V for Vendetta hacker strikes at Washington State University

An anonymous hacker wearing a Guy Fawkes mask took over classroom projection screens at Washington State University on the fifth of November, to broadcast a prerecorded message adapted from V For Vendetta.

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In a prank that evidently alarmed administrators and amused students, the nearly four minute video, which was also posted on YouTube, and has its own website, Facebook page and Twitter hashtag, criticizes the university's IT department. It also urges the student body to rise up against squirrels on the campus grounds. The rodents, the ersatz V complains, do nothing but "eat, drink and breed."

Video projectors in two dozen classrooms were high-jacked in the prank, according to news reports, and the video was set to replay automatically every hour. The hacker's website advised university staff that the messages would stop automatically at the end of the day, but referred them to a batch file left on the AV servers that would also reverse the hack. "This script will cleanly remove and reverse all modifications made to the systems."

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A spokeswoman told the Chronicle of Higher Education that campus police were working to identify the perpetrator. "Childish pranks just don't have a place anymore," said Darin Watkins. "What may have been seen as cute and clever years ago really doesn't get that kind of reaction today."

Illustration for article titled V for Vendetta hacker strikes at Washington State University

This post originally appeared on Wired's Threat Level. Wired.com has been expanding the hive mind with technology, science and geek culture news since 1995.

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DISCUSSION

The reason November 5th isn't remembered is because Guy Fawkes was a fanatically religious terrorist that wanted to install an oppressive, theocratic government and rid England of any and all religious tolerance toward Protestantism.

It wasn't some protest against big government like all these kids seem to think. It was an attempt to destroy a small, moderate government and to ESTABLISH big government.

Anyone who wears a Guy Fawkes mask under the pretense of supporting individualism is sabotaging whatever cause they might have. They might as well dress up like the Unabomber. There are plenty of British figureheads for individualist movements. John Locke and Francis Bacon are good candidates. Voltaire is fine if you don't mind the French. But then again, those were peaceful men, and apparently these kids want to liken themselves to a violent, murderous madman than anyone with a bit of sense.

In fact, if I recall, Moore chose Fawkes as the face of V specifically to cast doubt on whether or not V was justified.