By SUZANNE M. POMEY
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
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,"
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.