It was, according to one observer, the “Classiest website hack ever.”
As it happens, Brown is still writing, but under close supervision in solitary confinement at FCI Fort Worth, a low security prison. He is serving a four-year sentence for, essentially, making bombastic YouTube statements about knives, guns, and certain FBI agents who’d bothered his mother.
He’d be proud of this one, though.
Early Saturday morning, when most presidential candidates are still rubbing the sleep from their eyes and the mousse into their comb-overs, Telecomix Canada defaced a page of Republican candidate Donald Trump’s Trump.com with what essentially reads as a love letter to Jon Stewart, who is retiring as host of The Daily Show. That defaced page is now blocked by site administrators.
Telecomix Canada apologized in typically Canadian style for delivering the message via unauthorized use of the short-fingered vulgarian’s website, and blamed Big Quinoa. Well, don’t we all?
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. 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 – we none the less remain your loyal and grateful fans.
Understanding your technical interests remain unexplored you will probably be told of this by one of your most excellent producers. 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.
We note, with some annoyance, that your natural opponents are beginning to talk smack about you (and presumably your mother).. Labouring, perhaps, under the misapprehension that it is once again business as usual while you enjoy your days tossing ball with the scion and evenings pursuing Mrs Stewart round the sofa with ice tongs.
They followed it up with a lengthy press release on Pastebin, which has now had 1,220 readers. It elaborated on their motivations, reiterated their opposition to web censorship, and explicitly stated that “Telecomix operatives specifically do not engage in destructive operations.” A deface of some random page on a website is analogous to putting a sign in somebody’s yard without permission: it’s not terribly difficult to remove the page, and no permanent harm is done. Except to one’s dignity, of course.
A Telecomix spokseperson told us that the deface was covered widely, but not, ironically, in Canada except for a single article on the CBC website. Monday was, however, a statutory holiday in several provinces and territories, and news staffing levels were reduced.
The internet response was immediate, and ecstatic.
Yes, Canada’s having an election. And Telecomix are not fans of Stephen Harper, it would seem.
Shout-out from an old-school Anon, Josh Covelli of the Paypal 14.
And kudos from internet icon Violet Blue of ZDNet.
Telecomix Canada is part of the anarchistic, international Telecomix (dis-)organization. The six-year-old group has developed a very solid track record of opposing and outsmarting internet censorship. When Israel cut off the internet in Gaza, Telecomix distributed information that helped get Gazans back online. They have done the same in Egypt, in Tunisia, and in Syria.
Their own website explains their principles in language as erudite as it is deliberately incomprehensible. “There is no organization called Telecomix, but when Telecomix sometimes disorganizes, a siphonophoric organism emerges, only to be washed away by the next wave, drowning in the chaos; leaving behind only digital fragments of datalove in the ditches of deserted internet ghost towns. Uncertainty is strength. Quantum states are the only legitimate States.”
The deface of Trump’s site was made easy by outdated software: the vulnerability has been known since 2009. Security consultant Jim Walker told Vocativ, “They forgot to remove the Cute Editor demo, allowing editing of the page on the Trump.com server.” Basically, they locked the front door and left the back one wide open.
And apparently a few windows as well…