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Gay furry hackers take down Heritage Foundation

by on11 July 2024

Two gigabytes of data taken 

An established cybercrime group with a history of targeting political entities posted approximately two gigabytes of data from the right wing think tank the Heritage Foundation.

The self-described "gay furry hackers," known as SiegedSec, released this data in response to the Heritage Foundation's Project 2025—a collection of proposals aimed at providing Donald Trump with pre-defined policies to implement if he wins the upcoming election. The authors describe it as an initiative "to lay the groundwork for a White House more aligned with right-wing principles."

Some of the publicly available material suggests that the outfit wants to build a Christian-based form of fascism centred around Donald Trump and the fears are that it wants to start a right wing revolution and overthrow the US consitition. 

Heritage President Kevin Roberts made headlines last week when he stated that the American right was "in the process of the second American Revolution, which will remain bloodless if the left allows it to be."

The data, reviewed by CyberScoop, includes Heritage Foundation blogs and material related to The Daily Signal, a right-wing media site affiliated with Heritage. It spans from 2007 to November 2022.

According to a spokesperson for SiegedSec, who goes by the online handle "vio," the group gained access to the data on July 2 and released it to provide "transparency to the public regarding who exactly is supporting Heritage."

The data includes "full names, email addresses, passwords, and usernames" of individuals associated with Heritage, including users with US government email addresses.

"This itself can impact Heritage's reputation and it will particularly deter users in positions of power." This potential damage to the Heritage Foundation's reputation is a cause for concern.

However, a Heritage spokesperson refuted claims of a hack. Instead, they stated that "an organized group stumbled upon a two-year-old archive of The Daily Signal website available on a public-facing website owned by a contractor."

The information obtained was limited to usernames, names, email addresses, incomplete password details of both Heritage and non-Heritage contributors, article comments, and commenters' IP addresses. This conflicting narrative between SiegedSec and the Heritage Foundation adds an intriguing layer to the incident.

The spokesperson clarified that no Heritage systems were breached at any time, dismissing the narrative of a hack as "a false exaggeration by a group of criminal trolls seeking attention."

SiegedSec also asserted possession of over 200 gigabytes of additional "mostly useless" data, which they do not intend to release.

This attack is part of SiegedSec's "OpTransRights" campaign, which previously involved defacing government websites and stealing data from states considering or implementing anti-abortion or anti-trans legislation.

However, if the claims are valid, the incident marks Heritage's second security breach this year. In April, a Heritage official informed Politico that the think tank had shut down its network in response to a violation by a nation-state hacking group.

Last modified on 11 July 2024
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