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Anonymous hacktivists deface Donald Trump’s website with a tribute to Jon Stewart
The hackers thanked Stewart for a ‘steadfast dedication to the irony and power of Truth.’
A group of Anonymous hacktivist have apparently broken into Donald Trump’s corporate website for a strange reason.
“Mr Stewart, we at @TelecomixCanada would like to take this opportunity to thank you for the many happy years of quality journalism and entertainment you and your team have undertaken at Comedy Central,” reads a letter on Trump’s site.
“Know, Sir, that your steadfast dedication to the irony and power of Truth has inspired a generation.”
“We are writing you today via Mr Trump’s website because, seeming, [sic] the only way to get anyone to pay attention any more is to grease a Presidential candidate’s website.”
Active for nearly a decade, Telecomix is a digital activist group not usually known for malicious hacks. “Telecomix operatives specifically do not engage in destructive operations,” the group said Monday in a statement.
“In point of fact, this represents the first time our promissory has added a message to a device not our own in some years,” the group added.
On Trump’s site, Telecomix thanked Stewart for “many happy years of quality journalism and entertainment.”
“While even we, having wired live fire ustreams out of Gaza under Mossad’s gaze, are unable to get Comedy Central’s website video to work—undaunted we remain your loyal and grateful fans,” they said.
Telecomix’s letter to Stewart has since been removed from Trump.com.
Telecomix gained notoriety during the Arab Spring for providing dial-up Internet services to Egyptian citizens when broadband services were censored or blocked entirely by the government. In 2011, the group released roughly 54 GB of log files from products made by California-based cybersecurity firm Blue Coat Systems, revealing that the company’s products were being used to censor the Syrian Internet. According to Blue Coat, former affiliates in the Middle East “unlawfully diverted” the company’s products to Syria, where they were used without Blue Coat’s knowledge.
In previous interviews, Telecomix members have described the group as similar to but not directly affiliated with Anonymous. In its message on Monday, Telecomix Canada identified itself specifically as an “Anonymous collective.”
“Understanding your technical interests remain unexplored you will probably be told of this by one of your most excellent producers,” Telecomix continued, once more addressing Stewart. “Know, Sir, that your steadfast dedication to the irony and power of Truth has inspired a generation which we ourselves now serve. That our collective thanks appears here will, we hope, amuse you as much as it will them.”
The message also thanked John Oliver, a former Daily Show correspondent who now hosts HBO’s Last Week Tonight. The hashtags #DataLove and #MMM2015, short for “Million Mask March 2015,” were also included.
Trump currently leads the pack of Republican presidential hopefuls with a 9.5 point lead, according to the RealClearPolitics polls average.
The Trump campaign did not yet respond to our request for comment about the apparent hack.
Clarification: A public relations representative for Blue Coat says the company was unaware at the time that its products were being used to censor the Internet in Syria.
Photo via Gage Skidmore/Flickr (CC BY 2.0) | Remix by Max Fleishman
Dell Cameron was a reporter at the Daily Dot who covered security and politics. In 2015, he revealed the existence of an American hacker on the U.S. government's terrorist watchlist. He is a co-author of the Sabu Files, an award-nominated investigation into the FBI's use of cyber-informants. He became a staff writer at Gizmodo in 2017.