Owners of popular conservative websites have increasing reason to be concerned their sites may be hacked or otherwise physically attacked for political reasons. Traditionally, hackers took an anarchist approach that primarily targeted government websites. Lately, they are assailing politically conservative websites. Many of these newer attacks are coming from hackers associated with Wikileaks. Some libertarian conservatives defend Wikileaks’ business of leaking government documents, unaware that its affiliates are hypocritically trying to silence them. In addition to wreaking technical havoc, hackers have figured out they can use Google’s strict policy against deceptive website tactics to keep conservative websites hidden from the internet for long periods of time.
After Google banned my website, Intellectual Conservative, a few weeks ago due to some political enemies who had “cloaked” it, I decided to look into how prevalent the hacking of conservatives websites has become. Politically targeted hacking is known as “hactivism,” and is really a form of cyberterrorism. Not all attacks upon websites are considered hacking, some are less intrusive such as DDoS (distributed denial-of-service attack), where a website is continually pinged until it is forced to shut down.
A new powerful hacking organization surfaced this summer targeting conservatives in addition to government websites. LulzSec (short for Lulz Security Hacking Collective, which gets its name from LOLs, “laughing out loud” and an abbreviation for security) first emerged on the hacking scene in May when it hacked Fox.com in retaliation over Fox News’ labeling of the rapper Common as “vile.” In June, LulzSec hacked Arizona’s Department of Public Safety in protest of the enforcement of SB 1070, Arizona’s tough immigration enforcement law. In July, the organization hacked into several newspaper websites and defaced them with false reports of the death of conservative media magnate Rupert Murdoch. LulzSec member “Whirlpool” told BBC Newsnight, "Politically motivated ethical hacking is more fulfilling.” Several members of the organization have since been arrested.
The hacking group “Anonymous,” known for its targeting of anti-Wikileaks websites, attacked the conservative Americans for Prosperity (AFP) website in February rendering it unreachable for a period of time. The hackers issued a statement denouncing AFP’s support for Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and his standoff against the unions, asking people to boycott Koch Industries, which provides major funding for AFP. “Anonymous” hacked into Sarah Palin’s Yahoo email account in September 2008, and passed emails along to Wikileaks which displayed them on its website.