Stormfront.org, the largest white nationalist web forum in the world with a claimed 240,000 registered members, may have been hacked earlier this week.
The website, run by former Alabama Klan leader Don Black out of his West Palm Beach, Fla., home, is up again today, but its look is much simplified. Starting this afternoon, a discussion thread began on Stormfront discussing what most of those posting agreed was very likely a serious attack.
“We won’t know that it was a hack until Don [Black] tells us what happened,” said one member of the neo-Nazi forum. “[B]ut judging by the fact that some previously deleted threads are back, along with latest rep being missing, it looks like something went seriously wrong and the site had to be restored from backups.”
Black, whose voicemail was full, could not be reached for comment.
Indeed, a previously unknown group, LulzFinancial, apparently posted a press release on Tuesday to a website called Briefingwire.com, a site that helps get press releases publicized. It’s a strangely written document that describes the group as having “mysteriously” appeared early this year and takes credits for hacking attacks on the Syrian government, the gay-bashing Westboro Baptist Church (which runs the Godhatesfags website), and Stormfront. The day of the release, dubbed “Tango Down Tuesday” in the document, was the day Stormfront apparently went down.
According to a story on another white supremacist website, White Reference, Stormfront began having some trouble over the weekend, posting a message saying that only registered members could post by signing in. Then, starting Wednesday, Stormfront reportedly posted a message saying that its discussion board was down for maintenance. Nevertheless, its “Donate” button continued to work.
White Reference criticized Black for doing a “piss-poor job” of keeping its readers informed. And indeed, even as open discussion of the possible hacking began on Stormfront this afternoon, there was no comment on the matter from Black. Instead, someone posted a short story from Examiner.com that referenced the purported LulzFinancial press release.
LulzFinancial apparently has not been heard of before, but LulzSec is a well known anonymous hacker group that invaded, among other systems, the computers run by the Arizona Department of Public Safety. The group reportedly helped launch other secret hack attack groups as well.
In recent months, a series of white supremacist organizations, both in the United States and Britain, have been attacked by anonymous hackers, some of whom have expressed anti-fascist sentiments. In several cases, information about members and friends of those groups has been publicized, much to their embarrassment. That has apparently not occurred in the case of Stormfront, at least not yet.
Stormfront became the first major hate site on the Internet in March 1995, a month before the Oklahoma City bombing.