A group of “hacktivists” known as Anonymous has joined forces with an unlikely ally, another hacker known as th3j35t3r, in a coordinated attack on the websites of anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church. WBC owns and operates several websites, including godhatesfags.com, yourpastorisawhore.com and westborobaptistchurch.com.
The congregation is based in Topeka, Kansas, and is made up mostly of family members of Rev. Fred Phelps. The clan is infamous for its “God Hates Fags” mantra and protests at funerals ranging from slain gay Wyoming college student Matthew Shepard to U.S. military members killed in combat.
Click here for our interview with Westboro members when they came to protest Grady High School.
Anonymous and th3j35t3r have sparred in recent months over the controversial media outlet Wikileaks. There's quite a back-story, but simply put, Anonymous supports Wikileaks and th3j35t3r does not.
It seems they agree on hating Westboro.
‘Hacktivists’ take on anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church
Last week, a rumor circulated on Twitter and over blogs that Anonymous had declared “war” on Westboro. Anonymous initially denied attacking WBC’s websites, but jumped into the fight during an interview on the radio program The David Pakman Show alongside Westboro representative Shirley Phelps-Roper. Phelps-Roper made the mistake of calling out the group in a big way.
Check out the video below (skip to the nine minute mark for the live Anonymous hack):
That poor woman has no idea.
th3j35t3r claimed credit for the initial attacks that crashed the WBC websites via Twitter: “www.godhatesfags.com – TANGO DOWN. Temporarily. For celebrating the death of US troops – honeypot fail btw”
As of this morning, the websites are still offline.
Interesting what the bigots at Westboro can do to bring together two rival (and very unfriendly) hacking factions.
Perhaps Anonymous put it best on Twitter over the weekend: “AnonymousIRC The @th3j35t3r and #Anonymous cooperation on #WBC was an eclipse; we’re still like Sun and Moon, following our own agendas.”