Hours after last night's Louis CK-hosted episode registered the show's second-highest overnight ratings of the season, Saturday Night Live found its website besieged by hackers this morning. Other areas of NBC's web presence were also affected.
Originally, it appeared that only the portals for SNL, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon had been attacked. However, the damage spread across the rest of the NBC online domain to the Peacock's main site and its directory of television programs, with some reports indicating that NBC's mobile landing and the NBC Sports Rotoworld forums had been compromised as well.
Indicating a deeper security breach, the terms "User Info - Exposed" and "Passwords - Dumped" were featured on the hacked sites. On some of the pages, the memory of Guy Fawkes was invoked with references to the "gunpowder treason" of the November 5 event in England. In modern times, Fawkes has been identified with the online hacker movement called Anonymous, who have victimized websites from the MPAA, RIAA, GM, the Pentagon, the Church of Scientology, and government agencies in the United Kingdom.
By 11:30 AM Pacific time, the sites had been restored to their original condition and all traces of the hacking had disappeared. NBC has yet to issue a statement related to the incident.
In the 25 markets with Local People Meters, last night's edition of Saturday Night Live averaged a 5.0 rating with a 12 share and posted a 3.0/13 in Adults 18–49, its best number in the all-important demographic since September 22. Due to continuing problems caused by Hurricane Sandy, these ratings don't include SNL's home market of New York, so the final numbers may be increased.