Anonymous hacks Westboro Baptists over Sandy Hook protests
Other hackers join the fray
Anonymous has posted personal data of many members of the Westboro Baptist Church and is promising to shut down the religious sect after it announced plans to protest the funerals of those killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School last week.
"We have unanimously deemed your organization to be harmful to the population of the USA, and have therefore decided to execute an agenda of action which will progressively dismantle your institution of deceitful pretext and extreme bias, and cease when your zealotry runs dry," the hacking group said in the now-traditional video.
"We recognize you as serious opponents, and do not expect our campaign to terminate in a short period of time. Attrition is our weapon, and we will waste no time, money, effort, and enjoyment, in tearing your resolve into pieces, as with exposing the incongruity of your distorted faith."
The upload to Pastebin shows names, addresses, birth dates, emails, and phone numbers for many of the WBC members, along with domain details for the many sites it owns, including godhatesfags.com, beastobama.com, and godhatesthemedia.com. That's pretty basic stuff, but Anonymous claims this is just the start.
The group also publicized an online petition to the US government calling for the WBC to be officially designated a hate group. So far it has acquired over 100,000 signatures, well over the threshold required for official comment (once the White House is finished preparing a statement on the building of a Death Star.)
This isn't the first time Anonymous and the WBC have had a run-in. Last year the group declared another action against the WBC, and hacked the sect's website live during an online debate with the WBC clan matriarch Shirley Phelps-Roper. But the hacking group says this time it's playing for keeps.
In a separate but related attack, a Twitter account belonging to Phelps-Roper has been taken over by someone claiming to be teenage member of the UG Nazi hacker collective Cosmo the God. If so, it's not exactly a smart move, since Cosmo is currently doing six years of probation, part of which is a commitment to stay offline – but the Sandy Hook shootings have aroused strong emotions in America.
Even before the bodies of the victims were removed from the scene of the shooting, the WBC announced its intention to protest the funerals of those slain. In her twitter feed, Shirley Phelps-Roper originally blamed the shooting on Connecticut's decision to legalize gay marriage, and said the group would be at the funerals.
The WBC makes a living out of trekking to funerals across the US to preach their message that everyone in the world is going to hell apart from them, and that such tragic events as Sandy Hook are proof of this. The group, which has barely 100 (mostly family) members, also has a lucrative sideline in suing those who attack them, of whom there are many.
So far various groups have said they will gather to block off any sight of the WBC's protests from families attending funerals. While the Supreme Court has upheld the WBC's right to protest, they can expect to be swamped by those seeking to block out their message. ®