The website for the Harvard Crimson, the 144-year-old student newspaper based out of Cambridge, Mass., was hacked Thursday afternoon. Virtually every item of text on the homepage was transformed into a joke about Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, who dropped out from Harvard in 2004.
Among the joke headlines: “Mork Zinkletink Zonks All Over The Internet!” and “Mark Zoinkerburg At It Again.”
It was immediately unclear how long the website was hacked. Shortly before 1:30 p.m., the homepage turned up an error page. About 10 minutes later, the site became active again. Zuckerberg delivered the school’s Commencement address at 3 p.m. on Thursday.
“Earlier today, The Harvard Crimson’s website was altered by an unauthorized user,” Derek Choi, the paper’s president, said in a statement. “We are currently working to repair the breach. We regret any inconvenience to our users and look forward to the rest of Commencement.”
The hack may have been a poetic justice of sorts. As Business Insider has pointed out, Zuckerberg is reported to have hacked the email accounts of two Crimson editors while he was a student in an apparent attempt to “preview the newspaper’s take on his legal dispute with the founders of a rival social network ConnectU,” according to a report in the Crimson.
The Harvard Lampoon, a 141-year-old humorous publication known for its faux-rivalry with the Crimson, posted a link to a New York magazine article on the hack with the caption, “Slow news day for fake news The Harvard Crimson.”
“We at the Lampoon are aware that the Crimson is not the most trustworthy news site,” said Liana Spiro, a Lampoon writer and rising junior at Harvard. Spiro said the Lampoon could not publicly take credit for the incident, but snidely added, “It seems like they were hacked by some pretty funny people, if you ask me.”