The Heritage Foundation logo over hacker image

Alexander Geiger/Shutterstock The Heritage Foundation/Wikipedia (Licensed)

Read the furious texts the Heritage Foundation sent furry hacking collective SiegedSec after breach

‘Closeted Furries will be presented to the world for the degenerate perverts they are,’ Howell said.


Mikael Thalen


The hacking group SiegedSec released a chat log between one of its members and an employee with the Heritage Foundation on Wednesday, just days after it leaked data from the conservative think tank.

The group announced shortly thereafter that it would officially disband as well.

In a post to the hackers’ Telegram channel, SiegedSec shared its purported communications with Executive Director of the Heritage Oversight Project Mike Howell.

“it has been 28 hours since we released the database of the Heritage Foundation. first we’d just like to say, thank you all for the immense support. its greatly appreciated,” the group wrote. “many articles, news stories, and social media posts about this breach have caught the attention of many people. one of these people happens to be the executive director of the Heritage Foundations Oversight Project, Mike Howell.”

The breached data, as previously reported by the Daily Dot, appears to stem from the Heritage Foundation’s media arm, the Daily Signal, where Howell is also a columnist. Though the breach has been widely covered, it does not appear to contain any sensitive data from the organization.

“Mike Howell reached out to us, at first to ask questions to understand our motives and why we breached his organisation. then, he proceeded to throw insults, threats, and claimed our existence was against nature,” SiegedSec continued. “we tried answering things in a way to hopefully help him understand. but as his insults grew, so did our impatience. we are releasing all of our chat logs with Mike Howell, we have an extra surprise for him coming soon~.”

The Daily Dot reached out to Howell over X and asked him to confirm the chat log’s legitimacy. Howell, who falsely accused the Daily Dot of being involved in the hack itself, responded by confirming the post’s accuracy.

“Yah that’s me. For sure,” Howell said, noting the conversation occurred today.

In his back-and-forth with the SiegedSec member known as “vio,” Howell began by asking the hackers what they were “seeking or threatening.”

“we want to make a message and shine light on who exactly supports the heritage foundation, vio wrote. “we dont want anything more than that, not money and not fame. we’re strongly against Project 2025 and everything the heritage foundation stands for.”

Project 2025 is a multipronged initiative from the Heritage Foundation that’s been described as the conservative blueprint for a potential second Donald Trump presidency, although the former president has pushed back on some of its policy recommendations.

The initiative stirred outrage among progressives primarily due to its policies regarding abortion, social issues, immigration, and other matters.

In response to vio, Howell argued that he was “in the process of identifying and outing” members of SiegedSec, who have referred to themselves as “gay furries” throughout their two-year-long hacking spree.

“Closeted Furries will be presented to the world for the degenerate perverts they are,” Howell said. “You cannot hide. Your means are miniscule compared to mine. You now can either turn yourself in or you can cooperate.”

However, vio expressed confidence that none of their members would be identified as a result of Howell’s efforts.

“none of our members will be identified or outed by your organisation built on hatred. the only ones deserving of a destroyed life are those within your organisation,” vio replied. “you want me to cooperate? with what, spreading misinformation and hatred? we wont turn against our own people.”

After arguing that members of SiegedSec had “turned against nature,” Howell went on to refer to members as perverted for their purported involvement in the furry community.

“God created nature, and nature’s laws are vicious. It is why you have to put on a perverted animal costume to satisfy your sexual deviances,” he said. “It is why you are forced to hide like a coward. You violated our rights and broke the law. You have no standing to discuss such matters.”

The SiegedSec member responded with criticisms of the Heritage Foundation.

“the rights your org violates will be 10x worse than any crime ive committed. you do not follow god if you use religion as a crutch to hate people,” vio added. “while i hide behind a screen to fight for my rights, you hide behind religion to attack the rights of others.”

Despite efforts by Howell to arrange a meetup with the hacker, vio refused.

“Are you aware that you won’t be able to wear a furry tiger costume when you’re getting pounded in the ass in the federal prison I put you in next year?” Howell asked.

“Such unprofessional language from an executive director, would you mind if i shared this?” vio responded.

“Please share widely,” Howell wrote back. He then tweeted a screenshot of the conversation with lyrics to an Eminem song.

Howell continued with numerous other attacks—including his offer of advice to the group to “get out of mommy’s basement, iron your shirt, buy a girl a drink, and ask her out instead of googling new deviances for you to fixate on”—before alleging that the FBI would soon retrieve the hackers’ data from social media companies.

You can read the full conversation here.

The group announced shortly after that it had planned to disband this week but opted to reveal the plan early “to avoid the eye of the FBI.”

“i’ve been considering quitting cybercrime lately, and the other members have agreed its time to let SiegedSec rest for good,” vio wrote on Telegram. “In the past, i have tried quitting cybercrime a few times, and ive always been unable to fully quit. this time, hopefully i am able to stay away from it for my own wellbeing. we may not be a cybercriminal group anymore, but we will always hackers and always fighting for the rights of others.”

The announcement comes after numerous high-profile hacks from the group, which was known best for targeting NATO, religious groups, and domestic government entities.

Update 11:16am CT, July 11: In a statement to the Daily Dot, the Heritage Foundation criticized the framing of the data breach.

“The Heritage Foundation was not hacked. An organized group stumbled upon a two-year-old archive of The Daily Signal website that was available on a public-facing website owned by a contractor. The information obtained was limited to usernames, names, email addresses, and incomplete password information of both Heritage and non-Heritage content contributors, as well as article comments and the IP address of the commenter. No Heritage systems were breached at any time, and all Heritage databases and websites remain secure, including Project 2025. The data at issue has been taken down, and additional security steps have since been taken as a precaution.”

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