An anonymous hacker wearing a Guy Fawkes mask took over classroom projection screens at Washington State University on the fifth of November, to broadcast a prerecorded message adapted from V For Vendetta.
In a prank that evidently alarmed administrators and amused students, the nearly four minute video, which was also posted on YouTube, and has its own website, Facebook page and Twitter hashtag, criticizes the university's IT department. It also urges the student body to rise up against squirrels on the campus grounds. The rodents, the ersatz V complains, do nothing but "eat, drink and breed."
Video projectors in two dozen classrooms were high-jacked in the prank, according to news reports, and the video was set to replay automatically every hour. The hacker's website advised university staff that the messages would stop automatically at the end of the day, but referred them to a batch file left on the AV servers that would also reverse the hack. "This script will cleanly remove and reverse all modifications made to the systems."
A spokeswoman told the Chronicle of Higher Education that campus police were working to identify the perpetrator. "Childish pranks just don't have a place anymore," said Darin Watkins. "What may have been seen as cute and clever years ago really doesn't get that kind of reaction today."