Music Article

Hanky Panky

Madonna's website is hacked. Days after she attempts to foil pirates with her ''What the f--- do you think you're doing?'' fakes, she has her answer

Madonna, American Life, ... | LIKE A HACKER An altered version of Madonna.com featured free album downloads
Image credit: Madonna: AP/Wide World
LIKE A HACKER An altered version of Madonna.com featured free album downloads

In the days before Tuesday's release of her new ''American Life'' album, Madonna has tried to show her Web savvy, making the album available to listeners as an audio stream at MTV's website and foiling pirates by flooding file-swapping services with decoy ''American Life'' tracks that, when downloaded, played only loops of the singer saying, ''What the f--- do you think you're doing?'' But she was not Web-savvy enough to keep her own site, madonna.com from being hacked on Saturday by a pirate who posted free downloads of the entire album there, along with the message, ''This is what the f--- I think I'm doing.''

According to The Smoking Gun, which posted a screenshot of Madonna's homepage during the brief time it was hacked, Madonna's webmaster had to take the site offline for 15 hours to restore it. The hack was not a publicity stunt plotted by the Material Mom herself, her publicist told The Smoking Gun. The hacker attributed the attack to Phrack, an online magazine for hackers that claims not to ''advocate, condone nor participate in any sort of illicit behavior. But we will sit back and watch.'' However, Phrack also denied responsibility, telling The Smoking Gun, ''We have no link with this guy in any way, and we don't even know his identity.''

Originally posted Apr 22, 2003
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