More than 1,700,000 people have signed the Sandy Hook Elementary School National Sympathy Card. As a grieving nation’s emotions are jaggedly high from the shooting tragedy, outraged hackers of all color hats temporarily join together in a common loathing of the hate-spewing Westboro Baptist Church (WBC). It’s not just hackers however as was nicely summed up by @th3j35t3r's tweet, “#WBC - When truckers, bikers, hackers, preachers, teachers, soldiers, Anonymous AND me agree all you're sh*t....this: http://pastebin.com/qem9yHaJ.”
It takes 25,000 signatures on the online petition platform at WhiteHouse.gov to merit a response, such as the one to build a Death Star, but there are over 184,000 signatures and counting on the petition to legally recognize Westboro Baptist Church as a hate group instead of a religious group. It's going so fast, it increases each time you refresh the page. The petition states, “Their actions have been directed at many groups, including homosexuals, military, Jewish people and even other Christians. They pose a threat to the welfare and treatment of others and will not improve without some form of imposed regulation.” If you agree, please do sign it.
The Obama administration will be required to issue an official comment, even though last year the Supreme Court ruled in Snyder v. Phelps [PDF] that the First Amendment’s “freedom of speech is so central to the nation that it protects cruel and unpopular protests - even, in this case, at the moment of a family's most profound grief.”
Another We the People petition calls for an investigation into the IRS tax-exempt status of WBC. It currently has over 43,000 signatures, also more than enough to merit official comment from the White House. And yet another “popular” petition is about gun control and was called the “most popular ever posted to White House site” by Mashable. While it is fast approaching 178,000 signatures, the petition asking to legally recognize WBC at a hate group is so hot that it’s on “fire.”
As the “families in Newtown, Connecticut are enduring unspeakable heartache and loss,” the Connecticut State Police warned that spreading false information on social media sites is a crime and “will be investigated and prosecuted.” However @z0mb13d mocked the victims and riled the “patriot hacker.” The Jester warned “@z0mb13d I have a very particular set of skills acquired over a long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like u." The Jester tracked @z0mb13d's followers to a Steam online-gaming community group and then Twitter accounts of members started being deleted or suspended.
Almost immediately thereafter, WBC spokesperson Shirley Phelps-Roper tweeted that “Westboro will picket Sandy Hook Elementary to sing praise to God for the glory of his work in executing his judgement.” This angered Cosmo the God, a 15-year-old UG Nazi hacker, who took over the @DearShirley account. Her account is now suspended, but not before Reaper Sec captured this image:
Although there was speculation that someone else was using Cosmo’s name and “claim to fame,” Wired confirmed that Cosmo was the behind the hack which violated the terms of his probation. In November, Cosmo was sentenced to probation and prohibited from using the internet “without supervision and prior consent” until he turns 21. Violating the terms of his probation may “result in a three year prison term.”
Meanwhile, @th3j35t3r tweeted, "#WBC #Westboro baptist church site .godhatesfags.com — seems to be experiencing 'technical difficulties'.” This was particularly impressive, according to Reaper Sec, since about two years ago, WBC “went to BlackLotus for DDoS protection and have been virtually untouchable since.” Black Lotus promises, “Guaranteed DDoS protection against any attack, without limits.” Just the same, it was Tango Down for 19 WBC domains. It seems a pity the sites are back up again.
Anonymous has vowed “to render Westboro Baptist Church obsolete.” This is not the first time Anonymous butted heads with the vile WBC. Last time, Anonymous told WBC to stop the hate now or else "the damage incurred will be irreversible" and "neither your institution nor your congregation will ever be able to fully recover." WBC replied to “bring it” and that God hates “lousy hackers.”
Ars Technica reported, “Anonymous’s official Twitter account also claims that its members managed to change Phelps-Roper’s desktop background to gay porn, uncovered alleged social security numbers of key WBC members through the doxing process, and successfully filed for a death certificate for Phelps-Roper. The group has since tweeted out the alleged hotel where WBC members were staying and offered an IRC channel specifically to talk about its #OpWBC movement.”
After hacking Shirley Phelps-Roper’s email, @IonCuber began the email dump which includes outraged emails with one going so far as to include an image showing a little girl praying and asking that the next mass shooting be a WBC. “Under God” on the Washington Post outlines four ways to respond to WBC, but please pay attention to “Shut them down” and go sign the petitions.