Westboro Baptist Church faked a letter threatening a DDoS attack, according to people associated with Anonymous.
The controversial Westboro Baptist
Church is in the middle of a row
The Westboro Baptist
Church, of Topeka,
Kan., has claimed it is being targeted
by Anonymous-something some involved in Anonymous say is false. Known
for its virulent anti-homosexual stance, Westboro
claims Anonymous threatened in a letter posted on AnonNews.org
to hack the church's site if it did not stop its activities.
However, in a message
on AnonNews.org Feb. 20, Anonymous affiliates accused the church
itself of posting the letter on AnonNews.
"You thought you could play
," according to the message. "You observed our
rising notoriety and thought you would exploit our paradigm for your own gain. ...
While Anonymous thanks you for your interest, and would certainly like to take
a break and have some fun with you guys, we have more pressing matters to deal
with at the moment. But, we will keep this application on file, and will
certainly contact you if any openings become available in future."
The message goes on to state that just because something is posted on
AnonNews.org does not mean all members are in agreement with it, or, in the
case of the supposed letter, even "a single Anon is in agreement." It
also warns fellow "Anons" that the situation is a trap.
"They've got their ports wide open to harvest IPs to sue,"
according to the message. "Don't DDoS, and boycott Operation
In response to the initial letter, the church told its opponents to "bring
it." During the past few days, a number of messages on the issue have
appeared on AnonNews, including a few instructing people
to launch distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks against the church's
attack or no,
however, the church's site is currently down (as of 3:40 p.m. EST), though it was back online
"What's interesting is that there may be some affiliated with Anonymous
who don't agree that targeting the Westboro Baptist Church is an appropriate
use of their time and resources," blogged
senior technology consultant at Sophos.
"As with all things Anonymous, it's hard to tell who's who," he
continued. "The group is headless, and has no structure. Anyone can speak
and claim to be representing the group."
Westboro Baptist was recently in the news in January when members announced
they planned to travel to Tucson, Ariz.,
in the aftermath of the attempted assassination of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. The
church, which is known for picketing military funerals with signs reading
"God hates fags" to draw attention to its stance on homosexuality,
announced plans to protest at the funerals of those killed in the
The fallout caused state lawmakers to pass emergency legislation banning
protesters from being within 300 feet of a funeral.