Sony Hack: Tennessee Man Claims Threat Against CNN Was Prank
David Garrett Jr. says he was responsible for a message purporting to be from the Guardians of Peace
A Tennessee man says a message threatening CNN that purported to be from the group that hacked Sony Pictures was a prank.
David Garrett Jr., who has written articles about Homeland security for Examiner, has taken credit for the message, which multiple news outlets picked up Wednesday. The message, posted anonymously on Pastebin, led people to believe the group Guardians of Peace wold target CNN and anchor Wolf Blitzer.
News organizations reported the FBI issued a bulletin warning that news organizations might be targeted by the hackers though it is unclear if the bulletin was related to the threat against CNN.
In a series of tweets, as first reported by Mediaite, Garrett said the message was a prank.
He also posted a screenshot from a now-deleted Dec. 20 Facebook post in which he apparently talked about posting to Pastebin.
Proof. pic.twitter.com/YNwluY4FLx— David Garrett Jr. (@DavidGarrettJr) December 31, 2014
It was a joke. And to show that no one investigates anything. Everything is rumors. I had no idea it would be taken seriously.— David Garrett Jr. (@DavidGarrettJr) December 31, 2014
On the Facebook account from the above screenshot, he elaborated.
"See, what I did was, I took the message CNN claimed the hackers posted on pastebin. And there was no proof it was them," Garrett wrote. "So I took it and replaced every mention of FBI with CNN. As a joke. And then, of course, I had to add Wolf Blitzer or it wouldn't be complete. Then all these so-called 'journalists' don't get my humor."
The Sony hack, which began on Nov. 24, leaked sensitive personal and business information about thousands of employees.
In response to reports the FBI had issued a bulletin warning news organizations could be targted, The FBI National Press Office said in a statement obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, "As part of our ongoing public-private partnerships, the FBI and DHS routinely share information with the private sector and law enforcement community. The FBI and DHS are not aware of any specific credible information indicating a threat to entertainment or news organizations; however, out of an abundance of caution, we will continue to disseminate relevant information observed during the course of our investigations."