On Monday morning, the Daily Stormer, a site run by the alt-right movement, appeared to be hacked by Anonymous. But the group hasn’t taken credit for it, and it’s been theorized that the Daily Stormer did it themselves in response to GoDaddy giving the site 24 hours to find a new server so they could blame hackers for the site’s imminent take-down.
A post on the Daily Stormer website reads, “END OF HATE: ANONYMOUS NOW IN CONTROL OF DAILY STORMER,” with the image of a person wearing a Guy Faweks mask. Text in all capital letters follows, claiming that Anonymous took over the site “in the name of Heather Heyer,” referring to the woman killed when a car struck counter-protesters during the violence on Charlottesville, Virginia on August 12.
“For too long the Daily Stormer and [Daily Stormer founder] Andrew Anglin have spewed their putrid hate on this site,” the statement reads. “That will not be happening anymore. We have all of the details on the servers and will be releasing the data when we feel the time is right.”
The post ends with “HACKERS OF THE WORLD HAVE UNITED IN DEFENSE OF THE JEWISH PEOPLE. YOU SHOULD HAVE EXPECTED US” and warns that the site will only be online for the next 24 hours. That’s the exact same number of hours GoDaddy gave it before it plans to shut it down.
However, Anonymous did not take credit for hacking the site. The Twitter user Your Anon News, one of the largest Anonymous Twitter accounts, said it has “no confirmation” that the group is involved. In fact, they suspect it was a stunt pulled by the Daily Stormer themselves. The site also suggested that the line about needing a “united force of elite hackers” being needed to take down the site was “incredibly amusing.” It is also strange that all of the site’s old content is still available on the site, despite the “hack.”
“We have no confirmation that ‘Anonymous’ is involved yet. Looks more like a DS stunt. Wonder if they are having issues finding a new host,” Your Anon News wrote. “We find claim that it took a “UNITED FORCE OF ELITE HACKERS” to hack a CMS run by amateurs incredibly amusing.”
“If goal of Daily Stormer was to get us to celebrate a BS claim, it backfired. Seriously, suck less,” Your Anon News wrote.
Other Anonymous Twitter accounts are trying to get followers to spread the word that the “hack” was a “false flag.” A source close to the hacktivist group also told The New York Daily News that it had nothing to do with the post.
Anglin later posted that he has “retaken control of the site,” but will leave the “Anonymous” post up.
“It just goes to show that these people cannot do anything to us other than try to shut down our free speech,” he wrote. “Absolutely disgusting. To all those on the forum, don’t worry about you email addresses: that is hosted on a totally separate server that was not breached.”
The “hack” post followed GoDaddy’s announcement on Twitter that they informed the Daily Stormer administrators that they need to find another domain provider because they “have violated our terms of service.”
All of the site’s content remains online at the moment, including a post by Anglin filled with insults at Heyer.
Heyer was killed when a car plowed into a group of counter-protesters at the “Unite The Right” rally, which was organized by white supremacists. Dozens of others were injured in the incident, which some politicians have called “domestic terrorism.” A suspect, James Alex Fields, is in custody.