By Mia-Margaret Laabs
Marching Band Member Hacks into Harvard "What is the cleverest band in the world?" On Wednesday, according to the Website of a Harvard organization, it was the Columbia University Marching Band (CUMB). On Wednesday morning, an anonymous CUMB student "out-pooned" the Lampoon, the semi- secret Harvard social organization which used to occasionally publish a so-called humor magazine. The student hacked the Lampoon Website, 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 through 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." The CUMB, organizers of the bi-annual orgo night, has earned a reputation throughout the years of throwing pranks. According to members, the marching band has dressed up in Yale uniforms and woke up the Princeton campus in the early morning. It also repainted Cornell's Red Sea, a pool on [IT'S NOT A "SEA", it's a "C"!] the football field blue before a game. [Not a pool! Just a letter painted on the field!] "Traditionally, the band does crazy things," a CUMB member who wished to remain anonymous said. She added that CUMB has accumulated a collection of stolen Ivy League paraphernalia, including UPenn sweaters and Harvard ties, part of the Crimson band's uniform. Before Wednesday'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 Website. 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. Sincerely, an anonymous member of the Columbia University Marching Band," wrote the hacker. In response to the invasion, Lampoon Ibis and senior Erik J. Kenward said, "Things are kind of shutdown here. We're in mourning because Dan Quisenberry died, and we're hoping that this is a sign that he's out there somewhere." Despite the prankster's efforts to redirect the Lampoon's Web link to the CUMB page, the entire Columbia Website was down for most of the day. The Lampoon did 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, BC '00, head manager of 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," Blackburn-Dwyer told the Crimson on Wednesday. Yesterday, Blackburn-Dwyer told the Spectator that she found the prank cute, while emphasizing that it was an act of a single member and not the band. The Lampoon's Website 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 Website. The Lampoon Website 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. 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, the organization's clubhouse. The Ibis, a victim of pranks throughout the years, was once stolen by the Crimson and dedicated to the Moscow University "as a goodwill gift from America's most respected univeristy," according to a CUMB member Mike Shirladi, SEAS '00. [The interview was conducted by email! How could she spell my name wrong?] He explained that the bird was subsequently returned, but was stolen many times and has not seen since its most recent abduction 1996. In the note to Lampoon, the CUMB hacker left a note on the bird's whereabouts. "I heard it's in the Harvard Band's bass drum. Trust me, go get a sledgehammer," the hacker wrote.