Published June 02, 2011
A hacker group has claimed responsibility for defacing the PBS.org website, the Fox.com site, and the Sony network, posting images of defaced websites and stolen databases and emails to its website.
And the group has an even more eye-opening claim: It was hired to hack PBS.org.
"This is the guy that paid us to hack pbs.org," the Lulz Security group wrote on its Twitter feed, pointing to the account of another person who goes by the name Shadow DXS.
Branndon Pike, the Daytona Beach 21-year-old who goes by the name Shadow DXS online, was quick to deny any such pay-off.
Pike said he's broke. "My fiancee is paying all my bills right now," he told FoxNews.com. "If I had a dollar it would not be going to these clowns."
Why has Lulz targeted Pike then?
"Because I pissed 'em off," Pike said simply.
Pike linked the hacker group Lulz to Anonymous, the "hacktivist" collective that -- in the name of the freedom of information -- has hacked numerous websites, wrestled with security firms and made public a decrypted version of the cyberworm that crippled Iran's nuclear power program.
"This group is actually a splinter cell of Anonymous," Pike told FoxNews.com.
Pike tried to distance himself from Anonymous after realizing the group's actions had crossed the line from activism to criminality.
"I made it apparent that I'm not a supporter of Anonymous," he said. But unfortunately, "anyone that goes against Anonymous is subject to their harassment."
It appears Anonymous -- and the ironically named Lulz Security -- aren't done with the mischief and mayhem just yet.
Late Thursday, the group released a massive collection of data stolen from Sony's servers. Pike claims the group has been bragging and plotting about its plans to release the Sony data on online forums; the information in the massive data dump included user names, passwords, and even administrator accounts.
"1,000,000+ unencrypted users, unencrypted admin accounts, government and military passwords saved in plaintext," the group Tweeted at 4:22 p.m. EDT, announcing the massive data leak. "#PSN compromised."
A file labeled "pretentious press statement" that accompanied the leaked data explains what the group took and why.
"Enclosed you will find various collections of data stolen from internal Sony networks and websites, all of which we accessed easily and without the need for outside support or money," the statement reads.
The information wasn't encrypted, the group said. "This is disgraceful and insecure: they were asking for it."
Pike strove to distance himself from the group's actions.
"I didn't really find it that funny when it happened. And I'm not finding it funny right now," he said, even toying with the idea of turning himself in before the police show up on his doorstep.
"I'm kind of waiting for the FBI to come over and search my crap," he told FoxNews.com.
"And I don't want to live with that 'are they coming any second' kind of deal," he said.