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Pranksters infiltrate live Macworld feed

Blasphemy on Jobsian high holy day

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As unfounded as they may be, reports of Steve Jobs's demise have spread to a live feed of Macworld Expo provided by Apple gossip site MacRumors after griefers managed to breach the website's security.

The micro-blogging feed at Macrumorslive.com appeared banal enough through the first 23 minutes of Monday's Macworld Expo keynote, as Apple VP Phil Schiller walked attendees through one of the most uninspiring presentations in years. Then the following bombshell was inexplicably dropped:

"STEVE JOBS JUST DIED :"

The micro-blogging feed continued apace with details about new bells and whistles in iPhoto. Finally, three minutes later, the feed clarified:

"Retraction on Steve Jobs comment ... we don't know how that got in our feed. Steve did not die."

That prompted a rejoinder from the griefers that "Oh wait, sorry, Steve did die. Our condolences." They went on to claim affiliation with 4Chan, a website whose anonymous participants have discussed a number of high-profile online hijinks, including attacks on the Church of Scientology and the breach of a Yahoo email account belonging to vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin.

Screenshot of Macrumorslive feed

"Our MacRumorsLive keynote coverage was hacked today, inserting inappropriate content into the text and photo feeds," an item on Macrumors.com read. "We apologize for the inconvenience and are working to restore our services." At time of writing, Macrumorslive.com was unreachable.

It remains unclear how the perpetrators were able to breach the Macrumorslive. Some bloggers reported that the site's passwords had been circulating on 4Chan for a day prior to the hack, but that couldn't immediately be confirmed.

What is clear is that the breach is a major embarrassment for MacRumors, which surely counts the keynote of Macworld Expo to be the highest of holy days. ®

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