Members of Anonymous have set their sites on hacking gadget giant Apple.  (Source: MacLife)

Fox News proclaimed U.S. President Barack Obama's death on Monday -- but it was due to a hack.  (Source: Twitter)

The President was actually alive and well, enjoying 4th of July barbecue at the White House.  (Source: AP Photo)
Fox News carried fake stories of an Obama assassination on its Twitter feed

It's been a busy couple of weeks for Anonymous sub-groups.  The hacker collective, a group without a leader, has made a name for itself with many high profile actions over the last year, including promoting the revolution in the Middle East.  But it's smaller sub-clans, such as LulzSec that have really caught the public eye [1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13].

I. Apple Hacked?

A couple of weeks ago a Pastebin post popped up claiming the group had hacked into gadget maker Apple Inc.'s (AAPL) iCloud service.  The group writes:
Greetings Internets,

This is a story all about how we made Apple and everything they own, our bitch for life.

Hello, good day, and how are you? Splendid! We're LulzSec, a small team of lulzy individuals who feel the drabness of the cyber community is a burden on what matters: fun. Considering fun is now restricted to Friday, where we look forward to the weekend, weekend, we have now taken it upon ourselves to spread fun, fun, fun, throughout the entire calender year.

As you should know, The Lulz Boat stores vast amounts of booty; much of this booty we don't release as it's simply too shiny and/or delicious. As of late, certain inferior sailing boats have discovered flaws in the iCloud (the, thinking themselves exciting and new.

Too late. The Lulz Boat controls this ocean, chumps.

Some weeks ago, we smashed into the iCloud with our heavy artillery Lulz Cannons and decided to switch to ninja mode. From our LFI entry point, we acquired command execution via local file inclusion of enemy fleet Apache vessel. We then found that the HTTPD had SSH auth keys, which let our ship SSH into other servers. See where this is going?

We then switched to root ammunition rounds.

And we rooted... and rooted... and rooted...

After mapping their internal network and thoroughly pillaging all of their servers, we grabbed all their source code and database passwords, which we proceeded to shift silently back to our storage deck.

"It seems the glorious leader of LulzSec got arrested. Whois driving the boat?"
The post is unconfirmed, as it was not linked on the group's official site or Twitter account.  Also the data that was claimed to be stolen (site code, user records, etc.) has not yet been released.

However, the renamed LulzSec group, which now calls itself AntiSec, claimed via a post to the Twitter account "AnonymousIRC" and a linked post on Pastebin, to have hacked Apple.

The post shows a number of users names and passwords on what appears to be an Apple survey page.  In total, only 27 usernames were taken, so this doesn't appear to be the treasure trove LulzSec (may have) alluded to.

II. Obama Dead? Fox News Says So

In related news, another Anonymous sub-group calling themselves "The Script Kiddies" on Monday hacked into the foxnewspolitics Twitter account, a media tool of Fox News.

The account, which has 33,000 followers, began tweeting that United States President Barack Obama had been shot.  The posts read:

@BarackObama has just passed. The President is dead. A sad 4th of July, indeed. President Barack Obama is dead

@BarackObama has just passed. Nearly 45 minutes ago, he was shot twice in the lower pelvic area and in the neck; shooter unknown. Bled out

@BarackObama shot twice at a Ross' restaurant in Iowa while campaigning. RIP Obama, best regards to the Obama family.

#ObamaDead, it's a sad 4th of July. RT to support the late president's family, and RIP. The shooter will be found

BREAKING NEWS: President @BarackObama assassinated, 2 gunshot wounds have proved too much. It's a sad 4th for #america#obamadead RIP

We wish @joebiden the best of luck as our new President of the United States. In such a time of madness, there's light at the end of tunnel
The posts were fired off within a short 10 minute window.  Fox has not yet deleted them.  The posts were retweeted many times by observers.

Think Magazine has interviewed someone claiming to be a member of the group.  They state:
"I would consider us to be close in relation [to Anonymous], 2 of the members of our group were members of Anonymous," said a representative of The Script Kiddies, who, for reasons that should be quite clear, asked to remain, yes, anonymous. "I was a member of Anonymous. We hope to be working with them soon."

"We are looking to find information about corporations to assist with antisec. Fox News was selected because we figured their security would be just as much of a joke as their reporting. It will be a never ending battle."

"The names change from time to time like LulzSec and Anonymous or Script Kiddies. But [there] will always be a group of people that need to stand up for everyone else and attempt to keep the government in balance with it’s people. Without groups like Anonymous, what is there to prevent corruption?"
Of course anybody can claim to be anything on the internet, so take that source with a grain of salt.  

Fox is not the first news organization to fall victim to death pranks.  PBS was hacked by LulzSec at the start of May.  The group posted fake stories about the late rapper Tupac Shukar not being dead.  LulzSec also hacked Fox's sales department a few days later, in a lower profile intrusion.  

Some news organizations have even posted such stories accidentally as reportedly many keep canned articles in reserve for such events.  For example, Bloomberg embarrassingly published Apple CEO Steven P. Jobs' obituary in 2008. 

It is a federal criminal offense to threaten the President, though it is unclear whether the posts would constitute a "threat".  The Script Kiddies have had two accounts suspended by Twitter.  

The President, meanwhile is alive and well.  He spoke at a celebration at the White House yesterday.  His feed reads:

Today we are celebrating our country, honoring our troops, and enjoying a little BBQ. From all of us at #Obama2012, have a wonderful Fourth.

It is unclear why Twitter deleted those accounts, but tolerated LulzSec who hacked PBS's feed.  Fox News is a property of News Corp. (NWS), Rupert Murdoch's media empire.

"Let's face it, we're not changing the world. We're building a product that helps people buy more crap - and watch porn." -- Seagate CEO Bill Watkins

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