On Sunday, Sesame Street's YouTube channel briefly turned from a space for learning about the ABCs, to a space for learning about the naughty practices of adults. And while we've come to question Bert and Ernie's true relationship over the years as we've grown older, their "friendship" apparently isn't anything close to the skin trade viewers consumed for roughly twenty minutes.
According to reports, the site was hacked to offer an eyeful of hard-core porn until Google went into full alert and suspended the page twenty minutes later. The main page was replaced by a similar Sesame Street-themed layout although the logo adds the slogan It's Where Porn Lives. All links listed on the fake page led to an adult film called First Anal Quest: Angelica. We assume that we needn't explain the video's "plot."
"We apologize for any inconvenience our audience may have experienced today on our Sesame Street YouTube channel," the Sesame Workshop said in a statement Monday morning. "Our channel was compromised and we are presently working with YouTube/Google to restore our original content. We always strive to provide age-appropriate content for our viewers and hope to resolve this problem quickly."
When it was live, the hacked Sesame Street page claimed to be owned by YouTube member "mredxwx" who in turn uploaded a video on his own YouTube page claiming that he was not responsible for the hack. "I did not hack Sesame Street," he responds in a video. "I am an honest YouTuber. I work hard to make quality gameplay videos AND MOST IMPORTANT I RESPECT THE COMMUNITY GUIDELINES."
That's a complete 180-degree from the message he supposedly posted on the fake YouTube page. "Who doesn't love porn kids? Right! Everyone loves it! I'm Mredxwx and my partner Mrsuicider91 are here to bring you many nice content! Please don't let Sesame Street to get this account back kids. Please... let me and Mrsuicider91 have it and we gonna make all the America happy!"
As of this writing, the Sesame Street YouTube is back up and running its usual muppet-stuffed content. But how the site was replaced in the first place is still in question. "Precisely how Sesame Street's YouTube channel got hacked is presently a mystery - but it's natural to assume that they were sloppy with their password security," security firm Sophos ponders in a blog Monday.
Has LulzSec returned? The group hacked into PBS.org back in May because they took offense to the portrayal of Bradley Manning in a segment on PBS's Frontline news magazine program. The group then stated that they were hired by 21-year-old Brandon "Shadow DXS" Pike who in turn denied the claim, saying that LulzSec and Anonymous were getting back at him because he wanted to distance himself from their "criminal" ways.
"I made it apparent that I'm not a supporter of Anonymous," he said. But unfortunately, "anyone that goes against Anonymous is subject to their harassment."
YouTube user Mredxwx is now feeling his pain although right now it's unclear if the Sesame Street hacking is related to Anonymous and/or LulzSec, or something completely different.