Hacktivism Makes for Strange Bedfellows

Thursday, February 24, 2011

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UPDATE:  Anonymous Hacktivists Deface Westboro Baptist Church Website

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After a week of rumored anticipation that Anonymous might strike against the Westboro Baptist Church (WBC), reports have surfaced that Anonymous' nemesis The Jester (th3j35t3r) may be responsible for WBC website downtime.

Last week an open letter was posted on an Anonymous sounding board that warned of potential action by the loose-knit "group" against the controversial Church for "inimitable bigotry and intolerant fanaticism".

The warnings were later dismissed by other Anonymous movement followers as being a "hoax", and some had suggested members of WBC were themselves responsible for the threats.

A Twitter message posted by The Jester on Monday read: "www.godhatesfags.com – TANGO DOWN. Temporarily. For celebrating the death of US troops – honeypot fail btw", and is assumed to be a sign the hacktivist is taking credit for the attacks on the WBC websites.

The Jester is known mostly for his repeated denial of service attacks on militant Jihadi websites (video), as well as his attack on the WikiLeaks website in late November that forced the organization to shuffle Internet hosting providers.

Anonymous is known for having targeted the websites of PayPal, Visa, MasterCard, PostFinance Bank, Amazon, Bank of America and others in December, and continues to use DDoS attacks as a method of furthering political views in various conflicts around the world.

Most recently, the non-group made headlines by breaching the systems of HBGary Federal, a security company who was involved in efforts to reveal the identities of the Anonymous leadership.

Westboro Baptist Church has made a name for itself by staging vocal protests at the funerals of U.S. military members killed in action, though the message delivered at the protests are generally anti-homosexual in nature and have little to do with the conflicts in the Middle East.

Anonymous members and The Jester have publicly traded jabs for several months, each threatening to undermine and expose the other's operations.

Strangely enough, they may have had a meeting of the minds when it comes to their mutual disdain for the Westboro Baptist Church, and it will be interesting to see if there is any subsequent softening of the rhetoric between the two parties.

The enemy of my enemy is my friend? We shall see...

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Anthony Vandegrift Actually, the WBC protested two of my comrades funerals and the messages weren't homophobic and were strictly anti-military. Things like "You live by the sword you die by the sword," "Your son is burning in hell," and similar things. The WBC isn't to be taken serious. It's nothing more then a scam to get people to violate law on camera for legal action, the source of their income. They should pick their targets more carefully though. A lot of vets I know are unstable and their asking for a massacre. I've just learned to ignore them. Although I applaud Jesters distain for them. As for anon, i find it hypocritical that they'd fight for wiki-leaks under the notion of free speech but will deny the WBC and scientology the very right they claim is being denied.
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Aaliyah Forbes You will find emerging reports that internet “hacktivist” group Anonymous has a new target for its attacks. An open letter was found on a website known to be affiliated with Anonymous. The content of the letter led several to believe the Westboro Baptist Church was the next target of Anonymous. Members of Anonymous denied the maligned Westboro Baptists were a going concern for them. Although, it wouldn't be a surprise if someone took out a payday cash advance to use in their efforts to stop Westboro, it isn't hacktivist.
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noelle yorks There has been a lot more coverage of the “hacktivist” group called Anonymous, as the group has gained notoriety from recent activity. There are rumors that Anonymous had acquired a new target. A website loosely affiliated with Anonymous had an open letter posted, which issued a stern warning to the Westboro Baptist Church. However, seems like to not be entirely genuine. Members of Anonymous have asserted the group has larger priorities than the little church known for its hate speech. Although, it wouldn't be a surprise if someone took out a pay day loan to use in their efforts to stop Westboro, it isn't hacktivist.
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