Ethical hacker group Anonymous is alleged to have taken over the Daily Stormer, a website owned and operated by White Supremacists and far-right activists.
Hackers claiming to be members of Anonymous have taken control of the Daily Stormer's servers as well as content spreading racial hatred.
During the weekend, a protest rally led by White Supremacists and far-right activists in Charlottesville, Virginia, turned violent and resulted in racial clashes and the death of an anti-fascist protester.
Following the violence, the Daily Stormer, a far-right website that carries content spreading racial hatred and white supremacy, was hacked. The website had allegedly supported the far-right protests and a recent post on the website suggested that Anonymous had succeeded in taking it down for good.
“For too long the Daily Stormer and Andrew Angling have spewed their putrid hate on the site. That will not be happening anymore," read the post on the website. The hackers identified themselves as members of an ethical hacker group named Anonymous, who had previously gained repute for injecting rainbow flags and gay porn in ISIS-run Twitter accounts.
"The events of Charlottesville alerted us to the need for immediate action. This evil cannot be allowed to stand," the hackers added.
They added that they had gained access to 'all the details on the servers' as well as 'locational data on Anglin himself'. Following the weekend clashes, a group of elite hackers from across the globe had coordinated to take down the Daily Stormer and had taken control of its servers.
A mere Google search can confirm that the hack has taken place as the Daily Stormer is now described as 'The World's Most Genocidal Republican Website' on Google search.
During the protest rally, a car raced towards a group of anti-fascist protesters who had assembled nearby, grievously injuring a woman named Heather Heyer. Heyer later died from her injuries. Hackers behind the Daily Stormer hack have termed Heyer as “victim of white supremacist terrorism” and are running their operation in her honour.
Another protester Natalie Romero was also injured in the incident and is receiving medical treatment.
The hackers are warning that they would keep the website online for 24 hours so that the world can witness the hate literature that it contains. They would shut down the site forever once the 24 hours are over.
However, it remains to be proved whether the hackers behind the Daily Stormer hack are really members of Anonymous. According to The Independent, an Anynomous-related Twitter account said that there is no confirmation of Anonymous being involved in the hacking attempt yet.
Your Anon News, one of the biggest Twitter accounts belonging to Anonymous, also played down Anonymous' involvement in the hack and said that it could be a stunt pulled off by the Daily Stormer to 'woo their clueless base'.
'We find claim that it took a "UNITED FORCE OF ELITE HACKERS" to hack a CMS run by amateurs incredibly amusing', said the group. 'If goal of Daily Stormer was to get us to celebrate a BS claim, it backfired. Seriously, suck less', it added.
It is rather unusual that Anonymous would deny their involvement in a hacking attempt once they've conducted it. In the recent past, Anonymous-run Twitter accounts have gone out full-steam to claim their exploits and provide evidence of the destruction they caused.
When the war against the Islamic State was at its peak, Anonymous announced that they had done their bit towards the war effort by taking down 5,500 Twitter accounts belonging to ISIS, exposing 101,000 Twitter accounts and revealing 5,900 propaganda videos.
Following the terrorist attack on Charlie Hebdo in Paris in 2015, Anonymous had responded by taking down tens of thousands of ISIS-run Twitter accounts as well as an apparent dating site for ISIS members.