Harvard Crimson
Hacker Pranks ’Poon Web Site 

   "What is the Cleverest Band in the World?"
According to the Harvard Lampoon web site 
yesterday, it is the Columbia University 
Marching Band (CUMB). 
   Yesterday morning, an anonymous CUMB 
student "out-pooned" the Lampoon, the semi-
secret Bow Street social organization which 
used to occasionally publish a so-called 
humor magazine. 
   The student hacked the Lampoon web site, 
changing some of the questions required for 
entrance to the site and redirecting the link 
for an alumni bulletin board to the Columbia 
Marching Band Home page. 
   "I am a CUMBer out seeking cleverness in 
the Ivy League," wrote the hacker in a 
message posted to the bulletin board. 
   "I read though all the entrance questions 
and wanted to add a few, knowing that if 
anyone, you guys could surely handle a good 
prank, or in this case a mediocre one." 
   Before yesterday’s hack, the Lampoon 
required visitors to know such obscure facts 
as the main course at initiations (lobster) 
or the last name of the Castle’s architect 
(Wheelwright) to enter the web site. 
   Those questions remain, but the site now 
includes questions like, "What is 6 + 2?" 
   "I heartily encourage you guys to come up 
with some clever retaliation. Yours in 
cleverness, An anonymous member of the 
Columbia University Marching Band," wrote the 
   In response to the invasion, Lampoon Ibis 
Erik J. Kenward ’99 said, "Things are kind of 
shutdown here. We’re in mourning because Dan 
Quisenberry died, and we’re hoping that this   [He's joking, in case you can't tell.]
is a sign that he’s out there somewhere." 
   He continued, "This morning, the whole 
staff got e-mails informing us that one of 
our vice presidents is making half as much as 
the other, and we’re switching to 
   Ironically, the Columbia band web site was  
not accessible until about 5 p.m. yesterday.   [Actually, Columbia University's 'net connection was down]
However, the Lampoon does not admit to having 
a part in this. 
   "We may or may not have had anything to do 
with it, but we’re still going to go ahead 
with our plan to blow up the Internet," 
Kenward said. 
   Allegra A. Blackburn-Dwyer, the 
spokesperson for the Columbia Marching Band, 
said she was unaware of the hack. 
   "At this time, I would have to say that 
it’s just a rumor. Other than that, I don’t 
have a comment," said Blackburn-Dwyer. 
   The Lampoon’s web site is managed by a 
group called Fatwire. Roger E. "Ari" Kahn, 
chief technology officer at Fatwire, 
explained that there were no security 
breaches with the actual computer that hosts 
the web site.                                  
   The Lampoon web site has an alumni section 
on which graduates of the organization can 
post articles and communicate with each other.
   "Somebody got one of those passwords, and 
instead of posting ‘Hi, how you doing?’ they 
posted a message titled ‘Security evaluation’ 
and in addition to that being a title, made 
the web site transfer to the band home page 
after three seconds," Kahn said. 
   Hacking into Web sites is not an uncommon 
   "This is a common prank that’s happened to 
a number of newsgroups and other HTML 
postings software," Kahn said.                 [What exactly is "HTML postings software"?]
   "This isn’t any more of a concern than 
somebody getting the password for the site 
and putting an obscene article on there," he 
   In another message posted to the bulletin 
board, the hacker provided a clue to the 
whereabouts of the Lampoon’s Ibis, a metal 
bird that used to sit atop the Castle. 
   "I heard it’s in the Harvard Band’s bass 
drum. Trust me, go check," the hacker wrote.
By the way, i grabbed this article from the Crimson's website.. At the bottom, they have "Related Links". Among the links to related articles, the Lampoon's webpage, and the CUMB webpage, they had a link entitled "Hack the Harvard Lampoon", which linked to the backdoor where you can edit the questions, messages, etc.