive and well in New Zealand, but the story had been removed by Monday morning.

Tupac died in 1996 after being shot four times in Las Vegas.

A group claiming it was behind the hack had complained about last week's PBS Frontline investigation into Julian Assange's Wikileaks website.

The group, calling itself LulzSec, and The Lulz Boat on Twitter, claimed it had hacked the site.

One message said the group was "less than impressed" with the documentary, entitled Wikisecrets, about the leak of US diplomatic cables to the WikiLeaks website.

The programme, which can still be viewed on the PBS website, had generated much debate on the PBS website, especially from those sympathetic to founder Assange.

David Fanning, executive producer of Frontline, said the attack on the PBS website was unusual but "probably not unexpected".

He said: "This kind of action is irresponsible and chilling."

He added: "From our point of view, we just see it as a disappointing and irresponsible act, especially since we have been very open to publishing criticism of the film... and the film included other points of view."

The hackers also posted log-in information for two internal PBS sites.

In recent months, the group has also claimed responsibility for security breaches at Sony and Fox.

In his weekly column, PBS ombudsman Michael Getler had said WikiSecrets had generated only a handful of complaints, though he expected more in the post.

"This may be a good thing for Frontline if it suggests that most viewers found the program to be in keeping with Frontline's reputation for fair yet tough reporting," Getler wrote.

He said questioning by interviewer Martin Smith had been tough but fair, although the reporting raised some questions in his mind.