Destroy Daily Dot

Austin-based news organization targeted by aggressive hacker group

Austin-based news organization targeted by aggressive hacker group

A major hacktivist group has a bone to pick with an Austin-based website. Anonymous has waged a cyberwar against Daily Dot, an online newspaper that focuses on Internet community topics ranging from viral videos to hard-hitting pieces on Internet activism.

Anonymous is attacking Daily Dot for publishing two articles written by former member Hector "Sabu" Monsegur, who became an FBI informant. Monsegur's work with the FBI led to the imprisonment of Jeremy Hammond, who was convicted of hacking Austin-based intelligence firm Stratfor in 2011. Daily Dot called it "one of the most significant and costly cyberattacks of the last decade." 

Daily Dot published reviews of Blackhat and CSI: Cyber written by Monsegur on January 18 and March 4. Anonymous viewed the collaboration as a betrayal by the news website, which it has steadily supported, and launched "Operation Destroy Daily Dot" in response. 

"Anonymous does not attack media nor does it censor it, however there are various ways to hold those who build their media empires and careers on the backs of movements, actions and individuals accountable," Anonymous said in a video published Monday. "Operation Destroy Daily Dot is a boycott action. Given that Daily Dot was given its credibility, celebrity and wealth on the back of Anonymous and our operations, we seek to destroy it in the same manner it rose."

Daily Dot defended the decision to contract Monsegur for the reviews and stated that asking for his viewpoint did not constitute support of his actions. "The Daily Dot does not necessarily agree with or endorse the views in each story it publishes," the website said in a response. "As a news organization, our job is to illuminate dark corners and share a variety of perspectives."

The Anonymous campaign has centered around Twitter (hashtag #OpDDD), and Daily Dot has not experienced serious repercussions thus far. The official Daily Dot Twitter account has lost 75 of its 212,000 followers.

Anonymous Group, logo
Anonymous has launched a boycott of Austin-based Daily Dot. Anonymous Group