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Hacktivists boast of English Defence League KO after website downed

Anonymous-affiliated bods claim fresh scalp of far-right group

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Hacktivists linked to Anonymous have claimed responsibility for knocking shouty anti-Islam group the English Defence League's website offline.

The EDL is a far-right street protest movement whose official stance is an objection to the "spread of Sharia law and Islamic extremism in the UK". Its numerous critics argue the league are just a bunch of xenophobic football hooligans, and their numerous protests often involve violence and arrests.

The group's official website (http://englishdefenceleague.org) was taken offline on Tuesday and a Pakistani hacking crew affiliated with Anonymous claimed responsibility for the hack.

The website remains unavailable at the time of writing on Thursday morning, with a notice stating that the website is unavailable. "We are currently fixing an issue with our server and will restore services as soon as possible," a notice from the EDL Web Division explains.

Hacktivists affiliated with Anonymous have locked horns with the EDL on several previous occasions. For example, in May, the hacktivist group leaked names and addresses of more than 200 supposed members of the controversial protest group, as well as the mobile phone numbers of its leaders.

The leak was the first salvo in ‪#OpEDL‬, aimed at bringing down the group, which hacktivists accuse of attempting to hijack public revulsion about the horrific murder of soldier Lee Rigby in south London three months ago to further the group's own political agenda. The EDL's leader, Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, was yesterday charged with obstructing police after allegedly trying to defy a ban on marching past a mosque in Woolwich in June.

The latest hack was also carried out under the banner of ‪#OpEDL‬ and carried out by members of the ZHC (ZCompany Hacking Crew) from Pakistan, apparently supported by elements of the wider Anonymous hacktivist collective. ZHC accompanied the hack with the leak of around 40 names and mobile phone numbers of supposed EDL members.

It's unclear whether the leaked list, uploaded to Pastebin, is genuine or represents new information. Very little has been heard of ‪#OpEDL‬ after an initial flurry of activity in late May, until this week's shenanigans.

The ZHC member behind the latest hack, @Guy_Victory, has been taunting the EDL about its inability to get its site back up and running.

"EDL still cant fix site from #ZHC hacked it yesterday id call that a K.O :)," the hacktivist said in a Twitter update.

ZHC claims to have lifted personal information, including but perhaps not limited to email addresses, after breaking into the EDL's official website in an earlier assault last November.

Research outfit Netcraft reports the englishdefenceleague.org website, which runs on Linux, began using protection services from CloudFlare earlier this month. ®

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