In response to the Westboro Baptist Church's announcement of its plans to picket the funerals of those slain in Friday's (Dec. 14) mass tragedy in Newtown, Conn., political hackers of all stripes have united and launched cyberattacks against the group on several fronts.
" Westboro will picket Sandy Hook Elementary School to sing praise to God for the glory of his work in executing his judgment," tweeted WBC spokeswoman Shirley Phelps-Roper.
"We will not allow you to corrupt the minds of America with your seeds of hatred," Anonymous responded in a video yesterday (Dec. 16). "We will not allow you to inspire aggression to the social factions which you deem inferior. We will render you obsolete. We will destroy you. We are coming."
Anonymous posted what they claim is WBC founder Fred Phelps birth date and Social Security number along with the home addresses, phone numbers, email addresses and other details about many of Phelps' extended family, who comprise the majority of the WBC's membership.
In conjunction with Anonymous, other hackers, including Anonymous' rival Jester (@th3j35t3r), helped obtain and dump documents. Jester and Anonymous also collaborated on a hack against the WBC in 2011.
Anonymous and the Jester were at odds in 2010 after the latter claimed responsibility for taking WikiLeaks' site down. In response, Anonymous took down MasterCard's site. The credit card company had stopped accepting donations on WikiLeaks' behalf.
Around the same time, someone claiming to be Cosmo, the famed 15-year-old hacker, claimed responsibility for hacking Phelps-Roper's Twitter account. If it was actually Cosmo, the act was likely a violation of his parole.
Infamous for its colorful signs that tout inflammatory slogans like "God hates fags," and "God damn America," and frequent demonstrations at soldiers' funerals, the Topeka, Kansas-based WBC's offensive actions prompted its home state to enact a ban on picketers at those types of events to pass a law banning political protests at such events.
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