By Elinor Mills
November 10, 2010
Washington State University police are trying to find out who hijacked
the school's computer system on Friday and broadcast on classroom video
screens throughout the day a bizarre rant by someone wearing a "V for
The hacker took over the large video screens in 34 classrooms in two
buildings on the Pullman, Wash., campus, Tom Ambrosi, WSU chief
information security officer, told CNET today. "They played the video
once an hour throughout the day," until campus employees managed to shut
it off shortly before 5 p.m. PT.
"I can't say how they got in," Ambrosi said, adding that his office
turned over evidence to the campus police. "We don't know who is
responsible. We are investigating."
The video duplicates a scene in the movie "V for Vendetta" in which a
masked vigilante broadcasts his antigovernment message on British
television. The WSU incident took place on November 5, which was Guy
Fawkes Night, named in honor of a conspirator in a plot to assassinate
King James I and blow up the UK Houses of Parliament in 1605.
In the nearly-four-minute-long video, the masked person complains about
a campus overrun by squirrels "who enter without ambitions and with no
outward enthusiasm for the fantastic academic culture that this
University might otherwise have." He also chastises the school for lax
information technology security practices.
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