A hacker by the name of ‘pyknic’ claimed credit Sunday for temporarily defacing several websites belonging to NBC and one Lady Gaga fansite.
Internet users who visited the websites Sunday saw a message referencing the failed assassination attempt against King James I of England and King James VI of Scotland, also called The Gunpowder Plot of 1605, which involved English Catholic Guy Fawkes.
The hacker also claimed to have exposed the sites’ user information and passwords.
The Associated Press speculated that the hacker was potentially connected to the hacktivist collective Anonymous because of the Guy Fawkes mask symbolism often used by the group.
Anonymous did not claim responsibility for the attack, however. An Anonymous-affiliated Twitter account called YourAnonNews denied any involvement on the group’s behalf.
The hack also was not preceded or accompanied by one of the group’s trademark videos or press releases.
Still, the amorphous and decentralized nature of Anonymous leaves open the possibility that the hacker could claim a loose affiliation with the group.
Attacks by Anonymous are, however, expected on Monday, November 5 — Guy Fawkes Day in the UK — in protest of government regulation of the Internet and the captivity of several Anonymous members the group claims are being held as political prisoners.