Anonymous, which adopted the Guy Fawkes mask, designed by "V for Vendetta" illustrator David Lloyd, as a symbol for its social crusade, has decided to celebrate Guy Fawkes Day with some good, old-fashioned hacking.
Guy Fawkes Day is observed annually on Nov. 5 in commemoration of the rebel Englishman's demise.
Marking Nov. 5 as a day of global protest, hacker group Anonymous began its tribute on Sunday night by allegedly hacking a PayPal server and stealing 28,000 customer passwords, The Next Web reports. Anonymous announced the hack on Twitter, "linking to a set of Private Paste documents containing emails, names, and what appear to be possibly passwords from the payment service’s database," according to TNW.
— Anonymous Press (@AnonymousPress) November 5, 2012
The head of public relations for PayPal, however, denied the Anonymous attack, tweeting, "We're investigating this but to date we have been unable to find any evidence that validates this claim."
Security firm Symantec was also reportedly hacked and is currently investigating the situation, according to the BBC. The company has taken "each and every claim" of an attack on its systems seriously. "Our first priority is to make sure that any customer information remains protected," the company said in a statement to the BBC.
On Sunday night, NBC's website was hacked by an individual working under the username "pyknic," Deadline.com reported. Saturday Night Live, Jimmy Fallon and Jay Leno portals were hacked, as was NBC's main page.
The pages were defaced with scrolling text that read: “Remember The Fifth of November, The Gunpowder Treason and Plot. I know of no reason why the gunpowder treason should ever be forgot.” The rhyme refers to Guy Fawkes' failed attempt to blow up the House of Lords and kill King James I on Nov. 5, 1605.
Lady Gaga fansite Gagadaily.com was also hacked by "pyknic," BetaBeat reported.
Despite the hacker's allusion to Guy Fawkes, no definitive connection to Anonymous has been established, according to PC Mag.
Anonymous has more planned for its Nov. 5 international protests, including a “march, strike and protest” in front of the both the White House and the U.K.'s Parliament building Monday night to reenact the revolution scene from "V for Vendetta," TNW reported. Previously, Anonymous threatened to detonate a bomb in a government building and launch a full-scale attack on Zynga.